Clayton’s 82-year-old home has been put up for sale by a swindler. It can happen to anyone:: WRAL.com

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– The home of an 82-year-old lady was offered for sale in Zillow in Clayton – although her home was not on the market. She’s had potential buyers trying to come and see her house since the scammer made the fake listing.

Betty Moss had a signature on her front door that said, “This house is not for sale, looks like you’ve been the victim of a scam.”

“Doing this was easier than having to jump and answer the door to check the front door every 5 minutes,” Moss said.

Zillow List posted photos and a description of her home when she bought it in 2018. A potential buyer stopped and tried to get in to see her.

“I was sitting on my couch and I heard all this racket going,” Moss said.

I thought the potential buyer paid the scammer to get a code for the lock box. Moss just happened to have an old chest in the house that her son Cliff Moss ended up removing.

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“You have a kind of sinking feeling, you know, if someone shows up and starts jiggling, what if she just got into the house and didn’t have time to lock it,” Moss said.

After another potential buyer, and then a realtor showed up, Betty Moss contacted Zillow.

Cliff Moss said, “They told her, ‘You know, there’s nothing we can do. You have to contact whoever listed it, to have it removed.'”

Frustrated, Betty Moss emailed 5 On Your Side’s Monica Laliberte.

“I need to reach out to someone who, you know, has more connections than we have,” he said.

When the 5 On Your Side team contacted Zillow, they immediately removed the listing, and said they should have done so initially when Moss called.

“When someone brings us a home, the first place we’ll go and look for it, we’ll take a look at the MLS and see that it’s actually a home for sale,” said Diana Dean, president of Dash Carolina Real Estate.

Dane said there have been several other cases where people advertise homes that are not for sale.

In one, the “scam seller” said the buyer should first rent the house before selling it.

The goal of these scams is to collect a cash deposit in advance. In this market, especially with listings for sale by owner, buyers need to research who owns the home and talk to them.

Home keys, home ownership, home buyer, renter

Dane recommends concerned homeowners to create a Google Alert.

“If there are people talking about your name, address and things being mentioned about you, get an alert,” she said.

When you create a Google Alert, any time there is a post on the Internet that includes the term you selected, you will receive an email.

Zillow allows you to create an account and claim ownership of your home, preventing others from offering your home for sale or rent on Zillow.

However, anyone can claim any home. 5 On Your Side producer tested it, and was able to claim the home of journalist Monica Laliberte.

If you find that your home has already been claimed, you can answer questions through the Zillow website to prove it’s yours.

“The first thing that came to my mind was that this was a scam and someone got my mom,” Cliff Moss said.

Fortunately, after knocking on the door and jiggling it, Betty Moss succeeded in stopping it.

5 On Your Side says to avoid being scammed yourself, check the information you see on Zillow. Not doing so could cost you.

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