Police warning about online real estate scams - NBC40.net

Police warning about online real estate scams

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One local police department is once again warning those listing properties for rent online and those looking to rent, to beware of scammers.

Typically we hear about rental scams as we approach the busy summer season here along the Jersey Shore, but now police say scammers are taking advantage of some people when they are at their lowest point.

"Right after Sandy hit us obviously we had a need for folks to need a home, need sheltering, the ads started popping back up," Brigantine Police Lt. James Bennett said.

Now realtors say they are on edge and paying close attention, because they say they are listing homes and then con artists are copying the listing information and posting it on Craigslist.

"I just recently took their listing and we did not put it on Craigslist and she said it was showing up for $600 for a week for summer rental. Well that's a big problem cause I said it's about $1800 a wee," realtor Ada Kreb said.

Police say that is one of the tell tale signs that the ad is a scam, prices well below what they should be.

They also say any ad that asks you to wire or send money abroad, especially to Nigeria is probably to good to be true.

"If you are in need of housing, be it for the result of Sandy or you are looking for a full-time rental or a summer home or something deal with a licensed realtor, deal with a professional or a friend or family member," Bennett added.

Realtor Ada Krebs from Weichert Realtors in Brigantine says while it may be difficult to continually watch the web for fake listings, she does have one tip for landlords.

"Put your properties address in a Google alert and then this way anytime somebody's talking about your residence or talking about you as a person then you will be able to identify your home is out there being marketed by someone else," Kreb said.

Police say if you feel you have been a victim or suspect someone is listing your home to call police.

Experts say if you are looking to rent or list a property online the safest sites aVRBO.com and homeaway.com.


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