Real Estate Scam Hits CENTURY 21

Real Estate Scam Real Estate Scam Hits CENTURY 21, Tallahassee Real EstateI discovered an active real estate scam when I was contacted by a reader yesterday wanting to know if a property that we have listed for sale was also available for lease. She proceeded to inform me that she had called on the “Craigslist ad” that “we” ran and immediately thought about “real estate scams”, so she was contacting me directly.

After checking on the property she was calling about, it turns out it was only for sale. The ad that she found on Craigslist really was a real estate scam. In order to warn my readers, I thought this would make for an interesting post on the Tallahassee Real Estate Blog.

Real Estate Scam To Get Your Deposit Money

It turns out somebody copied an entire home listing of ours and then placed it on Craigslist as a “For Rent” property. Our name was used in the ad, but the phone number or contact link was changed to that of the real estate scam mastermind. If you inquired about the property, you would get a message back stating the property was still available, that they (the landlord) lived in Africa and that the $900 deposit needed to be sent to a stated address. If you asked questions, there was always a reply.

After doing some research, this is not really a new scam, it is just the first time (that I know of) that it has happened to us and our customers at CENTURY 21 Manausa & Associates.

Ways To Prevent Being Victim Of Real Estate Scam

There are some simple precautions that you can take in order to keep from getting involved in a real estate scam:

  • DEAL LOCALLY WITH FOLKS YOU CAN MEET IN PERSON – follow this one simple rule and you will avoid 99% of the scam attempts on the internet.
  • WORK WITH A TRUSTED REAL ESTATE PROFESSIONAL that has obvious links to the community
  • NEVER SEND MONEY TO PEOPLE/ORGANIZATIONS THAT YOU DO NOT KNOW – anyone who asks you to do so could be a scammer.
  • CRAIGSLIST IS NOT INVOLVED IN ANY TRANSACTION, and does not handle payments, guarantee transactions, provide escrow services, or offer “buyer protection” or “seller certification.” Neither are most of the other advertising web sites. When leasing or buying real estate, it is best you know with whom you are working.
  • NEVER GIVE OUT FINANCIAL INFORMATION (bank account number, social security number, eBay/PayPal info, etc.)

Real Estate Scam Resources

If you feel that you have been a victim of an attempted fraud, here are some ways that you can report what has happened:

  • New! FTC Video: How to report scams to the FTC
  • FTC toll free hotline: 877-FTC-HELP (877-382-4357)
  • FTC online complaint form

The internet is a wonderful resource for finding information, just know that not everybody out there is acting in good faith. As long as you are cautious, you should be safe from any new real estate scam that comes your way.

Other Real Estate Scam Resources

Do you want to know more about the Tallahassee real estate market? It is not as hard as you might think keeping up with the movements in the housing market, you just have to know where to look. The following are some of the best resources that you can find on Tallahassee real estate:

Topic: Real Estate Scam
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About Joe Manausa, MBA

Joe Manausa, MBA is a 23+ year veteran of real estate brokerage in the State of Florida and has owned and managed his own company since 1992. He is a daily blogger with content that focuses on real estate analytics and providing his clients with a tactical advantage in today's challenging market.

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Comments

  1. If you want better response from Craigslist you need better ads!
    * Ads should incorporate your BRANDING by using the look and feel of your website
    * Photos with Captions
    * Consistent layout and look
    * Enough detail (not too much!) to get the phone to ring.
    * If you don’t want spam: clearly state to include a word like “more info” in the subject line
    I use to use Postlets to create my online ads HTML, but finally realized I was missing out on so much!
    Lack of Branding (ads look like Post lets NOT me)
    Too time consuming
    Waste of prime space on ads (top of ad) waste valuable space for year built, HOA, parking ect
    Headlines don’t stand out, etc etc

  2. Recieved this response on Christmas Day when searching rental properties. Did some research and didn’t get scammed but this is to warn you.
    Re: Question about the home at 3203 Ashford Park Dr, Houston, TX 77082
    Inbox
    bellruise@yahoo.com
    Dec 25 (3 days ago)
    to me
    Hello,

    Thanks for the email.

    The House is still available and
    will only be given out to the right family that will take very good
    care of the place and the facilities. Well i must let you know that the
    house has a lot of facilities like laundry facilities, air condition,
    internet and telephone access and a car park and other necessary
    facilities.

    I have really decided to give out the house as a result
    of my transfer to Longview, WA in my place of work, I came over here
    with my wife and my daughter, we both bought the house when we got
    married. As soon as we settle down here i had a thought of selling the
    house but later my wife advised against it. She said we may not be able
    to win the bidding next time, in other to keep our head when we return
    that we have to keep the house. I reasoned with her and accepted her
    advise. Later we decided to have the house rented out. If you notice,
    you will discovered that the price we are offering is far below
    standard market price, this is enough for you to know that we are not
    after the rental fee but the absolute care for our property.

    I
    will be renting out the house for $900 (Including Utilities) and a
    security deposit of $700 and i am pet friendly for cats and dogs so
    $100 for pet deposit and I need to inform you as well that money is not
    the major reason why I am renting it out but want someone who can take
    care of it as if he/she owns it. I know there is no way i can be sure
    that you are the right person to live in the house because we won’t be
    able to meet in physical before sending you the keys and the documents
    to occupy the house. But i just had a feeling that anyone who knows
    what it takes to put the kind of structure down should know that
    maintaining a building is mandatory, so if you believe you can take
    good care of the house and handle it like yours then i will be more
    than happy to let you rent the house.

    House Information:

    The Address of the property is :3203 Ashford Park Dr, Houston, TX 77082

    Pets Allowed: Cats,Dogs etc.

    Available Date: Available Now.

    Please if you are interested to occupy my house kindly provide the information below for record purpose :-

    PLEASE TELL US ABOUT YOURSELF

    Full Name___________________________________

    Current Address________________________ City_____________ State______ Zip Code________

    Home Phone ( ) ___________________

    Mobile Phone ( ) ____________________

    Date of Birth_________________________________

    Reasons for Leaving____________________________Rent $__________

    Are you married________________

    How many people will be living in the house_________________

    A Picture of your self if possible______________________

    Do you
    have a pet______________

    Do you have a
    car______________

    Occupation____________________________

    Monthly Income_________________________

    Move In Date___________________________

    HOW SOON CAN YOU HAVE THE DEPOSIT PAYMENT SENT TO ME___________________________

    HOW SOON DO YOU WANT TO RECEIVE THE KEYS AND DOCUMENTS OF THE HOUSE___________________________

    I
    was actually working with a Realtor earlier but noticed he increased
    the rent more than i expected so i told him i was going to get a new
    tenant myself because the way he increased the rent and deposit, the
    renters can’t afford it and it can even scare tenants away more so,
    with that act, the house will be vacant for long that is why the house
    is still vacant till now. So i have decided to rent it out myself that
    is why you can see the advert on internet. But if you are willing to
    work with my situation, let me know so that we can discuss the rent
    further, Please note than you will only be able to drive by the house
    for now but not have a look at the interior until i have sent the keys
    and documents of the house to you, but i am giving you a benefit of
    doubt that you will love everything about this lovely home. You are
    advised to act fast on this so you don’t loose the house to other
    interested applicants.

    I
    Await your response so that we can discuss on how to get the document
    and the keys to you.You can reach me on my Phone 530 554 1469

    Best Regards

    Cheers.

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