Avondale family warning community of housing scam

AVONDALE, AZ - An Avondale family is sounding the alarm after they say scammers have been targeting them for months.

The family’s troubles started three months ago. Daisy Cruz says two strangers came knocking on their door one day claiming her family’s house now belonged to them. The couple claimed they had inherited the home from a dead relative.

"They went up and said, ‘Hi, how are you?’ and then right away she said, ‘I own this house,” said Cruz.

Taken aback, her dad – who answered the door – began asking questions.  

The couple produced several documents Cruz says were fake because they had her parents' signatures on them.  

Cruz says they knew it was a scam when the woman introduced herself as Daisy’s mother and the name of the dead relative being used was actually Daisy’s dad’s name.

Cruz’s dad confronted the two saying that was his name, and that the woman couldn’t be who she claimed to be because that was the name of his wife who was inside the house.

“After that, they left,” said Cruz.

Last month another knock on the door.  

This time it was a man Cruz says claimed to be an officer of the court and served the family with an eviction notice. 

“Anybody could print this, and he came and said this is it,” said Cruz.

Cruz says the man claimed to be representing a client he had never met and became defensive when Cruz took a picture of his badge and threatened to call the police to verify his identity. 

Again, Cruz says this was a scam because the name on the notice that was allegedly coming from the new owner’s of the house was the name of Daisy’s mom asking, how could her mom be evicting herself from her own house? 
 
The man eventually left. Cruz says her family called the police after that encounter and said they were told to call them if they returned.
 
Two days ago the woman from the first encounter and another woman came knocking on the house telling them the 30 days were up, and they had to leave.
 
This time, Cruz’s mom called the police. She says, upon seeing the police in the neighborhood the women attempted to leave, but police stopped them and began asking questions.
 
Cruz says police told the women that what they were doing was wrong and if they really were the owners of the home they would need to go through the courts.
 
Cruz said Avondale police told her this was a scam and that it had been happening more and more.
 
“They actually told my mom that that same month an older man had gotten scammed,” Cruz said.
 
ABC15 reached out to Avondale Police for more specifics on this case, if they had been called for similar situations like this and what people should know when dealing with these sort of scammers. They told us they would look into our request.
 
Meanwhile, Cruz says Avondale officers did not arrest the women. But told them to call police if these people come trespassing again or impersonate another officer.
 
Cruz said it has been three months of worrying for her family.

“It has been very annoying because it causes a lot of stress on my parents because they do own the house, they do have the paperwork, they checked through their lawyer, they checked through their bank,” she said.
 
She says her mom has even checked to make sure her identity wasn’t stolen.
 
Meanwhile, Cruz says it’s important for her to speak out about this so more become aware to protect themselves and realize the steps scammers will take to trick people out of their stuff.
 
“…and it’s unfortunate when it’s people who are more vulnerable and don’t know,” Cruz said.

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