San Antonio Real Estate Scam – Multiple Victims
Police are looking to find a San Antonio man who allegedly stole $20,000 from a prospective home buyer. According to Kvue ABC, The woman in Kirby was targeted when she inquired about a two story home in January. The San Antonio woman inquired about a sign on the side of the road on the corner of SW Military Drive and Zarzamora Street. The sign was hand written and home made and was an “owner to owner” sign. From there, the woman states that Chris Hinojosa posed as a real estate agent and sold her a two story home in Kirby. The woman toured the home with Chris Hinojosa while he posed as the real estate agent. The victim made two separate payments to Hinojosa. One payment for “background checks” and then another separate payment for the home for over $15,000. Unfortunately for the victim, this money was her life savings.
But when it was time to move in, she found out the home belonged to someone else. Police are still unsure how Chris Hinojosa gained access to the home in order to give the victim a “tour.” Theories suggest that other realtors may have helped him buy giving him the front door access codes in exchange for money, or that Hinojosa could have posed as a potential homebuyer himself in order to gain the access codes.
The news report states that there is currently an eviction notice on the door of the Kirby home.
San Antonio detectives spent five months unraveling the scam and they discovered that Chris Hinojosa is not licensed to sell real estate in the state of Texas. Police are investigating several other possible victims as well. If found guilty, Chris Hinjosa will be charged under the occupations code of Texas. If he is found to have scammed others in the same manner, he will likely be facing serious first degree felony charges as well as theft charges. A warrant has been issued for his arrest.
Another one of Hinojosa’s victims states that he purchased a home from Hinojosa in Marble Cove. There was a For Sale sign in front of the home with another real estate agent’s name on the front. The other victim tells Kens5 that Hinojosa told him “not to talk to the owners because the negotiation is between you and me.” The other victim was eventually able to get his money back for the payments and ended up purchasing the home through the actual real estate agent of the home.
We spoke with Josh at eXposed Homes and he offered some advice:
“Whenever a deal seems too fishy or too good to be true, always look up tax records of the property first, then look up that person’s name in TREC’s database to ensure they are a licensed agent in good standing with the state first…
Of course if you have a trusted agent on your side already, that solves many problems right there.”
We live in a time where it is difficult to know who you can trust. Beware of scams in the real estate industry. The San Antonio police department advises ABC, “We have all been there before, we are always looking for a deal or a bargain, just make sure that who you are dealing with is absolutely legit.” One woman was robbed of her life savings. This story is a great example of why doing your research is important. Finding a reputable company or agent when you are buying or selling your home is important and can keep you and your family safe.