Selling Your Home? It Could End Up on Craigslist

Homeowner discovered home was being offered for rent

Homeowners beware -- your house could be put up for rent on Craigslist without your knowledge.

That's exactly what happened to Ashley Pollard, who recently discovered that her Manassas home, which was for sale and under contract, had showed up in the "Housing For Rent" section of Craiglist last weekend.

"A picture of my house showed up with my full address," she said. "I didn't know what to do, who to call."

Pollard thinks someone pulled the picture and address right out of her real estate advertisement.

Prince William County Police believe the ad was placed by a man in Nigeria.

"They're just trying to get someone to pay the deposit and take off, I guess," Pollard said.

Police said a quick check of real estate records, which can be done by phone or online in many cases, could help keep you from handing your money over to a thief.

Other criminals are also taking advantage of bargain hunters on Craigslist, police said.

Ivan Gilliam, 19, of Dale City, Va., has been charged with armed robbery in a scheme to "rip off" people responding to a Craigslist ad for a $400 flat screen TV. Police said that when the victims arrived, Gilliam would greet them with a shotgun and take their money.

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