Before a tenant moved out of a house, she pretended to be the landlord and scammed seven people out of thousands of dollars through fictitious security deposits, according to police.
Miami Police Department spokesperson Kenia Fallat said Julia Del Rosario was able to play the role of landlord because she had access to the home as a tenant.
In her alleged scheme, Del Rosario pretended to be a woman named Nancy Abreu who was the landlord.
Sahimira Parra said she was scammed out of a $1,800 deposit. The suspected fraudster even showed Parra the house.
At least six others are also victims of the fraudulent Zillow posting.
Parra said she gave who she thought was the landlord cash and that she even received a receipt.
However, days before the agreed move-in date, all victims received a similar text message from Del Rosario's phone. The message said Abreu, the counterfeit landlord, was killed in a car accident the day before.
Parra called the police.
"As the cases began to pile in, we realized there was a pattern. When detectives started to see the way she was operating, we knew who she was and who we were looking for," Fallat said.
Del Rosario, who was arrested Thursday, has been charged with five counts of organized scheme to defraud and grand theft, police said.
"All I want is for her to pay for all the people she cheated and cheated," Parra said.