Internet Scammer Fake Real Estate Sales, Rentals


Fake online sales and rentals netted $300,000 for criminal from 45 Florida families. The scam included fake title companies, websites, title agents and email addresses.

LOXAHATCHEE, Fla. — Real estate fraud is as old as Florida, but the $300,000 scam the Florida Department of Law Enforcement (FDLE) attributes to a Loxahatchee woman has a thoroughly modern rigor.

FDLE says Tabria Josey created an online world of real estate listings, websites, email addresses and fake businesses to sell properties she didn’t own. Investigators say the 20-year-old worked in Palm Beach, Orange, Indian River, St. Lucie, Lee and Flagler counties.

Josey was arrested Wednesday morning for fraudulent scheme, grand larceny, money laundering, aggravated white collar criminality and communications fraud. As of Wednesday afternoon, she remained at the Palm Beach County Jail.

Josey “took advantage of Florida’s hot real estate market to rip off buyers and renters,” Florida Attorney General Ashley Moody said. “While the investigation into this elaborate real estate scheme remains active, my statewide prosecutors will continue to work with law enforcement to ensure that (Josey) is brought to justice for his crimes. “

FDLE says Josey curated properties to list on real estate websites. The owners did not know their property was listed. Josey impersonated the owners when needed.

Once she had a willing buyer on the hook, Josey would pose as the title agent, according to the agency.

“As part of the scheme, she created fictitious title companies, websites, title agent identities and unique email addresses that made the sale appear legitimate,” FDLE said.

The state agency said Josey used 25 properties to defraud 45 people.

Anyone who knows of other victims or any other party to this fraud can call FDLE’s Fort Myers office at (800) 407-4880.

© 2022 Miami Herald. Distributed by Tribune Content Agency, LLC.

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