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

Reblogger Pat Starnes, Brandon, MS
Real Estate Agent with Front Gate 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 NMLS 223495

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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David Bennett
Tarbell, Realtors - Yorba Linda, CA
Yorba Linda Real Estate

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


Sep 30, 2008 08:38 AM #1
Mike Russell
Mike Russell & Associates - Overland Park, KS
Overland Park Kansas Real Estate

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

Sep 30, 2008 08:45 AM #2
Dianne Deming
RE/MAX Realty Group - Rehoboth Beach, DE

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

Sep 30, 2008 08:45 AM #3
Bill Gillhespy
16 Sunview Blvd - Fort Myers Beach, FL
Fort Myers Beach Realtor, Fort Myers Beach Agent - Homes & Condos

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 ?

Sep 30, 2008 09:30 AM #4
Ilyce Glink
Think Glink Media - Chicago, IL
Best-selling author, award-winning TV/radio host.

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!

Sep 30, 2008 01:22 PM #5
Pat Starnes, Brandon, MS
Front Gate Real Estate - Brandon, MS
Front Gate Realty ~ 601-991-2900 Office

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

Oct 01, 2008 02:45 AM #6
Arizona Real Estate Associate Broker
MR Realty - Mesa, AZ

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!

Oct 03, 2008 09:32 PM #7
Rob Johnstone
ReMax - Calgary, AB

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

Nov 27, 2008 03:18 AM #8
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Pat Starnes, Brandon, MS

Front Gate Realty ~ 601-991-2900 Office
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