Scam Alert: Couple Fends Off Househunters After $1.6 Million Home Listed for $10,200

KANSAS CITY, MO – A couple in Kansas City, Missouri, found themselves fending off house hunters showing up at their door after a scammer listed their $1.6 million home for sale at the jaw-dropping price of $10,200. Jamey and Lauren Bertram were shocked when strangers began knocking on their door, thinking they were selling their five-bedroom, 5,300 square foot house that they had purchased for around $1 million in 2019.

The scam, which occurred on property site Zillow, falsely claimed that the Bertrams were selling their home as part of an annual charity event where they offer houses for under $25,000 to first-time buyers to bless a family in need. The scammer even went as far as instructing interested buyers to send money to the supposed owner’s mother via an online banking app.

Jamey Bertram, a senior vice president at an architecture and engineering firm, expressed frustration at the situation, stating that it took them several days to rectify the false listing. Despite their efforts, the couple received little assistance from Zillow, which left them dealing with the aftermath of the scam.

Fortunately, the listing was eventually removed from Zillow, but the incident serves as a reminder for buyers and renters to be cautious when browsing online listings. Zillow recommends that individuals always visit a property in person, verify the legitimacy of listings, and only use trusted methods for exchanging money to avoid falling victim to scams.

The fake listing for the Bertrams’ home highlighted several common red flags in rental scams, including requests to wire funds, spelling and grammatical errors in communications, and unusually low prices for high-value properties. The couple’s experience underscores the importance of vigilance and due diligence when navigating the property market to avoid falling prey to fraudulent schemes.

In a time where online scams are prevalent, it is crucial for individuals to exercise caution and follow best practices to protect themselves from potential fraud. The Bertrams’ ordeal serves as a cautionary tale, urging others to remain skeptical of deals that seem too good to be true and to always verify the authenticity of listings before engaging with sellers or landlords.