Scam puts 'For Sale' homes 'For Rent' on Craigslist - Fox 28: South Bend, Elkhart IN News, Weather, Sports

Scam puts 'For Sale' homes 'For Rent' on Craigslist


Realtors are receiving reports from clients telling them their home listed  'for sale' is being placed on Craigslist as a 'Home for Rent'. 

One client has reported that she began receiving an inordinate amount of traffic past her home.

The scam works something like this: A team of people use untraceable cell phones.  They search Multiple Listing Services used by realtors, selecting vacant, high-end homes for the sale.  They will then cut and paste pictures of the homes into a rental ad on the Craigslist Web site along with cell phone numbers. 

Correspondence with prospects are often done entirely through e-mails.  Apart from poaching the deposit, fraudsters also use information given away by victims to steal their money.  If you hand over your bank account info, they are capable of transferring money from this account into one of theirs.  If you divulge your driver's license or social security information, they use these to open credit accounts against your name and make purchases against the same.  Ditto for credit card details.

"A good rule of thumb to prevent falling prey to these scams is to deal only with your local and trusted buyers and sellers," said Dreama Jensen, Area Director of the BBB of Northern Indiana.  "The frauds are ruthless in obtaining information.  Don't assume anything and never give any type of personal information to anyone seeking it unless you are absolutely sure it is legitimate.  Unfortunately, websites such as Craigslist, eBay and PayPal are easy targets because so many consumers use them.  We've seen deals done over websites that have cost consumers hundreds of thousands of dollars.  Be tenacious in your search."

Information provided by the Better Business Bureau of Northern Indiana

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