CONCORD, N.C. — A Concord man said his house was listed for sale on Zillow, even though his home was not on the market.
Charles Smith told Action 9′s Jason Stoogenke that he came home from work one day and a realtor was sitting in front of his house. The realtor said she was there to show his house, but Smith told her that he wasn’t selling it.
The realtor told him that the house was listed on Zillow.
Smith said he found the ad for his house on Zillow and that the person who listed it was trying to sell it for a very low price.
“My house phone was ringing off the hook every day and I had people driving by, slowing down, looking. I had one lady ring the bell one night about 7 o’clock,” he said. “After being in the house for 20-something years and all of a sudden people (were) popping up saying they want to buy your house and you don’t know anything about it, it is scary.”
Smith said he reported the ad to Zillow but the company did not remove it, so he contacted Action 9. Stoogenke then contacted Zillow and asked for the ad to be removed.
“Once you called them, they took it down the same day,” he told Stoogenke.
Smith said once the ad was removed, people stopped calling and coming by his house.
Zillow stated that it “strives to provide a safe online community on our platform, and we go 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, actively screening for possible fraud or scams and preventing them from getting posted.”
The company also stated that “if a listing is found to be fraudulent, it is removed from Zillow as quickly as possible. Zillow’s ‘Beware of scams and other internet fraud’ page provides valuable information for internet users on how to avoid fraudulent listings, including looking out for red flags like requests for wire transfers and long-distance inquiries.”
Action 9 warns that since the Charlotte area is such a hot housing market, scammers know buyers may be tempted to put down a lot of money to lock in a house, sight unseen.
Jason offers this advice to anyone in the market to buy a house:
- Never send money without seeing the home first.
- Also, make sure you know who the real owner is. It’s easy to check online – go to the county’s website and check the property records by entering the address.
(WATCH: Action 9 warns job scams on the rise during pandemic)
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