I had originally thought that only Craigslist postings were prone to being scammed. I have read multiple reports both here in the Rain and elsewhere of houses being listed for rent on Craigslist when, in fact, they were for sale, or not even on the market at all.
So imagine my surprise when I started seeing it on Trulia. I was looking for a place to rent for myself, and came across an ad on Trulia advertising a rental - a very spacious colonial home in Country Club Waterbury - for $800 a month, $400 security. This is too good to be true, I thought. I did initially send an e-mail to the owner (who was listed in the ad, no less, and which I verified to be the owner indeed). But still suspicious, I searched in the MLS for this rental, and found that it was indeed for sale, not for rent, and that the listing agent was one of my colleagues in the Wolcott office. So I gave her a call, explained what I had found, and she told me that in no uncertain terms the house was not for rent. I thanked her for clarifying the matter, and advised her to make her client aware of the error so that it could be addressed.
Then it happened to one of my listings. I received a call from one of my sellers Saturday night appraising me of the situation, and he forwarded this e-mail to me soon after:
I always thought of Trulia as being a reputable place to advertise my listings. I believe that it still is, but agents, you should be aware that if you are posting listings on Trulia, that this may happen to you. I did report this as possible fraud, and I hope that for not only my sake, but for the countless other agents and sellers who may have been victimized in this way, that Trulia takes some very strong and proactive steps to remedy the problem so that it does not happen again.
What to do if your home is targeted by this scam. Sellers, if you notice or get a visit from someone asking if your home for sale is for rent, and it is not, ask the person where they got their information from, then contact your agent immediately.
Courtesy of William James Walton, Sr. , Realtor, WEICHERT, REALTORS® - Briotti Group
Serving northern New Haven and southeastern Litchfield Counties (Waterbury, Wolcott, Prospect, Naugatuck, Middlebury, Southbury, Watertown, Thomaston and Plymouth)
Call William James Walton, Sr. Real Estate Agent with WEICHERT, REALTORS® - Briotti Group (203) 558-7463 for help with your real estate needs -buying or selling - in Waterbury, Watertown, Wolcott, Middlebury, Southbury, Prospect, Naugatuck, Plymouth and Thomaston