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from Local Attorney, Michael H. Wasserman

Sunday, February 22, 2009

A Cautionary Tale for Real Estate Agents

I have posted before about various mortgage frauds. Others have reported about problems with bogus deeds. Here is a new one (to me, anyway) that might keep a realtor or two awake at night. This comes from Kelly Willey, a realtor in Abingdon, Maryland on Active Rain: A crazy internet "Nigerian" hijacks a realtor's listing, assumes her name on craig's list and offers the home for rent below market to lure "tenants." C.I.N. tells the "tenant" to send him a check and he'll mail the keys. Yikes!

I had not heard of this type of rental scam before, stealing an agents name and listing. Judging by the feedback to Kelly's post, this is an emerging problem in a number of communities. Only a matter of time before we start seeing it here. I suppose that it is inevitable that scamming and thievery increase when times are tough.

Kelly found out about the scam when "tenants" started calling her So what can be done to guard against frauds