After Norfolk home goes up for sale, scammer creates fake Craiglist ad saying it’s for rent

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NORFOLK, Va. (WAVY) — A Norfolk home was put on the market for sale last week. Just days later, someone listed the home on Craigslist for a rent price too good to be true.

“I felt very surprised,” said Rose and Womble realtor Yvonne Covey.

Friday afternoon, the for sale sign went up in front of the Norfolk home. The web listing soon followed. 

By Monday, the calls started rolling in.

“I got a call from a lady who said she and her husband were looking to rent the home,” Covey added.

But the home wasn’t for rent, only for sale.

“She then proceeded to tell me it was on Craigslist,” Covey said. “There were pictures and a description of the home.”

The ad was taken out by someone who said he was a reverend, who took the pictures and description right off the Rose and Womble listing.

“You know, it’s a nightmare,” Covey added.

The Craigslist ad was asking for $500 a month, with a $500 security deposit.

“Who wouldn’t go for something like that,” Covey said. “I think a lot of people seeing that price they think ‘wow this meets my budget.'”

Covey reached out to the man who claimed he was a reverend, and was told he and his wife were in Ecuador doing missionary work, and all she had to do was pay by Amazon gift card and he’d send her the keys.

Covey had Craigslist pull down the ad, but knows there will be others. In this case, no money exchanged hands, but she has heard of others where that wasn’t the case.

She says to do a little research on the ad, never send gift cards or use numbers from gift cards, and if the homeowner won’t meet you in person, it is most likely a scam.

“If it sounds too good to be true, it is,” she said.

Copyright 2019 Nexstar Broadcasting, Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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