Although exciting, house hunting can be pretty stressful. So imagine finally coming across a house that you finally liked and was in your budget range, only to find out, someone else was already living there. 

That was the case for one Lubbock woman who had been searching on sites like Craiglist and Facebook for a home to rent out who now believes she was being targeted by a Craiglist home scammer.

“I was actually scared and felt a little violated, and taken advantage of,” said Gina Perry.  ‘There’s a lot of good things in the world, and there’s a lot of bad stuff and that just so happened to be a bad situation.” 

She had come across the post with a listing for a home at the  5500 block of third street. She expressed interest and was immediately contacted who sent her a renter questionnaire.
Red flags began to arise when she realized the name signed at the bottom of the questionnaire was completely different from the sender. She drove by the property one day and realized there were no “For Sale” signs up. 
That’s when she gave the Appraisal District a call. 
“I did a little investigating and found out that none of it was true,” said Perry. “It [the house] was sold in July. I  called the Lubbock Central Appraisal District to find out if that person had any relationship to that house and of course they didn’t.”
After Perry realized this, calls to the renter went unanswered. 
A local realtor group shares that scams like these happen far too often, for both buyers and sellers. 
“I hear about them, I read about them. It’s normally people trying to do it on their own, either for sale by owners where they’re trying to sell the house or buy the house,” said Robin Long, a realtor with Century 21, John Walton. “That’s when people seem to be running into problems like that.” 
Long says if you are choosing to do your house hunting online, to contact a realtor for help, especially if it’s your first time. 
“Real estate its not something you just kinda dabble in and there are so many changes and forms and regulations and things to do. I really do think it helps to do it with someone who does it for a living and can help them.”
Although Perry was upset to know she was targeted by an online scammer, she feels relieved knowing that she didn’t pay them a single penny and is confident that she will recognize future red flags when buying anything online. 
“Just be careful check your sources out don’t just send somebody money or hand over money to somebody you don’t know.”