You've probably heard about these types of Craigslist housing scams in the past, but now it's happening in Rockford. Here's tips from local experts on how to avoid getting scammed out of hundreds of your hard-earned dollars if you're looking to make a move anytime soon.

I love me some Craigslist, but I also know some shady stuff goes on there daily. You have got to keep your guard up when making a deal to buy something on the website, and you also have to remember, if it sounds too good to be true, it probably is.

Karen Barbagallo, a realtor with Gambino realtors, recently told 23WIFR that she was contacted by a young couple who were almost victims of a housing scam involving a Rockford condo she has listed for $154,500. Basically, the condo was listed as "for rent" for $800/month on Craiglist, which is not true and not something the real owners have ever listed.

WIFR tried to contact the scammer, and they received a very disturbingly personal reply back;

The fake owner said he moved to Tennessee for a construction job. He gives personal information about his twin daughters and wife. Red flags popped up for us at the end of the letter. The scammer says we can't see the inside of the home until he sends the keys and documents, requesting an $800 security deposit.


Rule of thumb from the Better Business Bureau according to WIFR? If anyone asks you for a wire transfer, hang up immediately, or you will be scammed.  The BBB also says that October starts the season for moving, and plenty of rental and home ownership scams come along with it.

If you find a home listing on Craigslist you are interested in the BBB says to always do thorough research on the seller and make sure no other legitimate listings pop up anywhere else. Also never, ever pay any money up front.

Watch the full WIFR video here for more information.