Scam in Kerrville may be coming to your area

By
Real Estate Broker/Owner with CastNet Realty TREC#263257

This morning we had a call and a visit from a young man with a family looking for a home to rent in the Kerrville area.  He had come from one of our listings located in the country.  This listing is for sale only!

It is not for rent!

Why did he think it was?

He says he found it on TRULIA, he believes.  Looking at the emails it looks like the scammer got his info from a lead service.  He contacted the people advertising it and it was someone in Nigeria!

Not me, not our office.

He produced 4 different emails from the party he was talking to and the story sounded so good.  This home was a bargain and he was about to send the rental money and deposit to this out of the country address.  Before he did so, we went out to walk around the house and realized it was occupied.  Our client was not happy to say the least that someone was walking around her house without an agent.

It is a scam I have heard of before that happened in large cities, now it has come to the country.  We have the address in Nigeria and the email address of the sender but what good is that?  A police report will be made and an email sent to all the Realtors(R) in the area to warn them.

This is my warning for you.  Let Trulia know and agents, let your sellers and potential buyers and renters know what is happening.   This is another good reason to work with a well known established REALTOR(R).  It is your hard earned money.  Don't send it to NIGERIA!

RICKI EICHLER REAL ESTATE                      2916 Memorial Blvd                 Kerrville, TX  78028

                                                          (830)257-2520                                 www.reretx.com

 

Comments (58)

Jill Winchel
Royal Shell Real Estate - The Koffman Group - Cape Coral, FL
We make it easy. You make it home.

The general public doesn't always put 2 and 2 together. If they see a 'good buy' they want to jump on it. Many will get scammed but we have to keep educating the public. Great post to keep renters alert as to what is going on all over the country.

Jun 04, 2014 10:04 PM
Michael Setunsky
Woodbridge, VA
Your Commercial Real Estate Link to Northern VA

Ricki, this is a typical scam often seen on Craiglist that's been going on for a while. If it's too good to be true, it usually isn't.

Jun 04, 2014 10:46 PM
Ricki Eichler McCallum
CastNet Realty - Corpus Christi, TX
Broker,GRI,ABR, e-Pro, TAHS

Hi Kate,  Yes too good to be true :)

Hi Pete, Investigate! Yes!

HI Monte,  People need to work with someone they know.

Hi Evelyn,  Yes it is scary.

Hi Joan,  We have to alert them for sure!

Hi Wayne,  It is always something! :)

Hi Judi, I think it can come from anywhere now. But Trulia is disappointing.

Hi Praful, very disappointing.

Hi John,  hmmmmmm

Jun 04, 2014 10:57 PM
Ricki Eichler McCallum
CastNet Realty - Corpus Christi, TX
Broker,GRI,ABR, e-Pro, TAHS

Hi Kathy,  Wrong?   wow, really wrong!

Hi Laura,   Watch out, stay vigilant! :)

Hi Silvia,  Great idea.  The scammer told the potential renter there was a sign in the yard and to ignore it that the listing had expired and they were going to rent it.  The agent had not picked up the sign yet.  It was a new listing. :) 

Hi Kat,  That is true.  Renters be aware!!!!!

Hi Mark,   It is a terrible scam!

Hi Jill,  Yes, we need to keep educating the public. :)

Hi Michael,  It's too good to be true. :)

Thanks everyone for your comments!  It is sad to see how prevalent this scam is all over the country.  Renters beware!!!!!!

Jun 04, 2014 11:05 PM
Debi McKamie
McKamie Real Estate Services, LLC - Meridian, TX
Realtor®/Property Manager
This happens all of the time. We had a lady who actually sent her money to the address, showed up at our occupied home and caused huge argument with a staff member and the occupants. We had to call the police. This kind of thing can and does happen...but I often wonder who this lady truly thought she was going to get a 4 bedroom 2.5 bath in a ver nice neighborhood for $495 per month...the home truly leases for $2495 per month.
Jun 04, 2014 11:39 PM
Debi McKamie
McKamie Real Estate Services, LLC - Meridian, TX
Realtor®/Property Manager
This happens all of the time. We had a lady who actually sent her money to the address, showed up at our occupied home and caused huge argument with a staff member and the occupants. We had to call the police. This kind of thing can and does happen...but I often wonder who this lady truly thought she was going to get a 4 bedroom 2.5 bath in a ver nice neighborhood for $495 per month...the home truly leases for $2495 per month.
Jun 04, 2014 11:40 PM
John Jonas
ReplaceMyself - Virtual Assistants - Highland, UT
John Jonas

Just like that "Like and Share in Facebook" article I've read a while ago, these scammers can be pests really. They just won't vanish. So, I guess we all must be vigilant. They always strike when we are at our weakest point, and sometimes they do that by offering things that are so good to be true, like a huge discount which an unsuspecting future victim will fall for. Again, let's stay alert so no one gets scammed and hopefully they all get tired and finally apply for a real job or something like that. Yeah, nice dream.

Jun 04, 2014 11:53 PM
Alan Kirkpatrick
Austin Texas Homes - Round Rock, TX
Alan in Austin

Ricki: Wow! This sounds like a real sophicated scam. Thanks for the heads up. 

Jun 05, 2014 12:59 AM
Marc McMaster
RE/MAX Centre Realty - State College, PA
Putting my clients before myself

It happens here on Craigslist all the time.  My assistant almost sent them money before she started working for me. 

Jun 05, 2014 02:14 AM
Bruce Kunz
C21 Solid Gold Realty, Brick, NJ, 732-920-2100 - Howell, NJ
REALTOR®, Brick & Howell NJ Homes for Sale

Just when you think you've seen it all... It is amazing how many people STILL will just blindly send their money somewhere without checking the validity at all. At least this guy was smart (or lucky?) enough to look first.

Thanks for sharing, Ricki.
Bruce.

 

Jun 05, 2014 03:14 AM
Jill Saddler
Draper, UT
Draper Utah Real Estate Professional - 25 years+!

It amazes me to see that people are still falling for these scams.. glad to hear that he saved himself in the nick of time!

Jun 05, 2014 04:50 AM
Carla Muss-Jacobs, RETIRED
RETIRED / State License is Inactive - Portland, OR

That scam has been around for years in my area.  I get calls from time-to-time about rentals with unrealistic monthly rents, and I look the address up on the MLS and it's for sale. 

Jun 05, 2014 04:51 AM
Claude Labbe
Real Living | At Home - Washington, DC
Realty for Your Busy Life

Happens in DC more often than you'd think....and here, it's not uncommon to have the local/true owner be living overseas for work.  It's almost an easier scam to pull here.  As with you, when someone is about ready to be the victim and is able/smart enough to find the listing agent, the scam is revealed.

Jun 05, 2014 05:29 AM
Pamela Seley
West Coast Realty Division - Murrieta, CA
Residential Real Estate Agent serving SW RivCo CA

Some of the perps don't have to be from Nigeria. A client's friend had this happen, not only did she give someone money to lease, she moved in and was soon after contacted by the sheriff for trespassing. Renters need to be very careful who they give their money to for rent. Good information and warning,

Jun 05, 2014 07:13 AM
Anonymous
Robert Quesada

Thank you to all Rainmakers out there. Information like this needs to be shared so that nobody gets taken by these people.

Jun 05, 2014 08:12 AM
#53
Yolanda Cordova-Gilbert
Richmond, TX

Ricki,

 Wow lots of comments!Usually if it is too good to be true it's not! These scammers are smart. I like that one of the people put it is not for rent.

Jun 06, 2014 08:21 AM
Anonymous
Bud Hovell

Ricki has it right. At one time, most rental scammer attempts were placed for properties in dense urban markets, but more recently we've detected scammers posting rental ads in more sedate, suburban markets -- most likely in an attempt to escape close scrutiny of their activities.

Anyone renting direct from an alleged owner (rather than through a licensed agency) based on an internet ad risks being ripped off, particularly if the rental is attractively priced below market rates. This should be obvious, but greed often fosters delusional thinking.

Doing a periodic web search on for-sale listed property addresses can turn up rental scammer ads in a heart-beat and with relatively little effort.

Jun 07, 2014 08:31 AM
#55
Ricki Eichler McCallum
CastNet Realty - Corpus Christi, TX
Broker,GRI,ABR, e-Pro, TAHS

Hi Debi & Carolyn, That is unfortunate.

Hi John,   Dont know what will make them go away.  An educated public? Maybe?

Keep aware Alan, it is happening. :)

Hi Marc,  Most people I know dont trust Craigslist for anything and I think lots of people feel the same way.

Hi Bruce,  I am so glad he checked first.

Hi Jill,  Bet this wont happen to him again.

Hi Carla,  that is too bad.

 

Jun 09, 2014 11:18 AM
Ricki Eichler McCallum
CastNet Realty - Corpus Christi, TX
Broker,GRI,ABR, e-Pro, TAHS

Hi Claude,  Find a Realtor, that is such good advice esp nowadays.

Hi Pamela, Wow, that is too bad.  Investigate thoroughly.

Hi Robert,  Yes, congrats to all the Rainers.  What a great network we have!

Hi Yolanda,  Thanks for the comments.  Everyone needs to be so careful and work with professionals to make sure this does not happen.

Thank you Bud for your comments.  This is so true and the scams are moving to the rural areas.  Fortunately, people know what is going on in their community a little more than in larger urban areas.  Everyone needs to watch out for their neighbors. :)

Jun 09, 2014 11:56 AM
Yolanda Cordova-Gilbert
Richmond, TX

Ricki,

 Wow you got a lot of comments on this it was a really great blog! Have a great weekend!

Jun 13, 2014 09:49 AM