Online scam is using local listings to steal your money - Newschannel 6 Now | Wichita Falls, TX

Online scam is using local listings to steal your money

(Source: KAUZ) (Source: KAUZ)
WICHITA FALLS, TX (KAUZ) -

If you are in the market to rent or buy a home there is some news you need to know before browsing online. 

Online housing scams are alive and well and it is causing local realtors a headache. 

Jack Browne, a realtor with Re/Max in Wichita Falls, began receiving phone calls about one of his listings in late December. 

The callers were claiming they had spoken to the owner about renting a home in the 2400 clock of Talunar Lane. 

Problem was, the owner of the home was Browne's wife and the home was for sale, not for rent. 

"The crooks have been known to hijack pictures, videos, whatever it may be, from realtors websites or real listings and use those, and post that property as a property that's for rent," Monica Horton, President of the BBB said. 

That is exactly what happened to Browne. A property he is listing ended up on Craigslist. The scammer was posing as a man from Portland, Oregon and he had a convincing story. 

"He'd taken the keys with him. He'd had an argument with his realtor and the realtor wouldn't take the signs down and his lawyer had advised him not to work with that realtor. So, he said the house is no longer for sale, it's only for rent," Browne said. 

The crook was asking for a down payment and first month's rent that totaled $1,200.

He wanted the cash to be wired to him and then he would send the keys to the new renters. 

"That should be a red flag. Do not wire any money, regardless of why they say they're outside the United States or why they say they need that money wired," Horton said. 

To date, no one has fallen victim to the fake listing on Talunar Lane. But it is a scenario Browne does not want to see someone go through. 

"I take care of a lot of people that are moving from one rental house to another and to lose your deposit and to lose your first month's rent is going to put a lot of these people in a tough financial situation," Browne said. 

There is little to nothing that can be done to stop these fake listing from popping up. 

Horton said to always do your research on any listing you find online, and it is always better to work with someone face-to-face when renting or buying a home. 

Another thing you can do is put the listing in an online search engine. If it is posted anywhere else you should be able to see it. If there is more than one listing from more than one person, it is likely a scam. 

The best piece of advice, if the listing seems too good to be true, it probably is. 

This is also a scam that is used for vacation properties as well. 

If you want to report this scam or see scams near you, take a look at the BBB Scam Tracker

Samantha Forester, Newschannel 6

Copyright 2017 KAUZ All Rights Reserved
 

  • News HeadlinesNewsMore>>

  • Huge squirrel population chomps crops, driving farmers nuts

    Huge squirrel population chomps crops, driving farmers nuts

    Sunday, September 16 2018 10:56 AM EDT2018-09-16 14:56:23 GMT
    Wednesday, September 19 2018 5:32 AM EDT2018-09-19 09:32:07 GMT
    (AP Photo/Robert F. Bukaty). In this Tuesday, Sept. 11, 2018 photo, a squirrel carries a walnut across a street in Portland, Maine. A booming squirrel populations has forced drivers in parts off New England to dodge the small rodents as they dart acros...(AP Photo/Robert F. Bukaty). In this Tuesday, Sept. 11, 2018 photo, a squirrel carries a walnut across a street in Portland, Maine. A booming squirrel populations has forced drivers in parts off New England to dodge the small rodents as they dart acros...

    Farmers in New England are getting harassed by bumper crop of squirrels.

    Farmers in New England are getting harassed by bumper crop of squirrels.

  • Kavanaugh's accuser wants FBI probe before she testifies

    Kavanaugh's accuser wants FBI probe before she testifies

    Tuesday, September 18 2018 1:30 AM EDT2018-09-18 05:30:22 GMT
    Wednesday, September 19 2018 12:44 AM EDT2018-09-19 04:44:17 GMT
    (AP Photo/Alex Brandon). In this Sept. 6, 2018 photo, Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh reacts as he testifies after questioning before the Senate Judiciary Committee on Capitol Hill in Washington. Official Washington is scrambling Monday to assess...(AP Photo/Alex Brandon). In this Sept. 6, 2018 photo, Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh reacts as he testifies after questioning before the Senate Judiciary Committee on Capitol Hill in Washington. Official Washington is scrambling Monday to assess...

    Republicans reversed course and agreed to the hearing in the face of growing demands by GOP senators to hear directly from Kavanaugh and Christine Blasey Ford, now a psychology professor in California.

    Republicans reversed course and agreed to the hearing in the face of growing demands by GOP senators to hear directly from Kavanaugh and Christine Blasey Ford, now a psychology professor in California.

  • Residents voice concerns at Mayor Santellana's town hall

    Residents voice concerns at Mayor Santellana's town hall

    Wednesday, September 19 2018 12:15 AM EDT2018-09-19 04:15:21 GMT
    (Source: KAUZ)(Source: KAUZ)
    (Source: KAUZ)(Source: KAUZ)

    Wichita Falls Mayor Stephen Santellana's held a town hall at the MPEC Tuesday afternoon. Some residents in attendance shared their concerns about the direction the city is going in and whether the plans city officials had in mind fit the needs of the community. 

    Wichita Falls Mayor Stephen Santellana's held a town hall at the MPEC Tuesday afternoon. Some residents in attendance shared their concerns about the direction the city is going in and whether the plans city officials had in mind fit the needs of the community. 

Powered by Frankly