If you're selling a home or looking to rent one, you need to be careful: there's a scam out there that's catching a lot of people off guard and costing them a lot of money. Be especially careful if you are looking on the Craigslist or Zillow website.
We went to the better business bureau to get the facts on what's happening.
"They take legit sites and usually houses for sale and high-jack photos descriptions addresses, and then use that to trick people into paying for rent deposits for non existent rental property."
That's exactly what happened to the owners of this home. They contacted us saying a man was looking around their home, which was for sale through a realtor. He showed them a flier from the internet listing their home as a rental property. We asked Steve Abel with the Better Business Bureau, what they can do?
“There's very little protection because you want to advertise that your home is for sale. And because how do people shop when they're looking for a home to buy? Well, they start online," said Abel.
What about potential renter's how can they protect themselves? Abel says, be aware of the market.
“What are properties renting for, what's the price range, be very suspicious when you see something that's outside the normal,” said Abel.
Another other thing he suggests doing, get in your car and physically drive to the property take a look and see if there's a for sale sign in the front, if there is, it's a good bet a scam is going on.
“Literally, anybody can log onto these sites set up an account, put up an ad, it may not be legitimate,” said Abel.
Abel also tells us scammers are using actual realtors names and posing as a listing agent to send money to.