Alleged Craigslist scam leaves mom and daughter homeless

It's a devastating situation for a mom and her daughter who is mentally disabled. Police say the family found a place to live in Northeast Philadelphia on Craigslist but a scam left them homeless.

Nina Ervin and her daughter have made the stoop of a Northeast Philadelphia church home it's where Ervin says they spent the night and may tonight.

"What's your situation now?" FOX 29's Jeff Cole asked. Ervin replied, "We've been sleeping outside this Albanian church."

She's here with her mentally challenged daughter because she claims she got ripped off in what police are calling a rental scam being run online.

Ervin claims earlier in the month she paid nearly $700 to a woman named 'Nicky' who claimed she was renting 6829 Horrocks Street.

"She said it was very quiet. Her sister would live in one room. Somebody else in the other room. In the 3 days we were there it was just my daughter and me," Ervin said.

3 days in after buying beds and a fan she learned she must get out. 'Nicky' had no keys, no rental contract and no right to rent the place.

Northeast Detectives are now working the alleged scam.

"Through investigation we've been able to ID a suspect who we're going to pursue an arrest warrant for at this time," Northeast Detectives Lt. Dennis Rosenbaum said.

Police believe the owner of the property who is a Brooklyn, New York man has no link to the rental scam and the real estate company on the sign out front said it knew nothing about it the rip-off.

However, police say they've seen this type of scam before including one at the same apartment just last month.

For Ervin and her daughter, the steps of the church remain home.

"We need a safe place. We're getting sick. My daughter is not well mentally. We need to have a place to live. I did the right things we were locked out and I got scammed," she said.