NewsLocal News7 Problem Solvers

Actions

7 Problem Solvers: Online scam falsely lists home for rent

Deborah Lane in Wheatfield
Posted at 6:37 PM, Jan 27, 2022
and last updated 2022-01-27 18:37:16-05

WHEATFIELD, N.Y. (WKBW) — When Peggy Rausa, of Cheektowaga, was looking for a local home to rent for her mother she felt she stumbled across the perfect one two weeks ago

"It was a three bedroom ranch with two baths, and would've been perfect for my mom," said Rausa. Her mom moved here from Oklahoma recently.

Rausa found the home for rent on Facebook Marketplace. The person who was behind the ad asked for $1,000 per month and $750 up front. They told Rausa once they got the $750 they would mail her the keys.

"At first I was falling for it," admitted Rausa. "They got a little more aggressive asking for money, and I started getting red flags."

That wasn't the only red flag that alerted Rausa. She outlined multiple red flags to 7 Problem Solver Michael Schwartz including:

  • Asking for payment to be through PayPal only
  • Asking Rausa for information on the home that they would then verify
  • Providing details that didn't match pictures Rausa found on other websites

Those pictures Rausa found were on Zillow.com, where the home was listed for sale!

"Someone on [Facebook] Marketplace has this house up for rent, but it was physically on the market for sale," explained Rausa.

Hunt Realty told Rausa and Schwartz it's a scam, the house was never for rent.

Rausa is still looking for a home to rent for her mom, but doesn't want anyone falling for a similar scam. She is now going to use a realtor.

"Some people are going to fall for it, I'm glad I didn't," said Rausa.

Schwartz contacted Meta Platforms, which owns Facebook. They provided the tips below for safe shopping on their platforms.

If you have a problem you need help getting solved, email Michael at 7ProblemSolvers@wkbw.com

Shopping Tips

Contact 7 Problem Solvers
Have a problem you need help getting solved? Fill out this form so that Michael Schwartz and the 7 Problem Solvers team can take a look.
Buffalo-Strong-A-Community-United-480x360.jpg

Buffalo Strong: A Community United