(CBS) — A new warning tonight for those in a rush to rent in Chicago.
Some of the ads on local websites are phony, with pirated home details. It’s already cost some victims thousands of dollars.READ MORE: West Side Middle Schoolers' Holiday Wrapping Paper Design Goes National
CBS 2’s Dana Kozlov reports.
It’s the anatomy of a rental real-estate scam.
“I called it hijacking my listing,” Madeleine Pearl says.
That’s exactly what happened to the Chicago real estate agent and her colleague, Matt Boemmel. Someone pirated their legitimate sales listing and then posted it as a rental on sites like Zillow and Craigslist.READ MORE: Chaos In The Loop Leads To Shooting, Beatings; 21 Young People Arrested
The scam artist claims to have moved for a job. He or she asks the potential renter to drive by the property, promises to send interior photos and then asks the victim to send money.
Eventually, that victim and two others researched the property and traced it back to Boemmel’s listing. Three people also called pearl. They called the authorities.
These real estate brokers want the scammers caught, to keep their profession clean.
Three of the six known victims sent money.MORE NEWS: Health Experts Say It's A Matter Of Time Before Omicron Variant Arrives In Illinois
The FBI can’t comment on ongoing cases, but concerns about online matters should be reported to the internet crime complaint center at IC3.gov.