Facebook Marketplace reposting scam?

9 Replies

This is something new to me... My house flip has been on the market for a new weeks now. My wife was browsing the local Facebook Marketplace page and found our exact house, using our exact photos, listed for rent by some random guy in the Philippines!

We dug around further and found a couple more postings of the same thing! One guy even posted a screenshot of ANOTHER guy's repost, claimed it was a scam, and said to contact HIM instead!

I found this totally bizarre as I can't imagine any reason for doing this, other than trying to line up a renter before buying the property. If so, it doesn't seem like a very good strategy.

Has anyone ever seen this before? I'm genuinely puzzled as to what the possible endgame could be...

@Jonathan Yip Whenever I've heard about these sorts of fake listing scams the goal is to get an application fee or, better yet, a deposit, and then the scammer disappears. They might have some way of asking for a payments online that they'd just keep.

I think your best bet, if you haven't already, is to report the post and see if Facebook can ban the IP address (not just the login/email).

simple criminal intent and activity..

real estate is now the new Nigerian prince scam .... in everything from fake landlords to fake lenders.

and facebook is horrid I would never ever in a thousand years do business on facebook ( in the real estate space) simply would not trust anyone who posted on facebook.. to me its bush league at best and at worst is full of criminals looking to scam people.

had one of these people copy a Zillow rental ad including pics and post it on Craigslist......at $150/month less than I had it listed for.   Took almost two weeks for me to get Craigslist to take it down.  

Had a couple people contact me who had responded to the fake ad and showed me the responses + fake leases they got (along with request for security deposit).  The English was ridiculously bad and the lease appeared to be from the UK.....in spite of that the two people that approached me said they almost fell for it.  His story was that this was his sick aunt's property and he was trying to handle it for her from out of state.  

I've heard stories from other landlords of people showing up at their house with a moving truck after paying deposit to a scammer.....or even in the house when they get there- scammer makes up story about lost keys and just tells them to get in any way they can.

Lesson I learned: put my ads everywhere - I think they are way less likely to do this on a site that's already got the legit ad. 

I did actually contact Cleveland PD about the situation....their response was nothing they could do until a crime was actually committed & even then probably no way they could find the scammer.  Also said Craiglist no longer accepted their calls.....

Originally posted by @Jonathan Yip :

This is something new to me... My house flip has been on the market for a new weeks now. My wife was browsing the local Facebook Marketplace page and found our exact house, using our exact photos, listed for rent by some random guy in the Philippines!

We dug around further and found a couple more postings of the same thing! One guy even posted a screenshot of ANOTHER guy's repost, claimed it was a scam, and said to contact HIM instead!

I found this totally bizarre as I can't imagine any reason for doing this, other than trying to line up a renter before buying the property. If so, it doesn't seem like a very good strategy.

Has anyone ever seen this before? I'm genuinely puzzled as to what the possible endgame could be...

 This is a classic scam. Very popular on Craigslist. Just report the post to Facebook. Won't be the last time this happens.

@Jonathan Yip So just guessing one scam scenario. I post the “For Rent” for a real property that someone can drive by. It will likely be unoccupied as it’s a flip. I get Facebook clicks and send them an application and request for a $35 application fee. Price it below market so you get a ton of applications and you dupe 20 people out of $35 each. You never do the background check so *poof* there’s your “profit”.

Originally posted by @Andrew Johnson :

Jonathan Yip So just guessing one scam scenario. I post the “For Rent” for a real property that someone can drive by. It will likely be unoccupied as it’s a flip. I get Facebook clicks and send them an application and request for a $35 application fee. Price it below market so you get a ton of applications and you dupe 20 people out of $35 each. You never do the background check so *poof* there’s your “profit”.

 That’s only part of this typical scam. The biggest part and intent is to get multiple parties to agree to sign a fake lease and place first and last month’s payment to the scammer. They even go as far as bringing a locksmith, breaking in and changing the lock so they can show the house to the potential tenants who become the victims of the scam and they run away with all the cash. 

Very common in the hot New York market as well to pull this off.

Report it to the authorities (including the FBI), demand Facebook, Craig’s list, etc to pull down the fake ads, and take every precaution to secure your home. Cameras, “the Ring”, lights on timers, etc are all means to help secure your home. You will also want to visit your property everyday if possible or have someone do it for you.

We had this happen to a rental listing as well, but on Craigslist. Consequently, I now watermark the center of my listing pics with our business name and phone number, and we haven’t had any problems since.

This is a good reminder to watermark photos used on FB. I actually use FB marketplace to advertise rentals and it has worked really well for getting tenants. There are just so many eyeballs on FB.

To follow up on this - today my agent showed the property to this guy who loved the house. Turns out he was under the impression that it was a "rent to buy" deal with an impossibly low rent. He claimed he had spoken to me (he knew my first and last name) on the phone and I had already sent him all the paperwork! Exactly what you guys were saying.

Moral of the story - scammers suck I guess.

Create Lasting Wealth Through Real Estate

Join the millions of people achieving financial freedom through the power of real estate investing

Start here