Scammer targets Taupo's homelessSave
By Kaysha Brownlie
Christine Preece had been hunting for a rental home for her family for three months.
So when someone messaged her about a place on a Facebook Rent and Board page - she was over the moon.
"I thought oh, wow, there are some nice people out there," Ms Preece says.
The place was for sale - but she says the man on Facebook told her he'd take it off the market if she got in quick.
The 46 year old went through an open home - then hastily borrowed $400 from a friend to pay partial bond as security.
"He kind of harassed me a bit...and he wanted me to do screen shots of the payment made and he said it was going to his trust fund, his accountant, and he gave me their bank account details."
But then Ms Preece didn't see, nor hear from the alleged landlord, again.
And there was no tenancy agreement.
"He said his accountant would get it for me and I gave him my email address and he said that he had and there was nothing in there."
Suddenly it dawned on her, she'd probably been scammed.
Ms Preece becomes emotional when she thinks about her situation, saying she's, "just about had enough, I've had enough of just trying to get by".
After sleeping at a friend's - and in a van, another friend has come to Ms Preece's aid.
Her friend, Katherine Scoon says: "I had to help because it was the right thing to do."