UPDATE (8:00 p.m.) : The realtor who lists the Mason home being targeted by this scam says he has contacted Mason Police about the Craigslist ad.
Realtor Gary Naeyaert shared an email exchange with the scammer with 6 News. In the email, the scammer pretended to be the owner of the house, who is looking for someone to rent the property for 3 to 4 years while they are away.
The email from the scammer also says the house was for sale, but has been taken off the market and there’s no need to contact any realtor.
“A house like this is not likely to be for rent for as little as they were renting it, and that’s why so many people were falling for it because it was such a good deal,” Naeyaert said.
Naeyaert said the best thing to do if you’re looking for a place to stay on Craigslist is to contact the real estate agent in person, or visit Realtor.com to make sure the listing is legitimate.
Also, make sure you’ve visited the house and seen the inside before handing over any money.
MASON, Mich. (WLNS) – Scammers are using a Mason house that is listed for sale to trick people out of hundreds of dollars.
They stole pictures from the original listing, then made their own listing on Craigslist, saying the home is for rent.
Scammers were then able to convince interested tenants to wire them money for a deposit.
The scam has been tried twice at a house on the 200 block of N. Rogers, in Mason. The fake listings were posted on Craigslist and have since been flagged.
Gary Naeyaert is the realtor who actually lists the house. He said he’s had nearly a dozen people contact him about the fake listings. He said this type of scam may be more common than people think.
“We list this house for sale and the information that we list goes on over 50 websites that are available all over the state and all over the country so people could be picking up these photos and the description and just using it,” Naeyaert said. “It doesn’t cost anything to place a Craigslist ad and so people are doing this left and right we’re not really sure how prevalent it is.”
The people who currently live next door to the house said they’ve seen a steady stream of people coming to the house who may also be victims of the scam.