If you're looking to buy a house anytime soon, it's recommended that you stay clear of listings posted on Craigslist. Loudoun Times-Mirror reported on Thursday that there have been a number of scams found on the website.
Robin Frank, office manager for Brown-Carrera Realty, told the paper that she has been trying to document and report each case. She noticed a pattern as early as August 13, 2008 and has continued to report it to the Leesburg Police.
“What they do is look at tax records and pick a fake email address with the owner’s name in it to look legitimate,” Frank was quoted as saying. Other Brokers have complained of similar Craigslist scams and at this time it's hard to say how many homes have false listings.
Master Police Officer Christopher Tidmore told Leesburg Patch on Friday that a report was filed in April that documented that Brown Carerra had some of their real estate listings copied and used for an online real estate scam. The police are keeping an eye on the situation.
Tidmore said that the problem is not specific to the Leesburg area but has been seen nationwide.
"Any crime involving the internet is difficult for any local law enforcement agency to deal with due to limits of a local departments (vs. federal) jurisdiction," Tidmore said in an email. He said that is is likely someone could even be comitting the fraud from another state or overseas.
"The first line of defense against internet fraud is vigilance of our citizens," Tidmore added. "Anything that seems too good to be true probably is. There is no such thing as "free" on the internet, but it's a great way for someone to "phish" for your personal information."
To read the full article visit Loudoun Times-Mirror online.