Breaking News
More () »

Rental scam forces a homeowner to put a fraud notice on the front door

How you can protect yourself if you're a renter or a homeowner.

HAYWARD, Calif. — “I had somebody show up at my door and ask me about my house that was for rent and I was like my house isn't for rent. She showed me a listing on her phone, and I saw the pictures. I didn't really pay attention to the address; I just saw the pictures and the pictures were from the neighbor’s house that had just recently sold across the street,” said Kirstin Walker, a homeowner.

It was her address on the Zillow listing, even though the pictures were from the inside of her neighbor’s home. Someone had claimed her property on Zillow and was taking thousands of dollars in deposit money.

"It seems absolutely absurd to me that anybody really can just claim a property,” Walker said. 

What did the fake property owner have to do to claim this house back? She said she just gave them her name and phone number for confirmation. She says that’s too easy.

In a statement, Zillow said this:

Zillow strives to provide a safe online platform with accurate information, which is why we go to great lengths to prevent inappropriate listings from being posted and to inform users of how to protect themselves from scams online and offline.
 Our teams monitor activity in several different ways, actively screening for suspicious content, and if a listing is found to be fraudulent, it is removed from our sites as quickly as possible.


For homeowners, Google your address now and then to make sure it's not listed on a site.

For those who want to rent a place, when a prospective landlord is requesting cash payments, wire transfers, or are a long distance, beware, no matter what they say their story is.  


Before You Leave, Check This Out