Scam Alert: Renters Beware of Phony Home Listings - KAUZ-TV: Newschannel 6 Now | Wichita Falls, TX

Scam Alert: Renters Beware of Phony Home Listings

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A scam in the real estate market can have you paying thousands of dollars.

On websites like Craigslist, Trulia and Zillow, terms used to describe home listings are "charming and quality home" and "great deal." However, some of these listings are all a part of a scam to get your money.

"They go online and they see this property that they think is a great deal for lease, and there are pictures on the internet about it. The website says ok, send me the deposit and you can go by the realtor’s office and pick up a key," said Executive Vice President for the Wichita Falls Association of Realtors, John Wilson.

This real estate scam isn't just happening in Texoma, it's happening all over the country.  

After people have paid money to a website, they come to Texoma to speak to with a realtor, but the realtor has no idea what they're talking about. The only thing realtors can do is sympathize.

"The realtors don't know what's going on, and the people go them when they've already spent their thousand dollars that they had for a deposit. Now they're here trying to find a place and the money is gone.  We have reported this to the police department, the Better Business Bureau and the FBI," said Wilson.

Wilson isn't sure how scammers get this information because a lot of what's on these websites have the correct pictures, but not the correct information.

"It's not always authorized information that they receive. They may get old information and they've got it on their website, but it's not true, accurate or current information," said Wilson. 

This scam is also happening to individuals who list their property online, but Wilson warns you must be wise.

A lot of people who find listings on the internet will automatically think the information they've found is true. If a housing deal is too good to be true, it usually isn't.

Taylor Barnes, Newschannel 6