Craigs List Scam

Dear Bryant,                                                              May 14, 2013

If you have a minute, I have an interesting story to tell.  I was having a nice day last Friday when I got an e-mail from one of my co-workers.  She stated that she got a call from a young lady who wanted to rent one of my listings.  The problem was the house is for sale not for rent.  She sent us the Craig’s List Listing. Lo and behold, it was my house and it was for rent for $880.00 plus a $400.00 security deposit.  The pictures and copy where mine and just cut and pasted onto the Craig’s List ad.

I told the young lady that the home was not for rent and do not send any money.  I thought about what to do.

The first thing I did was to contact Craig’s List and told them about the scam.  They pulled the ad by Monday when I checked again.  On Monday I called the Delaware State Police, they said it was a crime but I had to contact the Seaford Police.  They promptly came to my office and took my report.  About an hour later they called me and said that it was a crime but I should contact the Federal Trade Commission.

Today I received another call form a consumer who wanted to rent the house and asked about the request to wire the deposit and security deposit.  I told him it was a scam and do not send the money.  I then called the FTC and made a complaint to them.  I gave the name, email address, and phone number of the scammer to them.  She said thank you and gave me a complain number.  She also said I should contact the State attorney General’s Office.  I called the Consumer Protection Unit of the Delaware Attorney’s office and repeated my story.

Everyone I contacted was polite and professional.  My concern is that I had to make contact with 4 different government agencies.  Only the FTC gave me any reference number about my complaint and she didn’t even want the address for the property.

My expectations for a successful apprehension of the scammer have dropped considerably.  He will continue until he is caught, in the meantime how many unsuspecting people will be scammed out of their money?

The Internet is a good thing to everyone, including scammers.  Never wire money to anyone you don’t know.  If the deal is too good to be true in usually is a scam.  Buyer and renter BEWARE!!!

Fred Sponseller

Realtor-Seaford DE

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