New Craigslist Scam Targets Central Texans

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COPPERAS COVE (September 2, 2012)-For Sgt. Jason Pena moving from Fort Bliss in El Paso to Fort Hood was challenging enough.

Then he learned he has been scammed by the person he thought he was renting a home from.

It is a scam that is growing in popularity; scammers are going on to county tax appraisers websites and getting information on homes and homeowners.

Names on the home, addresses, year purchased, and number of beds and baths are all the scammers need to place an ad on Craigslist.

Once the ad is in place, for many it looks as if they are dealing with a person locally when they are likely dealing with someone not even in Texas or America.

Michael Dehart, the executive officer of the Fort Hood Association of Realtors say that scammer will discourage people from going to the home and trying to get inside.

So even though Sgt. Pena had a friend talk to neighbors, he had no idea he was being scammed until it was too late.

Now Pena is out more than $1,700 and will be filing a police report with Killeen police.

While Dehart is trying to start a new campaign with the BBB and KPD letting more central Texans know that scams are happening in their own backyard.

Some signs that a Craigslist Ad is a scam include incorrect grammar, poor English, and wanting you to send your private information before any contracts are signed.

Dehart also says working with a realtor is always a safe bet when buying or renting a home.