Trulia is one of the most widely visited real estate sites in the country, but it now has a similar problem for REALTORS® as we had experienced on craigslist.com.
The general scam takes a property that is listed for sale and posts it as being for rent at some ridiculously low price (for example, a house that is listed for sale but would rent for $3,000 per month is posted as being available for $1,200 per month). It makes it so attractive to visitors to the sites that they jump on the great deal. Again, it usually involves emailing back and forth with the “owner” who is out of the country for some honorable reason, and they ask the prospective renter (of the house that isn’t really for rent) to wire them the first and last month’s rent. They say they will overnight the keys to them as soon as they receive confirmation of the money transfer. Obviously, no keys ever arrive, and the consumer is out potentially thousands of dollars.
This is a Reprint of an Excerpt of an Article by Matt Burrus in the October 2011 Houston Realtor®Magazine