After a Colorado family lost thousands of dollars in a housing scam, the local police stepped up to save the day and help the homeless family that was stuck in a jam.
The Loban family is now homeless after they thought they'd found just the right home for their upcoming move in Fort Collins, KCNC-TV reported.
It was the perfect house at the right price — at least according to the online listing. Bennie and Desiree Loban signed a lease and sent a payment to the alleged landlord on MoneyGram.
Shortly after receiving payment, the landlord told them the key to the house had been lost in the mail. However, he said they could access the house through the unlocked back door and were welcome to move in.
The day after the family took up residence in the house, the cops showed up. The owner of the home had called the authorities to report that someone was trespassing.
“The owners of the residence called in and said somebody’s else’s stuff was inside her house,” Fort Collins Police Officer Kelsey Skaar told KCNC.
After speaking with the Lobans and seeing the family's paperwork, which included a lease and proof of payment, the police determined that the family had been scammed. The online listing for the house was created by a scammer who knew the house was between renters at the time and was sitting vacant.
The Lobans reportedly sent more than $2,000 on rent, deposits, and fees to the scammer.
But the family had no choice and had to move out of the house. The cops did give them a voucher for a hotel that night, but the family was still homeless. Which was too much for the couple's young son, Dravus, who broke down in tears.
How did the police come to the rescue?
Dravus' tears "pretty much broke all of our hearts," Skaar told the station.
The police officers saw this as an opportunity to do something to help.
According to KCNC, the responding officers set up a GoFundMe page for the family and shared the link around the department. The officers wrote in their fundraiser:
We are local law enforcement officers and recently responded to a call for service with a family that was a victim of fraud. The family moved into what they believed was their new home, only to find out the person they had been corresponding with was a scammer. The family spent over $2000 on deposits, rent and fees to the scammer, and moved into the home which was vacant when they arrived. The owners of the home called our department when they noticed someone else had moved into their home. The family was displaced, with two small children and several pets. It was apparent the family had saved a lot of money to rent this home, and their family was very emotional when they realized they were scammed. We could tell this family was struggling financially to begin with, and this loss devastated them. They have no place to live currently, and are fearful they may become homeless if they can't find a place to live soon. We are raising money to help this family with the money they lost and to help get them into a new home. Anything would help this family, thank you.
In just two days, the officers' fundraiser passed around their office had raised more than $1,000 for the Lobans.
Officer Scott Maher, one of the officers who first met with the Lobans and helped set up the fundraiser, called the response to the call for donations "awe inspiring."
What did the Lobans say?
Desiree Loban told KCNC that the officers' efforts were overwhelming.
"I just started crying," she said. "That just shows you that there are good people."
The GoFundMe for the Lobans had raised nearly $3,800 at the time of this report.