Attention people who are selling their home or trying to rent a home in Greensboro, NC (and I'm sure in other areas across the United States). There is a new scam on Craig's List.
Here's how it works. We have an absolutely beautiful home currently listed for sale in Greensboro. So imagine my surprise when I started getting inquiries from people about renting it. Evidently, someone lifted our MLS photo, posted the home on Craig's List and offered to rent it for only $1,000/month! When people inquired about the home, they received a lengthy email of explanation. The email stated that the home was being offered at this incredibly low price because the homeowner was a pastor on a mission trip to Africa and needed someone to look after it while he was gone. In order to qualify for this once-in-a-lifetime offer, rental applicants needed only to complete an application with lots of personal and financial data and submit it along with a photo of themselves and anyone else who would be living in the house. In order to get a key to the home, they also needed to send a deposit.
These scammers went to great lengths to make the offer appear valid. They established a yahoo email using my name and found out the name of the homeowners so they could sign their emails "Pastor (Homeowner's last name)".
Fortunately, many people in Greensboro know me and called my office directly. Others found our number by conducting an Internet search. When people called me, I let them know that it was really a scam. However, I hope these scammers aren't able to take advantage of someone who didn't talk to me. We alerted Craig's List about the scam but it keeps popping back up on their website.
We also know that our listings aren't the only ones being targeted. Other homes for sale in Greensboro have been subjected to the same scam. So until the police can catch these unscrupulous people, be vigilant and warn home sellers and renters that you know.