CLEVELAND, Ohio (WOIO) – Dozens of people were scammed out of their hard-earned money.
The details are still coming out but Cleveland Police say someone known to the police has frauded victims out of close to $20,000.
BreAna Locke-Tate tells 19 News on this day she should be living in her brand new apartment with her 3 children, but things didn’t go the way she planned.
In May, Locke-Tate put down a deposit at Kamden Village apartments in Cleveland after an employee called and told her her application was approved. She documented everything with money orders and receipts.
As Lock-Tate got closer to her move-in date of July 8, she discovered things weren’t what they seemed.
“I believe it was the regional manager that they never had a file of BLT and they had no idea who I was and that the person I had been giving my money to has been scamming people for over $20,000 and that I never had an apartment,” she said.
She tells 19 News when she tried to get things straightened out, she was discouraged.
“No one tried to help me,” Locke-Tate said. “I went down from corporate on down to Kamden Village. No one made me feel like everything was gonna be okay, it was as if I was a problem. No one tried to help or give me my money back until I went to the police.”
Cleveland Police say more than 20 people have reported the same story to police: a woman who worked at Kamden Village Apartments was taking money from potential residents who believed they were putting down for deposits on their new home.
The investigation is ongoing but to date, detectives says the loss is more than $20,000 using cash, CashApp and money orders.
19 News has learned that the employee has been fired.
19 News is not naming the former employee because they have not been formally charged; however, investigators said charges could be pending.
In the meantime, Locke-Tate and her children are living with a relative, as she tries to recover from this loss. She says that after filing a police report and calling the 19 Troubleshooter, she was able to get her deposit back. But this scam has set her back.
“I wasn’t gonna stop. I’m a mother, single mother of three kids. All my money needs to be accounted for,” she said ”I want there to be awareness that you should watch who you hire, watch who you trust in and watch who you give your information to,” said Locke-Tate.
This story is developing and will be updated.
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