OKLAHOMA CITY (KFOR) – The housing market is on fire, and as the world slowly opens up, experts fear fraudsters will take advantage.
Glen Cosper’s listing out on North Ann Arbor was caught in the crossfire.
“I listed this house on a Tuesday afternoon, put it online like I usually do,” he explained. “[The next morning] I get a phone call from someone that’s standing in the yard that says, ‘I’m looking at this house for rent, for $600.'”
Yes, the 2,000 square foot, three-bedroom two-bath, priced north of $185,000, was listed for rent on Craigslist for $600 a month.
“I kinda laughed and said, ‘I hope you haven’t give any money,'” said Glen. “He said, ‘I was about 30 seconds away from getting PayPal and sending the money.'”
It’s a fraud that’s found footing in Oklahoma.
We met a handful of folks last year on Northwest 119th last year, outside a home.
It had been falsely listed on Facebook. At least one customer fell prey, sending $2,000 to a fake landlord through their phone.
“You have no recourse [when sending money through apps]; it’s like sending cash,” explained Kitt Letcher, with the Better Business Bureau. “You have no way to send it back.”
In this year’s instance, Glen took charge by calling the fraudster while posing as a prospective renter.
“He gave me the information. Said, ‘I had to send the deposit really quick, he had 10 people who were interested,'” Glen explained. “I said, ‘I’ve turned you into the OSBI, and I’ve filed a police report, and I’m gonna meet Channel 4 out there. Would you like to meet us out there?'”
Needless to say, the fraudster declined and the fake listing disappeared.
But Glen says Oklahomans should watch out as the world opens up.
“I think the economic situation we’re in right now, we’re prolly gonna see more of that next year,” said Glen. “Cause tenants and landlords will be shifting things around a lot, so it’s gonna be chaotic and people need to be aware.”
In Your Corner bottom line, as we always say, if it looks too good to be true, it probably is.
Often, this fake rental listings are actually homes for sale, so keep an eye out for a realtor sign.
If you’d like to double check a listing, you might search the address on Google to find other listings for the property and possible pricing disparities.