Local Online Property Listings Hijacked

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A Lexington realtor has a scam alert involving the misuse of the popular website, Craigslist.

Apparently, scam artists are highjacking information and photos from online property listings from real estate agents and trying to pass the property off as their own.

"I received a phone call Sunday morning. Somebody wanted to know how much I was renting my property for," said Kim Soper, a Realtor with Keller Williams Realty.

"I told her it wasn't for rent, but for sale. She then told me the seller said they were from Africa."

Soper received about two dozen of these phone calls. People were getting her phone number from the for sale sign when driving by the home.

"They basically just stole all of my information and put their contact information on the listing," Soper said.

An email was sent to interested renters, it stated the posing sellers were having to rent their properties immediately because they had to move to Africa for work. It goes on to ask interested buyers to send their personal information and deposit.

"I just want people to know, this is a scam and nothing more and whatever you do, don't fall for it," said Soper.

To Soper's knowledge, nobody has fallen victim to this crime financially. However she says it's quickly spreading and more and more people could be targeted in the near future.

There are similar cases in Lexington and Georgetown -- as well as New York, Florida and Washington, D.C.

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