(CNN) — Following widespread outrage over an apparent landlord scam, members of a suburban Detroit city council are asking for federal lawmakers to get involved.
They’re demanding action following the exposure of an apparent “fake landlord” scam in Livonia.
The Detroit News and WXYZ-TV covered the story, after a Houston woman offered to rent out a home in Livonia with a dangerous problem: no running water.
The legitimate person who answered the door said she had no knowledge of a rental agreement, and had never rented the home. After calling the number given by the woman, a woman posing as the person renting confirmed the home was indeed for rent.
Livonia police found out that she had purchased the property through a website using the same fake name, with the same online address and deeds.
“What a scam. It’s really a horrible scam. First thing I do when I get a new application, I look up all this information, especially from red flags. There were 8 more fake zip codes, so we busted those too,” said Livonia Police Sgt. Julie Kalea.
After WXYZ reported the story, calls began coming in from around the country about similar scams. One Indiana homeowner posted on WXYZ’s Facebook page that she had been a victim of the scam, too.
“I want the FTC and others to do a joint investigation,” said Livonia City Council Member Walter Baker, who is making the request with his fellow council members.