- Ada, Oklahoma

Local News

May 9, 2014

Two locals warn of Craigslist scam

Ada — Two Ada men are warning people to be careful when they use the Internet to sell merchandise.

Kevin Holland discovered the risks of using the Internet as a sales tool late last week, when he and his wife decided to sell their home without using a real estate agent. Holland’s nephew suggested advertising the home on Craigslist and Zillow, an online real estate database, so the ad would get more exposure.

“There are so many people in the younger generation who go to the Internet to find homes for sale,” Holland said Thursday.

The couple took photos of their home and posted ads on Craigslist and Zillow. Then on Saturday night, a man called Holland’s wife to say he was moving to Ada and wanted to know if the Hollands’ home was available for rent.

Holland’s wife told the caller that the home was for sale, not rent, and the man said he had found an ad for the home on the real estate website Trulia. But the Hollands had not listed their home on Trulia, and the phone number in the ad did not match the number on the real estate sign at the house.

The number in the Trulia ad was for someplace in Arizona, not the Hollands’ home in Ada.

When the man called the phone number of the sign, he told Holland’s wife that someone had lifted the information from either Craigslist or Zillow and reposted it on Trulia. Whoever posted the Trulia ad used the same basic information and the same photos as the other ads, but the language was tweaked to make readers think the home was for rent.

“They were very good at what they do, because they had reworked some of the information we had on Zillow,” Holland said.

He said the Trulia ad claimed that the house could be rented for $600 a month, plus a $600 deposit. The ad used the same photos as the original ads on Craigslist and Zillow.

The couple reported the fake ad to the Ada Police Department, which is still investigating the incident. The couple also contacted Trulia, which took down the ad within 48 hours after receiving the Hollands’ email.

Holland said the couple is getting ready to break ground on their new house, and they will probably list their current home with a realtor at the end of the month.

Meanwhile, the original ad is still on Craigslist and Zillow and has generated some inquiries from potential buyers.

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