The Cindy Shearin Group: Scam continues on real estate properties

CUMBERLAND — Local real estate properties listed for sale through Realtors and posted with for sale signs are being targeted by scam artists who are then posting the properties on Facebook and Craig’s List as being for rent.

Mark Manges, president of the Historic Highlands Association of Realtors, alerted the Times-News to the scam Wednesday. He also contacted the C3I Unit and was informed that the scam is Algeria-based and is a continuance of prior scams that have been attempted locally.

“These scam artists take information from listings on the Internet and then they put it on Facebook and Craig’s List as properties that are for rent. They are not for rent and this is a scam to try to get victims to send them $140 to get the key to the property,” said Manges.

Potential victims visit the property and are informed by the con artists that they cannot go inside but can obtain the key to the property by sending a check for $140 to secure the property.

A recent scam involving a White Avenue property that is for sale but was falsely listed as being for rent on Facebook and Craig’s List drew six interested parties.

The Times-News published an article in November warning of the same scam. In that scenario, victims were directed to send a money order for the deposit and first month’s rent and that the key and rental agreement would then be sent to them.

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