ORLANDO, Fla. — Linda Lucas has lived in her home for 30 years. A few weeks ago, a realtor knocked on her door.
“He asked if my house was for sale and I said, ‘No, it isn’t,’ and he said, ‘Well, it’s listed. It’s listed on Zillow,’” Lucas said.
Lucas was the victim of a scam involving fake property listings and says she worries other consumers might fall victim.
Lucas said the realtor showed her the listing on his phone. Her home was listed as ‘for sale by owner’ for $200,000, well below the market value of homes in her neighborhood.
“I’m like, ‘What in the world is this? Why? Who’s done this?’” Lucas said.
Typically, scammers will list homes they don’t own so they can collect money upfront for deposits to either rent or purchase the property.
Boston 25′s sister station in Orlando went online and asked for more information about Lucas’ listing. Someone replied with a voice message and text pretending to be from Zillow.
A reporter tried calling the number back, but no one answered.
“Be very, very careful and presume that it’s a scam,” said real estate attorney Barry Miller.
Miller says consumers should always check with the property appraiser to verify who really owns the home, and says money should never be sent through payment apps.
“A lot of these fraudsters will have the property very attractively priced and they want to do the deal quickly and they’ll have some sort of story or an excuse,” Miller said.
According to Lucas, she…