Home-rental scam hits Central Florida

Bank of America accounts opened for deposits

By Mike Holfeld - Investigative Reporter

ORANGE COUNTY, Fla. - A News 6 investigation has uncovered a “cut and paste” real estate con game that uses legitimate rental property offers, posts them on another site and offers the homes for nearly half the true rental price.

A man calling himself Cedric Toler offered a rental property on 3030 Senna Court in the Ginger Creek sub division for $700 a month, including utilities. The real asking price was $1,200 and month.

Ginger Creek’s HOA president Peter Dawson told News 6 he had never heard of Toler.

“I know someone is formally trying to rent that place, I happen to know the owner,” Dawson said. “It isn’t real.”

Israel Markevitz told News 6  he was interested in the property but started to get suspicious when Toler said he was in Wisconsin and couldn’t show him the home.

“I had one question,”  Markevitz said. “Who owns the home?” 

Markevitz said he ran a check on the Orange County Property Appraiser’s website and found the real owners to be Lynda and Mariano Cruz, not Cedric Toler.

Markevitz said Toler had a quick excuse and he called his bluff.

“He said the house belongs to his parents," Markevitz said. “I said, ‘That’s OK, would you mind giving me the name of your parents?’ And he hung up.”

Toler sent this email Friday disregarding the phone incident. He mentions a bank account set up in someone else’s name.  It read, in part:


Sign and send back.

Below is the account information, you will receive keys via FedEx and keys will be sent out to your current address as soon as payment is confirmed.

BANK OF AMERICA

ACCOUNT NAME...Christopher Mbanefo

ACCOUNT NUMBER.......3xxxxxxxxxx

 I look forward to have a wonderful landlord and tenant relationship with you

Bank of America officials said it is aware of the account and is investigating.

Spokesman Matthew Daily told News 6 that the bank could not discuss personal account activity for privacy reasons.

 

“We take appropriate actions to close an account,” Daily said. “If we determine that it is being used improperly.”

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