Realtors warn: beware of bogus listings - KUAM.com-KUAM News: On Air. Online. On Demand.

Realtors warn: beware of bogus listings

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by Krystal Paco

Guam - If you're looking to rent or lease, beware. You could be a target for bogus listings that local realtors report are more common than ever.

If it's too good to be true, it probably is. Remax Diamond realtor Nicole Sablan warns consumers: ridiculously low listings, especially on Craigslist or Facebook, should send off red flags. "Some of the trends that we have noticed is if they are ridiculously priced. I know that there's really good deals out there but if it sounds too good to be true it probably is," she said. "One of the ones we recently had was someone took a $1,200 property and put it online for $410 and on an e-mail they also said that they would include utilities."

Other indicators it's a scam? Properties tied to overseas phone numbers, communication restricted to email only, and lengthy personal descriptions. "Ssome of the ones that we've experienced with Craigslist they'll give a long description of themselves they'll tell you that they're a nun or a pediatrician that had to go off-island to do some sort of work and basically they'll try to convince people that they're in a situation that kind of forces them to bend the norm of how rentals are done like sending money before you get the keys sometimes they say they'll mail the keys so you really have to look out for those kinds of stuff," she said.

And while filling out an application to rent is typical, beware of questions on pet names - they could be used to unlock your security question necessary to reset your online passwords. "Some of the tips that I would give is to ask to see the house even if the owners are off island they could coordinate to show you the house and its just standard procedures for a potential tenant to see the house before they commit to a lease and better yet send money," she said.

If you're not sure if the listing is a scam, Sablan encourages you to cross check the listing with MLS, a database all realtors share showcasing all properties islandwide. This information is available through a realtor's website, such as remaxguam.com.

If you're a victim of such bogus listings, report the event to the internet crime complaint center at http://www.ic3.gov.

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