Who's Scamming Your Listing? Find Out By Googling Your Own Listings.

Reblogger Pat Starnes
Real Estate Agent with Pat Starnes Real Estate Broker 11085

This is the second time I have heard of this scenario, and the details are identical! Be aware that this has happened in Mississippi, so we should all be careful.

Pat Starnes, McIntosh and Associates

Original content by Mike Jones

The Today Show for September 9th featured a Craigslist listing for a rental.  The price was well below what comparable neighborhood rentals would go for, and the photos showed a beautiful home, both inside and out.  The adress and photos are accurate.

The problem?  Although this home is listed with a Real Estate Brokerage, it is not for rent.  The photos were picked up off the MLS listing to create the Craigslist rental listing.  When prospective renters responded, the scammer emailed back, explaining that he was in Nigeria on mission work, and that if the respondent would send a check for $1,200. he would send the keys.

While the internet provides wonderful tools for REALTOR success, it also provides scammers with new opportunities.  Google your own listings; see what's out there.

I'm Mike in Tucson, your preferred Tucson, Arizona mortgage lender.
Mike Jones (Tucson Mortgage Company, LLC): Loan Officer in Tucson, Pima County, Arizona
Think of me as your local expert.


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Comments 8 New Comment

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David Bennett
Yorba Linda Real Estate
Tarbell, Realtors

We have heard the same thing in our area but they are even more brazen.  They meet and act like the agent!!!


September 30, 2008 03:38 PM
Michael Russell
Overland Park Kansas Real Estate
Keller Williams Realty Partners, Inc.

can people really be this stupid? to go to be true, yep!

September 30, 2008 03:45 PM
Dianne Deming
RE/MAX Realty Group

Thanks for the heads up!  Vacation rentals are prevalent in our area, so I'll be sure to keep my eyes open.

September 30, 2008 03:45 PM
Bill Gillhespy
Fort Myers Beach Realtor, Fort Myers Beach Agent - Homes & Condos
16 Sunview Blvd

Hi Pat,  Isn't it amazing how aggressive these scammers are ?  And why is it that we have all become so complacent about these scams.  We just laugh at them or ignore them or post about them.  Is there no enforcement possible ?

September 30, 2008 04:30 PM
Ilyce Glink
Best-selling author, award-winning TV/radio host.
Think Glink Media

Scams are scary! They're getting more sophisticated every day. Check out a video called 'Scam Speak' from my YouTube channel: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ag0b9RF5Tao This video describes some of the language commonly used by scammers which might help you spot them!

September 30, 2008 08:22 PM
Pat Starnes
Pat Starnes Real Estate

Bill: The case I heard about (here) was an old CraigsList rental listing BEFORE it was turned over to a local Realtor. Thankfully the potential tenant did not send money, but it could easily have happened. What would a person do if a victim of this kind of scam? 

Dianne: With vacation rentals, I think it would behoove you to keep a sharp eye out for this. Thanks for everyone's comments. Just one more thing for us to be aware of.     Pat

October 01, 2008 09:45 AM
Gilbert Arizona Real Estate - REALTORĀ® Candace Robinson Broker Associate
Red Hawk Realty & Property Management
Red Hawk Realty & Property Management

Pat - this is down right naughty! I've found other local real estate agents using my listings on Craig's list. I was a bit surprised and discussed this with my broker. We made a little call and assured him that he probably should make a phone call to the actual listing agent, as the information can always change and if he is not representing an accurate list price it could get ugly. Of course not as ugly as someone scamming you for $1200. Yikes!

October 04, 2008 04:32 AM
Rob Johnstone

We have also had this happening in Calgary, AB.  The scammers were also using Kijiji to post "rentals" that were actually just stolen photos & details from MLS.  Where the rental market is so competitive here right now, these scammers actually got some people to send a deposit before viewing to hold the place!! Buyer beware!!


Carolyn Budreski
Marketing Specialist for Rob Johnstone

November 27, 2008 11:18 AM
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