Real Estate Scam Hits Joe Manausa Real Estate
I 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 Joe Manausa Real Estate 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 ResourcesDo 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:
- Daily Real Estate Blog (A Technorati Top 100): Tallahassee Real Estate Blog
- Current Housing Reports: Housing Market Reports
- Map Based Property Search Tool: MLS Property Search
- Foreclosure Reports: Lis Pendens and Foreclosures
- List of Distressed Properties in the MLS: Distressed Properties
- REALTOR® news and updates: Successful REALTORS®
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
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
Dec 25 (3 days ago)
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
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.
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.
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
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______________________
have a pet______________
Do you have a
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___________________________
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
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
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