Scammers Use Legit Listing To Their Advantage
POSTED: 4:14 pm CDT June 25, 2009 UPDATED: 2:20 pm CDT June 26, 2009
NASHVILLE, Tenn. --
People scouring the Internet in search of a house to buy or rent should be aware of some bogus advertisements.
Realtor Marcie Sweet offered a house for lease in Goodlettsville, but knew something was wrong when she got a call
"She was very interested because it was for lease for $1,000, much less than the other houses in the area," said Sweet.
But the house wasn't priced at $1,000. She actually had listed it for $1,350. Someone had hijacked her legit photos she had posted and lowered the price.
So how is the scammer making money?
The scammers typically direct the potential victims to an online application form, and they want to know personal information such as a driver's license, vehicle registration, date of birth and children's birth dates.
They are also charging an application fee of $14.95, so if the person pays by credit card
, the scammer then has that information.
"Their Web site is getting 6,783 hits a month," said Sweet.
This kind of scam has gotten so common on the Internet that Craigslist has put out a warning to meet with the Realtor in person. Also, Craigslist warns to never wire transfer money or send it by Western Union.
People searching for real estate are advised to take a couple of minutes and check if the Realtor on that site has a valid license. Some Realtors do have valid online application forms.
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