Uncovered: Craigslist real estate scam

SCHENECTADY, N.Y. (NEWS10) — Peeking through the window this looks like the perfect place to rent, but you can’t go inside to get a better look as instructed by the Craigslist rental posting. So why did the realtor post this sign?

Realtor Angie Lasher was shocked when callers started asking her about renting this home in Schenectady.

Lasher says, “I had one woman who was thinking she was moving in today and she was so upset.”

Lasher has the home listed for sale, not rent.

Dee Burkins of Albany was ready to have her two sons move in also.

She says she saw beautiful photos of the home on Clayton Street on Craigslist, and a monthly rent rate she couldn’t resist.

“The rent was $720 with all utilities included,” says Burkins.

In emails between potential renters, a man claims he owns the home and recently moved out of state and wants to rent it.

To explain the realtor sign out front he says, “You may see a sign there you have nothing to worry about it belongs to our previous agent.”

Burkins says she was convinced because the man asked all the right questions including salary requirements, employment history and whether she had any pets.

Without being able to see the inside of the home, Burkins says she refused to follow the next set of instructions.

“To get the keys you’re going to have to send money,” says Burkins.

Lasher believes the man stole the photos and information from her listing, now she’s fighting back.

Lasher says, “So in case they missed the one in the front they’d be able to see the one here in the window.”

Broker Manager Brian McKenna, also with Hathaway Home Services, says letting people know about the scheme is the only way to stop it.


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