Monday, June 25, 2007

Real Estate Scam: Unauthorized "Open House" at Your Own House Listed on Craigslist

Brian
A woman in Los Angeles was browsing Craigslist when she was surprised to find a listing for an unauthorized open house the following Sunday at the vacant fixer-upper she had recently purchased:
Around 12:30 pm Sunday, Jessica's real estate agent calls, reporting he is at the house and nothing is happening. He can't stay -- he's got an Open House of his own to go to. All is well. But then, at 1:30 pm, the agent calls Jessica back. "A neighbor had called him and told him, 'The Open House is happening right now! There's a woman inside the house, she's got signs outside, and she's showing the house!'"

So Jessica, still in Rancho Mirage, calls the LAPD again with this update. Soon the agent calls her with another update: "Neighbors had been to the Open House, and they told him the woman is taking cash deposits from people! Multiple cash deposits!"

. . . .

She waits by the phone for a while, and then gets a call from an LAPD officer. "He says, 'I'm inside the house with the woman and she's claiming she's legit. She says she works for a realty company and she's showing the house.' Then the cop asks me, 'How can you prove you're the owner?'"

"My Dad says, 'You have the title! Tell him you have the title!' So I say, 'I have the title, I'll fax it to you!'"

The police officer tells Jessica he's going to have to call his supervisor and ask for guidance -- he's never been in this situation before, and he'll call her back.
Link. The mysterious agent managed to get away before police were able to gather evidence of her breaking into the house. The detail about the open house being slated for Sunday makes me wonder whose house this woman was showing on Saturday.

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Image credits: "House for sale, too," Transguyjay, courtesy
Flickr, acquired via Creative Commons license.

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