DALLAS (CBS11) - CBS 11 News has learned that a Dallas County government building is being used as a front in a huge housing scam.
Families going there to finalize home sales find out after they move in that they have become victims of fraud.
A fake broker is using a false identity and forged deeds is collecting the life savings of prospective buyers while the actual owner, has no idea it's happening.
The number of families that have come forward about it is already up to six but expected to grow. Yuritzy Mauldin thought she was buying a vacant, boarded up house back in April. It was going to be the dream home she wanted for her young son and husband.
"I wanted to have a house to call mine to start my family with," she says.
Mauldin found a home on Craigslist in a South Dallas neighborhood where run down homes can sell for less than $10,000.
So she met the broker at the Dallas County Records Building to pay $9,000 cash, sign the deed and immediately started remodeling.
"We thought that it was a legitimate thing," she says.
Even though the deed was notarized in the building, the paperwork was forged. Mauldin was evicted by the actual owner a few weeks ago.
"If it wasn't for my parents we would be out on the street," says Mauldin.
At least Mauldin didn't spend thousands of extra dollars on renovations like Abel Castro-Rodriguez did. He thought he bought this home and added carpet, door knobs, windows and even wired it for electricity.
"We immediately started to make renovations because we wanted to make it livable," he says.
Castro-Rodriguez says his family just received their eviction letter after three months living inside.
"It's horrible what's going on the community," says Monte Brown, a realtor who represents the real property owner.
He says four of his clients homes have been illegally sold.
"He's forging my client signature," says Brown.
Six families have sought help from a realtor is helping them get an attorney.
"What we're concerned about is an eviction," says Lisette Caraballo, owner of I Realty.
That's a real fear these families with small children like the Castro's face.
"We are scared we are going to be thrown out on the street," says Castro-Rodriguez.
The families have contacted Dallas Police and plan to file a complaint with the DA's office.
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