HARRAH, Okla. (KFOR) – The Jones family has chosen to get in front of a scam that they were victims of last week, hoping that others won’t get taken advantage of as they were.

“We didn’t have thousands of dollars to spend,” said Amy Jones at a Wednesday press conference held at the Oklahoma County Sheriff’s Office.

Jones, her husband, and their 3-year-old daughter had found a rent-to-own home in Harrah close to family.

“We found it through Facebook Marketplace and thought it looked perfect. We didn’t see any harm in looking on Marketplace,” said Amy.

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She said the listing showed it at $1,000 a month. However, the family thought it was too good to be true so they avoided the listing for a few days.

Amy tells her story during Wednesday’s press conference.

“He (the man who said he was the owner) told us a couple of days later that the house was still up for rent and that if we did get serious it would be $100,” said Amy. “We didn’t think anything of that. From what we understand, if you’re trying to rent from any apartment or any home, then there is a fee to show you’re serious.”

She says that there was a $700 deposit that he wanted through Cashapp but they couldn’t do it through that.

Instead, she said the man asked for payment through gift cards. Of which, the Jones said they gave him hundreds in gift cards.

“Right now, I am still getting texts from him asking for $500 in iTunes gift cards because he does not realize that we’ve caught on to the scam,” said Amy.

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“Potential buyers saw that it was rent-to-own and took advantage of them,” said Sheriff Tommie Johnson. “You can see over time that the texts between the Jones’ and the fake buyer were getting aggressive and demanding more.”

Sheriff Johnson says his office is wanting to highlight this specific one so that others are warned.

Sheriff Tommie Johnson introduces Amy and their story.

“It’s sad to say that this is an investigation that may never be solved,” said Sheriff Johnson. “Anytime that they are asking you to use cards or use Bitcoin, be vigilant about it.”

For anyone in similar shoes who feels their personal information has been compromised, you’ll want to take a few steps:

  • Check the listing through your county assessor’s website, find out who really owns that property.
  • Compare that property with others of a similar size. If it’s too good to be true it more than likely is.
  • Work through legitimate property management companies.
  • If you can, try not to use gift cards as a way of payment.

“We just do not want this to happen to anybody else,” said Amy.

The Jones now lives in a home in Choctaw.

As of Wednesday night, the scammer has not been found.