Bill Carroll does what most realtors do when they have properties for sale. He posts a listing of it online with many pictures to go along with it.
“One of the top ways to market a property is electronically and via the Internet,” said Carroll, who is a licensed real estate agent for ReMax Masters.
The Internet provides a broad audience and even some interest from scammers. This three-bedroom home is listed on his website for just under $100,000. But Carroll recently received a number of calls about renting it for $700 a month, even though it was never for rent.
Carroll said, “Someone else had posted my properties and my listing using my pictures and actually went as far as getting the owner’s name and setting up an email account with an email very similar to what her name was.”
Carroll says this happened before at another of his properties in DeWitt.
Police there say they’ve had legitimate complaints of scams like this in the past. But there are red flags to look out for.
DeWitt Police Lieutenant John Anton said, “Anytime it says wire money or put a deposit down electronically or a credit card number or something like that. Never ever give out that personal information.”
If your preference is to search online, your best bet is to actually go to the property and see it in person and have some type of face to face conversation with the seller.