Mom of 8 Forced to Move Family into Van, Scammed $1,500 for 'Rental Home'


The Christmas season can bring out the best in people. We’ve seen plenty of touching stories about extraordinary generosity. Unfortunately, there are also stories of greed and manipulation in the midst of all the holiday cheer.

Danielle Alford and her family were victims of a terrible scam this December. Alford and her husband have eight children.

Finding housing for the family of ten isn’t easy. On Dec. 5, their lease was up.

A few days prior, Alford thought she found the perfect rental home for her family. She found the advertisement on Craigslist.

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The poster of the ad went by the name Jason Jones Junior.

They met to begin the rental process including paperwork, and Alford handing over most of her family’s money to the man.

He accepted the $1,500 and gave them the key to their home. They began moving in and felt happy in their new housing situation, which Alford described to WRTV as “nice” and “suitable for our family.”

Then, the mother of eight found a “For Sale” sign inside. The sign had the realtor’s phone number on it.

Once she called the realtor, the family was crushed. The home was not for rent.

The man who claimed to be the landlord did not own the home. His real name was Matthew Mitchell, and he was a scammer.

“I gave him every bit of the money I had to rent this home. Then found out an hour later he didn’t even own the home,” Alford shared with WRTV.

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The realtor arrived at the home, and she and Alford called the police. They filed a report, and Mitchell was later arrested.

Another family was likely scammed $1,200 the day before by him. The “deposits” he has taken from the families add up to over $2,500.


Alford and her family have been living in their van. Efforts are being made to recover the family’s money, but for now, Alfred shared her children have been freezing cold in the van.

It’s heartbreaking that this family was scammed with all of their savings lost.

Fortunately, WRTV helped the family get in contact with Catholic Family Ministries, and hopefully the family will be assisted in finding alternative housing.

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Carolyn Fultz is a former contributor for Liftable Media. She holds a B.A. in Communication from Hope College.
Carolyn Fultz is a former contributor for Liftable Media. She holds a B.A. in Communication from Hope College. Carolyn's writing has been featured in both online and print media, including Just Between Us magazine. She resides in Phoenix with her husband and children.
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