Someone tried to do a craigslist scam with one of my listings

I had a dozen people call me about a listing that I have for sale in St Louis MO. Someone took my photos from what ever search site that they were using and made a craigslist add for rent It was for $400. a month, keep in mind a 2 to 3 bedroom home for rent in St Louis County goes for no less than $1,000 a month. This person claimed to be doing missionary work in nigeria and said to ignore the for sale sign in the yard and do not contact the Realtor for anything. He wanted them to wire $800.00  to him and fill out a bogus lease, he would then mail them the keys. I personally responded to his add and got the same reply. I do wonder if anyone fell for his scam. I flagged his post as quick as I could. The old saying is right, If sounds to good to be true, It propably is.... Rent for $400 in $1,000 or higher market... is to good to be true...
Kevin Patrick Lemons  (hotlink deleted by Zillow moderator. please see our Good Neighbor Policy for posting guidelines]
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  • August 30 2012 - Saint Louis
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Answers (7)

Kevin-

The same thing has happened to me this summer. It is hard to track as even if you set up a google alert for the address of the listing it won't always catch the phony Craigslist ads.

Craigslist in my opinion, while useful in some areas, has I think fallen so far behind in their security and profile management, that as a collective group, REALTORS should consider asking them to shut down, or dramatically improve their real estate ad vetting.

The most important thing I try to do is let my company and any agents who might be on phone duty that my listings are not for rent, and any caller inquiring about that from Craigslist should be warned. 

Not a 100% solution, but a start.  

Sean
  • August 31 2012
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This is happening far to many times. I work out of Tacoma, WA and have seen the same problem for years. The only thing I have been able to do to stop these people from stealing our pictures/listings is to add a trademark over the pictures we are posting up. It takes a lot of time to add the markings to all the pictures but it has helped out so far. The individuals are detoured from stealing the pictures because of the logo on the pictures.
  • September 01 2012
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Profile picture for wetdawgs
In addition to trade mark, consider having all photos with a phone number, the correct phone number!
  • September 01 2012
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Had the same thing happen to a listing we had only the checks were supposed to go to someone who had already relocated to Florida. Told him all of the information was being forwarded to the FBI which we did. I know of another instance where the culprit was meeting people at the house he was supposedly renting and collecting rent deposits on the spot. Craigslist is still a great source for finding clients, but definitely search your address now and again to look for violators.
  • September 06 2012
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Craig's List is the wild west of marketing. In the old days you had to pay for an ad in the newspaper - and that kept things somewhat honest.
We have seen a variation of that scam in Colorado. They somehow get the lock box code of a vacant house and set up showings one night - collecting cash deposits.
  • September 06 2012
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Profile picture for chassy968
I was looking on Zulia this weekend and found a 3/2 with a pool for $1000 in Winter Garden, FL so I inquired on it.  I too got an email from a Kevin Lemon describing how great his family is and how they decided to keep the house and rent it due to him getting a new Engineer job at a company called Setraco Nigeria Limited.  He also stated that I could view the house only from the outside and he could fedex the keys to me and sent a makeshift application which I am not filling out.  Serious red flags on my part. 
I looked on the property appraiser website for the county and he is NOT listed as the owner.  I googled him and found that he is also a contact on at least 5 properties in FL and CA.  I did report it on Trulia as a possible scam and hope they can get him off of there.

So be completely aware of this guy.  It is a fraud!!!!
  • April 07
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Profile picture for sunnyview
" I too got an email from a Kevin Lemon describing how great his family is and how they decided to keep the house and rent it due to him getting a new Engineer job at a company called Setraco Nigeria Limited."

Posting his email address, a portion of his email pitch and his phone can help people who google to avoid the scam. Many people have done that read what's posted here and kept their identity and money. Thumbs!
  • April 07
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