FRESNO, Calif. (KGPE) – A Fresno married couple left with thousands of dollars in damage to their home after a real estate scam locked them out.

Sang Her and Nou Yang decided in June to move from California to Tennessee. Initially, that move was filled with excitement as they picked up their four children and moved out.

“This was the best move for us,” said Her.

Within weeks, the excitement turned to anger after strangers moved in.

“How did this happen? Is this a scam?” said Her. “Just imagine being 2000 miles away and hearing that your house that you raised your kids in, this is going on and law enforcement say they can’t do anything about it.”

Her and Yang said the first week of September, a family member sent a photo of a Uhaul in the driveway. The for sale sign was nowhere in sight.

The couple gave the family member the code to enter the front door, but the garage keypad was gone and the door knobs were changed.

“My parents, when they came to check,” said Her. “The passcode lock was still here but they had changed this on and changed the doorknob.”

Yang and Her called the police, but when officers arrived, the tenants showed them a month-to-month lease. The officers left because they said it was a “she said he said” situation and there was nothing they could do.

“Nothing was getting done and that is when we reached out to you,” said Her.

Desperate for help, Her and Yang called CBS47. Our station compared the signature on the lease to the signature on the home deed. They didn’t match. It was clear something was off.

The billing address on the lease then led us to another residence. That residence was used by one of the tenants in the past, according to police.

Our station notified the police of the signatures and within 48 hours the tenants were out.

“Unfortunately, the occupants were unable to provide some simple correspondence with who they thought were the landlords, all they were able to provide was a lease agreement, which was fraudulent,” said Detective Tim Johnson.

The tenants told police they found the listing on Craigslist and paid $3000 in cash to move in.

We spoke to one of the tenants over the phone several times, she eventually stopped taking our calls.

After they got the tenants out, Her found their for sale sign behind the back shed.

“There is the for sale sign right there,” said Her. “I know these people, when they moved in, had dogs and they were out here. So they definitely saw that.”

The tenants left most of their stuff behind, which under California Law, Her and Yang had to keep for 2 weeks before spending hundreds of dollars to throw it out.

“This drawer right here is broken, there is a water leak, and there is roaches too,” said Her as he pointed out the damage to the kitchen area.

Her said the tenants also broke the vents, sink, dishwasher, and garage door. The family reached out to their insurance but said the claim was denied.

While the incident took a big emotional toll, the couple is happy to have their keys to their home once again.

This case had a rather quick resolution but evictions commonly take months to complete.