Scammers post fake online housing ads

By Evrod Cassimy - bio | email

HENRICO, VA (WWBT) - A 3 bedroom Highland Springs home is on the market, advertised at a price almost anyone would jump at the chance to buy or rent. A craigslist ad advertised the property renting at only $550 a month, but that ad proved to be a scam.

"If I hadn't had talked to the lady I was going to send it," said Bradley Dodson, referring to the money for the application fee for the property.

Dodson found the listing and immediately e-mailed who he thought was renting the home. He was instantly e-mailed back by a man who seemed legit, giving him an application to fill out and requesting he send his payment Western Union to an overseas address.

"I knew something was up and then when I finally went to the home and seen the realtors sign and there was a second ad on craigslist for the same home at a different price."

That second ad belong to Pioneer Realty, the real company advertising the home. They've received hundreds of calls from confused potential clients who've also responded to the scam ad.

"Someone has copied our ads and put bogus phone numbers, the correct address at a very cheap rate," said Pioneer Realty employee, Melinda Jessie.

Realtors warn anyone looking to buy or rent a home to beware of anyone who conducts the transaction online only. Never send anyone money if they don't personally show you the home.

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