More victims come forward after losing money to man posing as landlord of Fayetteville home

Diane Wilson Image
Thursday, February 8, 2024
More victims step forward in fake landlord investigation
"If this is a scam, I will never let up. I'm always going to remember this, and I'm going to try and get justice for this," one victim said.

FAYETTEVILLE, N.C. (WTVD) -- More victims are coming forward to tell how they were tricked out of their money by a man posing as a landlord in Fayetteville.

"I'm really hoping this man gets caught. I'm hoping they find him and put him away," Ireana Darity said.

Darity is talking about Edwin Jamall Wilson. Fayetteville Police Department charged him with several felony charges after an ABC11 I-Team investigation, but he has not yet been arrested.

Investigators said Wilson posed as a landlord to potential renters. Darity said she first heard from Wilson after she posted on Facebook that she was facing homelessness and urgently looking for a rental home.

"'I help single moms.' That was his pitch, and I'm a single mother. So as soon as he said that, I was like, 'Oh, my God! Thank God.' That's my blessing right there," Darity said.

Renters in Fayetteville are out thousands of dollars for a house they say isn't for rent but that Edwin Wilson tried to rent anyway.

Wilson let her tour the home. He told her he just evicted tenants, so the home would be ready for her within days.

Darity signed a lease with Wilson and paid him $300 toward the deposit. Several days went by and Darity was never able to get into the home.

Instead of letting her move in, Wilson kept making excuses to Darity for why she couldn't get into the home just yet.

"He's texting me, and he's continually sending me Cash App requests for money, and I just knew it like at that point. I said, 'No, this is not a blessing. This is definitely a scam.'"

That's when Darity saw Troubleshooter Diane Wilson's initial report. In that report, Bianca Davis Spence also lost money to Wilson.

A man at the center of an ABC11 Troubleshooter investigation now faces five felony charges.

In December, she met Wilson at the same home, thinking she along with her family would be moving in by Christmas after paying Wilson $2,000.

"We started getting the internet put in our name over there. We got renter's insurance put in our name over there," Spence said.

Besides Spence ABC11 heard from four additional renters who told the Troubleshooter they also paid Wilson money to move into the same home. Turns out it's a home Wilson lives in and his parents own.

When it comes to Darity, she is now out of the money she gave to Wilson. She's worried about where she and her kids will end up.

"I'm actually more scared about the homelessness that's going to come after all of this has happened to me," she said.

When the Troubleshooter first got a hold of Wilson he told her he would refund the people who paid in, but so far, not a single victim who has spoken with the Troubleshooter has gotten a dime back from Wilson.

SEE ALSO | More ABC11 Troubleshooter investigations

After the ABC11 investigation, Fayetteville Police Department took action and issued five felony warrants on Wilson for obtaining property by false pretenses.

Darity said after seeing the initial ABC11 report, she also filed a complaint with the police department.

She said she feels foolish that she gave Wilson money. She said in retrospect she knew something didn't seem right.

"I even gave him a chance too Diane. I said to him, 'If this is a scam, I will never let up. I'm always going to remember this, and I'm going to try and get justice for this,' and I feel like that was a good time for him to return $300 to me. But he stuck with his story. He said, 'No ma'am. I am not a scam. I even let you come and see the place. You know how I look."

Fayetteville Police Department confirmed its investigation is still ongoing. The best advice if you're looking for a rental, is if it sounds too good to be true, it typically is. Also, police suggest you always ask for proof of ownership and verify it before entering a rental agreement.

SEE ALSO | Durham woman slapped with medical bill for procedure she never had done

Diane Johnson received a bill from Duke Health for a medical procedure she never underwent. Getting rid of the bill took help from the Troubleshooter.