Would-be renter almost falls for scam on Zillow

Reporter: Emma Heaton
Published: Updated:
A homeowner was almost a victim to a scan on an online housing website. (CREDIT: WINK News)

One Zillow customer was ready to sign a lease for a Bonita Springs home available for rent.

But then he saw the red flag.

The lister advertised the home that belonged to someone else. The would-be renter tracked Ann Kremer down to verify she owned it.

“Fortunately, he called me and had not signed the lease or sent the deposit because something, in the end, threw a red flag to him,” Kremer said.

Kremer said she had no idea a scammer had access to her Zillow account.

She reached out to Zillow.

“He just kept saying to me, I don’t understand how this happened. When was the last time you posted it and I told him March, approximately March. And then when I went to my Zillow account after it was posted September 10, and remove September 13,” Kremer said.

The post is now gone but the scammers are still out there.

WINK News Safety and Security Specialist Rich Kolko said this is a good reminder to always stay safe and alert.

“There’s a couple of markers that you can be wary of, are they asking for money upfront before you’ve even seen the place? Are they asking for personal information like a social security number, or a routing number before you sign the lease,”

Zillow said they go to great lengths to inform users of possible scams.

Here is a statement by a Zillow spokesperson sent to WINK News

“Zillow goes to great lengths to police activity and fully inform our users of the existence of scams and how to protect themselves. Our customer support team monitors activity on the site in a number of different ways, and if a listing is found to be fraudulent, it is removed from Zillow. Zillow has a ‘Beware of Scams and Other Internet Fraud’ page on the site that helps users lookout for red flags (such as requests for wire transfers and long-distance inquiries) and provides other valuable information about how to avoid fraudulent listings.”


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