New Scam Poppoing up in the Bakken | VideoChris Williams | 3/8/2013
Scam artists are finding properties for sale online, creating their own ads on Craigslist, and posing as the person selling the home.
"They`re doing it, from tracking down from IP addresses to extra things, and emails. You can make so many fake things from the email addresses, said Williston PD Detective Cory Collings.
Collings says most of the scam artists have never been to North Dakota.
"They can do enough research from wherever in the U.S. Oh geeze, here`s a house in whatever 4th Avenue East, here`s one on 3rd Avenue West. Then they can pull up all kinds of information and a photo and start cropping, so that`s what makes it tough.
Bakken Realty sales associate Charla Olson says it`s not uncommon to scam people out of housing to make money, but there are some ways to protect yourself, when shopping for a house online.
"If you find something you`re interested in, you really want to get in touch with an agent. Simply just for protection.
Olson says meeting face to face, with a seller, is one of the safest ways to know who you`re dealing with. If you`re just messaging with someone online, there are a few things to watch out for.
"Somebody who requests cash only, asks you not to any type of inspection or appraisal, those should be some red flags. Not being forthcoming with history on a house, Olson added.
Cash only requests do happen here Olson says, but be careful where you send money.
"If they`re serious sellers, they will look at a serious buyer. They won`t push you to finish something in a week if it`s going to take two weeks to get done.
Collings says they have had a few reports of this, and they`re working to get them solved. "It`s an uphill battle, and we`re just trying to do our best.
Looking at a home before you buy it is another way to make sure you`re not getting scammed.