NewsPinellas County


Total of 18 families fall victim to Largo rental scam, suspects still on the run

Posted at 6:12 PM, Jun 26, 2018
and last updated 2018-06-27 02:43:35-04

LARGO, Fla. — Since last week, Largo police have been investigating the biggest rental scam the city has ever seen. Now a total of 18 families have fallen victim, some of them still homeless. Police say the couple responsible is still on the run.

Couple scammed families out of more than $25,000 in rental house scheme

Tremain Johnson, one of those victims says he never imagined his entire family would be homeless. 

"You don’t know what to do, you don’t know what’s going to be the game plan for the next day," he said.

Just a week ago, Johnson and his family of seven showed up at a Largo home ready to move in, and so did four other families. That’s when they knew it was a scam. 

Tremain says more than $1000 in deposit money is gone; money it took his family months to save. 

"We have to save as much as we can to get a new place," said Tremain. 

The last of their money taken by the scammers. Some family friends donated just enough for his family to stay in a hotel, but Tuesday is checkout. 

"I don’t know how the other families are doing, but for my family, this has been a lot," said Tremain.

Tremain says with a baby and pregnant wife, it's been tough. But even with nowhere to go, Tremain says his faith remains strong.

"Yes this may have knocked me down, but I’m going to get back up again and keep going," he said.  

Police say they have warrants out for the scammers, Nicole and David Johnson, who they believe are hiding out in the Long Island, NY area. 

For anyone interested in helping the families, there is a Go Fund Me account set up