OAKLAND, Calif. (KGO) --ABC7 News uncovers more about a woman accused of an elaborate rental rip-off scheme. The woman we caught on camera has an extensive arrest record.
This all came about after a landlord found out someone else was trying to rent out her home. So she lured the imposter to the rental home for a surprise confrontation.
After our exclusive report Thursday night on ABC7 News at 11 p.m. we've been in contact with two law enforcement agencies, a private investigator and another prospective tenant who says she nearly became a victim.
This all started when Manuela Sanchez found out someone she didn't even know was showing her Oakland rental home, so Sanchez decided to confront the imposter. She set up a meeting as if she were a prospective tenant. The woman who met her at the house told her she was the rental agent named Nicole.
"Which is interesting. I have an agent also by the name of Nicole," Sanchez told the imposter.
The real Nicole told Sanchez someone had changed the locks on the house, was pretending to rent it out, and might actually be taking deposits from unsuspecting renters, like one woman we spoke to. We showed that woman a picture of the bogus agent and she positively identified her. The potential tenant says the imposter asked her to bring a blank money order to the meeting.
Sanchez: "What was the name you were supposed to write it out to?"
Potential tenant: "Blank."
Sanchez: "She said to leave it blank. How much was the money order?"
Potential tenant: "Whatever I have. She didn't care."
Sanchez: "She didn't care? Wow. OK."
Potential tenant: "She said $1,000-$2,000."
Ms. Sanchez says the Oakland Police Department told her it couldn't investigate unless she caught the imposter in the act which she believes she just did. Now she hopes she has a case for the police to investigate.
ABC7 News reporter Alan Wang sent a photo of that woman, calling herself Nicole, to a Daly City detective who identified her and says they've arrested her several times for fraud.
We spoke to another potential victim who says the woman tried to rent her the same house in Oakland. It didn't work, but now there's more to worry about.
The potential victim said, "This lady, whoever she is, has pretty much all of my paperwork. The copies of my social, my brother's ID, pay stubs. She knows where I live, where I work... so it's pretty scary."
What makes this case worse is that police who identified the woman as 33-year-old Kaainna Satterfield of Oakland has been arrested for fraud all over the Bay Area.
ABC7 News asked Daly City Police Det. Joseph Bocci if he recognized the woman and he said he did. Bocci says he arrested Satterfield several times for fraud back in 2012. He says she got caught returning stolen goods to stores that refunded her in the form of gift cards that she later sold.
Bocci said, "She was able to con them into believing she was a legitimate customer making a return."
He worked with corporate loss prevention investigators who say, in two years, Satterfield swindled Marshalls, HomeGoods and T.J. Maxx out of $120,000 and they had her arrested in four Bay Area counties.
"They actually assigned not the store investigators, but actually the Bay Area Northern California corporate investigators through their business to do this extensive investigation," said Bocci. He says San Mateo County will likely revoke Satterfield's probation and issue an arrest warrant.
Meanwhile, the Alameda County District Attorney is looking to see if Satterfield committed rental fraud and how many people she may have victimized.
There are some red flags to watch out for when renting a home. A lot of these imposters ask for the deposit or first month's rent in the form of a money order or a cashier's check and they may ask you to write it out to someone else. They may ask you to mail it to an address you're not familiar with and often times, the rent is below the market average, which is too good to be true.