Lois Lane and the Craigslist fake landlord scam

Graham Cluley

I read an interesting story last night about a woman who was trying to sell her house in Cleveland, Ohio.

Sharon Smith hired a real estate agent to advertise her house for sale and, as is normal these days, photographs were taken and posted online for potential buyers to peruse. But it seems what homeowners have to beware of is that criminals may also be checking out the properties that are up for grabs, in the hope that they can use the details in a money-making scam.

The scam worked like this. A criminal, found the details of Sharon Smith’s property on the estate agent’s website and swiped the photographs. He then posted a message on the popular Craigslist website, listing the property as available for rental.

When people responded to the rental ad, the scammer emailed back calling himself “Dr Jack Fred”, saying that he had just…

Read more in my article on the Naked Security website.

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Graham Cluley is a veteran of the anti-virus industry having worked for a number of security companies since the early 1990s when he wrote the first ever version of Dr Solomon's Anti-Virus Toolkit for Windows. Now an independent security analyst, he regularly makes media appearances and is an international public speaker on the topic of computer security, hackers, and online privacy. Follow him on Twitter at @gcluley, or drop him an email.