So imagine you are on vacation and return home to find lots of activity and people you do not know. That's what happened to Beaufort woman Katherine Lang.
She was stunned when she opened the doors to her new home to find 22-year-old Tyggra Shepherd inside with a friend and pets. She had only recently bought the house and had not yet moved in. She decided to stop by to check the pipes after returning to the area from a vacation. That is when she found Shepherd, who was under the impression that she was legally renting it for $850 a month.
Shepherd recently signed a fake lease that was sent to her by a woman claiming to be a realtor on Facebook. She sent the woman, who she named as Rosie Ruggles, $1,150 for her first month's rent and deposit and was told she would be sent the keys later but, in order to move on, could get into the house through the back door which she said was open. The two women called police on Sunday after their run-in at Lang's home, but neither has heard from Ruggles.
Shepherd said she first got in touch with her after spotting an ad for the home on a public Facebook group. It was advertised as furnished and the ad included pictures of the interior, as Lang had already decorated it. Shepherd said she was elated when Ruggles told her it was hers because she thought she had snagged a bargain.
As Shepherd's move-in date approached, she claims Ruggles suddenly told her that the driver who was transporting her keys had been arrested on the road and the vehicle compounded. She said the woman was apologetic and sincere and told her she would leave the backdoor of the home open for her. She was blindsided when she found out it was a scam--Ruggles apparently posts similar ads on Facebook all the time to swindle unsuspecting people out of their money.
Lang said she fears the scammers had been watching her property while she was renovating it and knew when the house was going to be unoccupied. On Facebook, others have complained about Ruggles posts in other groups.
She removed her post about Katherine's house but this is the kind of thing she does post: