Atlanta realtor warns of million dollar home scam

Realtor warns of million dollar home scam
Published: Sep. 12, 2022 at 7:05 PM EDT
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ATLANTA, Ga. (CBS46) - There’s a buzz louder than any bee could make in one of Atlanta’s most sought-after neighborhoods.

Realtor Carina Levene discovered a stunning offer for a home in Ansley Park and shared her findings with the woman renting it.

“How come I didn’t get the note? I live in the basement, okay,” renter Robyn Nadel said.

The ad was placed on Zillow for $22,000. A million-dollar home marked down by more than $900,000. The only problem, the owner is not selling the home.

“It’s way too good to be true because the house is in Ansley Park, and I can assure you nothing is for sale in Ansley Park for $22,000,” homeowner Steve Hurlburt said.

The scammer, claiming to be the homeowner, said in the ad they marked it down since they own several properties, and it was going to be a tax write-off.

Here’s the catch, the ad said it was only for “FIRST TIME BUYERS WITH NO REPRESENTATION.” It went on to say, “THIS IS ALL NON-NEGOTIABLE” and if pre-approved you would need to send “$2,000 thru a Zelle transfer” followed by monthly payments.

“When I read it, it was just insulting and what really bothered me is the fact that it had only been on for 12 hours and it already had 111 views, but it had 88 saves which was concerning,” Levene said.

Levene filed a fraud report with Zillow and is in the process of informing the police. And while it’s unclear if anyone fell victim, one thing is certain.

“If something looks too good to be true, what’s that old saying, it probably is,” Levene said.

So, what do you do if you encounter a deal that seems too good to be true? First, ask a friend or realtor like Levene (carina@leveneandassociates.com) what they think about it. Second, never give any amount of money upfront whether it’s refundable or not. Finally, notify the listing agency and file a police report.