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One Key Unlocks 600 HUD Houses in Las Vegas | Crime

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One Key Unlocks 600 HUD Houses in Las Vegas
Crime, Housing

LAS VEGAS -- Las vegas is on the cutting edge of a new scam: People posing as real estate agents illegally collecting rental deposit money on government-owned homes.

One key gains access to around 600 empty homes in the federal HUD housing program. This creates a gaping hole for scam artists to walk right through.

"They could theoretically get into all 600 houses that we have," said HUD Director Kenneth Lobene. "It could be a problem. Hopefully the things that we're going to do will help to prevent that."

A Las Vegas woman was arrested last week for scamming a local man out of $500. She's accused of posing as a real estate agent, breaking into the government-owned home and posting it on Craigslist.

She allegedly stole rental deposit money from people interested in the deals she was offering.

Metro police says the woman had wigs, tools and fraudulent papers. Police haven't said whether or not she had a HUD key.

This is a growing problem nationwide. One man was arrested last week in Indianapolis for a nearly identical crime.

Local HUD officials say they do not rent out these government-owned homes and any online offer of that sort is a scam.

If you feel you've been the victim of a HUD home rental scam, call (702) 366-2100.

Crime, Housing