A trailer isn’t what Jessica Wilson thought her family would be calling home.
“We were really excited, we were getting ready to move into our new house!” said Faith Wilson, Jessica’s 16-year-old daughter.
But after responding to an online ad for a three-bedroom house, even getting a full tour, the single mom signed the lease.
But when their moving trucks arrived in August, to their surprise, they were greeted at the front door by the real owner.
“It was one of the most heartbreaking things I’ve ever experienced,” said Faith.
One of the property’s renters, giving the name Jason LeBlanc, posed as the owner online and made off with almost $2,000 in deposits, leaving the family homeless.
“It’s not that I wasn’t paying attention to it, because people had told us to watch out for certain things,” said Jessica.
“But when somebody is literally showing you around the house and knows where everything is?”
The price was right, there were no red flags, and the fraudster thoughtfully catered to what the family needed.
“One of the first things he said to me is ‘I can hear the stress in your voice, and you can take a breath now,'” said Jessica, remembering how the scammer eased her mind.
“He literally even asked me what colour I wanted my room,” said Faith, through tears.
West Shore RCMP has launched an investigation and identified the suspect in the rental scams as Jeremy Daniel Oakley.
B.C. court records show a slew of theft charges and convictions under the same name, and police believe there may be other victims.
Two other single mothers have since come forward alleging Oakley also stole from them in August, advertising from the same property. And a woman in a rental fraud story CHEK News first told you about in May, says she too believes Oakley is the man responsible.
“Whether his name is Stephen Parson, Jason Leblanc or whatever he is going to go by tomorrow, he is targeting single moms, young vulnerable women who want to do the best by their kids, taking their money, and he doesn’t care,” said Carrie Shaw.
And the community hopes the scammer gets caught soon before more young families have nowhere to go.
“He put four mom’s on the street, and he ruined all their lives. I want him found. Nobody should have to go through this,” said Faith, crying.
Oakley hasn’t been charged in connection with the Colwood rental scam and none of the allegations have been proven in court.
If you’d like to help out the Wilson family you can do so here.