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SCAM ALERT: Housing scam circulating East Texas


POSTED: Wednesday, August 21, 2013 - 9:46pm

UPDATED: Thursday, August 22, 2013 - 7:25am

Christopher Davies has been looking to move into a new house.

And, like other East Texans out there, he went straight to Craigslist.

Christopher Davies says, "And it was on there-- the posting was on there for this house. It was $850.00 a month, I even drove by the property. It was about 1800 square feet and in a nice neighborhood."

The top of the ad, read this, "A rare find--- a totally updated single family home."

It was for rent in Tyler, Texas.

Davies says, "it was way too good to be true. Red flags going up all over the place."

By Monday night, his application was turned in.

And by Tuesday, he heard back from a guy, named "Guy."

Davies says, "And he replied the next day saying it was a go-ahead and to go ahead and put 18-hundred dollars on a money card from Walmart, to send the pin to him and he'll send the keys. And so, as soon as I said yes to all that, he sent me the lease agreement and he's been repeatedly calling me every hour."

"Guy" even called three times while Davies was talking with us.

He promised the keys would be delivered Thursday.

Little does he know--- Davies' plan involves the Police.

And ultimately, helping others not fall victim to the same crime.

Beth Edwards is a Realtor with Coldwell Banker in Tyler.

She tells KETK, this specific house was never for rent.

In fact, she says, it's for sale by a legitimate homeowner.

Edwards says, "You've just got to be real careful who you're dealing with."

This case is just one of a handful of scams in Tyler, Coldwell Banker is currently dealing with.

Edwards says, "Another one- I've had the lady say she was a missionary getting ready to go into the mission field. And she just wanted some Christian people to be in there to take care of her house."

The folks at the Better Business Bureau in Tyler, want you to be very careful.

Kaylen Burgess with the BBB tells KETK, "You want to make sure the person you are renting from is someone you can tangibly see and have a connection with."

The bogus ads are aimed at stealing your money.

In most cases, they say, the perpetrator of the fraud claims to be out of the country.

And, once the money is sent their way, you never hear from them again.

Burgess says, "Not only could your money be lost, but someone could steal your identity in this case, too."

The best advice in a situation like this----- when in doubt, if it sounds too good to be true, it probably is.

When looking to rent a house, experts share these tips:

Do your homework.

Use a trusted source.

Never wire money to anyone you don't know.

And, always make sure to view the house first.

Experts say, Realtors should also cross-check their homes as well.

If you are a victim of this scam, or any scam for that matter, here's what you should do:

Report it to the BBB and Police.

Let a Realtor know.

And, report it to the site it was posted on.

For more information about the BBB--- CLICK HERE!

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