Scammer creates phony real estate listing for Belleville home

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BELLEVILLE, Ill. - There’s a new home for sale on East Belle Avenue in Belleville. Owner Jory Frick is proud of its updates.

“We redid the who outside of the house. Vinyl siding, roofing. Painted the inside. New carpet in the bedrooms. Fixed everything that was broken got it move-in ready,” Frick said.

Jory says there was instant interest.

“I got a phone call the other day and a lady asked me if it was for rent. I said 'no.' Didn’t even think about it. Went home later that night, looked at Craigslist, and there it was for rent," she said.

Jory says someone copied the information and pictures from his online listing and created this Craigslist post, advertising the home for rent. The person even created a phony email with instructions to contact him or his wife.

“It makes you angry, yes…definitely,” Frick said.

“We would not suggest Craigslist as being the ideal place to try and find housing. We would encourage you to use one of our members," said Kyle Anderson, CEO of the Greater Gateway Association of Realtors. He said the internet can be a breeding ground for real estate scams.

“Trust your gut. If you look at a property and it seems too good to be true, and it's going really fast and they’re really excited to get you in the house, asking for money very soon in the process, that’s typically a red flag as far as it being a scam," Anderson said.

The Craigslist post appears to now be deleted. We emailed the address listed on the ad, but haven’t gotten a response.

“When we found out, we contacted Belleville police. They know about it. Their detectives are working on it,” Frick said.

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