police entering building (l) police walking down hallway (m) person leaving room (r)

@mwhite132/TikTok @mwhite132/Tiktok

‘So sad for the tenants who were scammed’: Viral TikTok shows cops evicting apartment building rented out by squatters, sparking debate

‘When I heard the cop explain they’d been scammed my heart broke.’


Rebekah Harding


Posted on Mar 7, 2022   Updated on Mar 9, 2022, 8:56 am CST

In a now-viral TikTok, police officers in Cook County, Illinois, remove tenants who allegedly unknowingly rented their unit from squatters, sparking debate in the comments. The video has amassed 2.4 million views since Monday. 

The clip was posted by Matthew White (@mwhite132), who identifies himself in the video to officers as an agent to the attorney handling the eviction, and shows officers breaking down the door of a housing unit. The caption of the video says that the officers are from the Cook County Sheriff’s Office. 

“We just moved in here in January,” the tenant tells White as they exit the property. “I gave my fiancé $2,000 to give to the landlord.”

“The bank owns this building and it was supposed to be vacant. Squatters broke in and put their own locks on there and then put it on Zillow, Craigslist, whatever,” White tells the evicted tenant.  “Then they rented it out posing as the landlords and they’re scamming people.”


This eviction was enforced by the Cook County Sheriff’s Office. Chicago ProcessServer Eviction Sheriff Deputy Police Rent Court

♬ original sound – Matt White

A spokesperson for Zillow, an online real estate marketplace, told the Daily Dot that its “customer support team teams use a number of different tools to prevent inappropriate content from publishing.” The company also said “if a rental listing is found to be fraudulent after it’s posted,” Zillow will remove the listing from the site.

In a second video, White says that the tenants returned to the property after the sheriff left. “I had to call Chicago Police to remove them,” the caption reads. The clip shows officers from the Chicago Police Department talking with a tenant. 

“In November, I served them a Demand letter, requesting that they vacate the property. In February, I served them a summons. In March, they’re being evicted,” White wrote in a comment. 

In a final follow-up video, White says that “police evacuated the building,” explaining in the caption that it “was secured by DAWGS, a company that secures vacant properties.”

Several commenters were concerned about how the former tenants would be able to collect their property from the unit following their eviction. White explained in a comment that “they give myself and the attorney the combination to unlock the steel stores. We meet them on a later date.”

Many users debated in the comments whether the eviction was ethical or not because the tenants were allegedly scammed.

“If they were scammed and done completely wrong, I get that the bank owned it but I feel as if he could have done a better job at least helping,” one user wrote. 

“These occupants were scammed by a third party, so they lose their deposit, rent, and property cause someone lied. That’s really sick,” another said.

However, some commenters argue that because the tenants were given several months of notice before eviction, they should have vacated before the police got involved.

“Everyone gets an eviction notice way ahead of time,” one user commented. “If they get to this point it’s because they ignored all notices and did not show up to court.”

“He was given eviction notices. So why didn’t he prepare or leave the building ahead of time?” another asked in a comment that was liked by White.

White declined the Daily Dot’s request for comment.

The Daily Dot reached out to the Cook County Sheriff’s Office and Chicago Police Department via email. The Daily Dot also contacted Craigslist via press contact form.

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*First Published: Mar 7, 2022, 1:20 pm CST