Viewers help GR mom scammed out of home

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GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. (WOOD) — She was scammed out of her savings and left homeless; living in a hotel. Now thanks to strangers’ generosity she has a home.

24 Hour News 8 reported the story last month about Grand Rapids mom, Teresa Johnson, who was the victim of a Craigslist housing scam. Since the story aired, about a dozen people reached out to help. Thanks to viewers, she has a house to live in; two weeks after the story aired.

Last month, Johnson contacted 24 Hour News 8 after she was scammed out of her dream house by a fake ad. The Craigslist ad was posted by someone posing as the owner. She fell for it and sent an $800 security deposit.

“That was all of my savings,” said Johnson.

She called 24 Hour News 8 to save others from the scam, but she got much more in return.

“People that I didn’t even know just blessed me,” said Johnson.

Nearly a dozen people reached out to donate money to Johnson. It totaled up to be enough to pay for a deposit and the first month’s rent. She also received assistance from a local realtor and made new friends in the process.

Johnson and her daughter, Braeilyn, are very happy in the new home which is decked out in furniture that was all donated.

“I’m blessed, I’m blessed, I’m totally blessed that someone gave me a chance. Gave me a chance to start over again,” said Johnson.

The fake Craigslist posting was immediately removed. Experts say you should never send money, even if the owner claims to be out of town. To be 100 percent certain that you are talking to the real owner, check property records online.