Online Scammers Target Ada Homeowner - KTEN.com - No One Gets You Closer

Online Scammers Target Ada Homeowner

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ADA, OK--Sites like EBay, Amazon and Craigslist host millions of transactions every day. But as one Texoma couple found out, there are scam artists prowling the internet looking to take advantage of you.

"They literally just took these pictures and made their own ad up," said Ada homeowner Kevin Holland.

 Holland has lived in his home on 24th street in Ada for 20 years. Just recently, however, he and his wife decided to sell their home and move. They used websites like Craigslist and Zillow to get the word out quickly . 

It wasn't long before Holland received a phone call from a man inquiring about his $600 dollar a month rental property.

"And we're like no, it's not for rent," said Holland. "And he said 'Well, it is on the Trulia website as posted for rent.'" 
A quick online search found an almost identical ad to Holland's--same photos with a tweaked description and drastically different asking price. His profile had been hijacked.
Holland said of the fake ad: "They said if you'd write a check to them, they'd put a key in the mail and it would be delivered to you. That there was no one living here I think." 
Right now if you search for housing in Ada, Oklahoma, on Craigslist, the website populates 87 pages of listings. Real estate professionals say listing your property online comes with some risk.  

"If it looks too good to be true, it probably is," said Pete Benes--a broker associate for Paradigm Realty.
Experts say most bogus ads will feature unbelievable prices, request wire transfers to take your money and far-fetched excuses for why the seller is MIA. Such as one we found says: "I work in Scotland, and I just got a transfer down to West Africa for 3-5 years."
"If they don't have a key to let you in a house, I would never rent something without walking in it first," said Benes.
Holland's phony ad has since been taken down, but the scammer--located out of Arizona--is still pretending to be the homeowner.
Texoma realtors told us they don't advise anyone to use Craigslist when it comes to finding a home. They say the safest way to start your search is by calling your local real estate agencies.