For sale and for rent?

Real estate agents beware: Scammers can take the listings information from your real estate Web site and peddle them as rental properties to try to bleed unsuspecting prospective tenants of their money and personal information, according to a story by a news agency in Pittsburgh, Pa.

Karen Berberick of Northwood Realty Services found out that someone had taken listing information from her site and advertised the property as for rent on Craigslist, along with a request for a deposit and for a credit application, KDKA-TV News reported.

"We were frightened for our clients, for the unsuspecting buyers and for the unsuspecting sellers who have their properties for sale with absolutely no knowledge of people pulling information from the Internet and putting it on Craigslist," Berberick said. "I think (it’s) more frightening for potential tenants … because they’re passing out information. They don’t know who it’s going to, or what it’s going to be used for."

She recommended buyers and sellers visit reputable real estate Web sites "and talk with a professional in the area." Such scams are now "prevalent" in the region, the news agency said.

Georgia agent charged with theft

Andrew Lee Loftis, 39, allegedly stole about $160,000 from Keller Williams Realty Greater Athens in Georgia where he became a partner in 2003, according to an online report by the Athens Banner-Herald.

Loftis has been charged with a felony, theft by taking, and was released on a $5,000 bond, according to the report.

Athens-Clarke police arrested Loftis on suspicion that he appropriated the money between November 2007 and August 2009. …CONTINUED

Former Realtor association exec arrested

The Tennessee Bureau of Investigation today announced the arrest, indictment by grand jury, and booking of Brandy L. Wynn, 29, a former executive of the Clarksville, Tenn.-based Clarksville Association of Realtors, according to a report at news site.

Wynn is suspected of making personal charges on a business credit card and writing checks for personal expenses in an amount totaling more than $60,000, the site reported.

The association hired Wynn as an administrative assistant in 2005 and promoted her to an executive position in 2007, the site said.

"This process of determining what transpired has been ongoing work for over two years," Darrell Watson, president of the association, told the news site.

Milwaukee agent suspected in sexual assault

Milwaukee police arrested an unidentified man, 31, on charges that he sexually assaulted a University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee, student at knife-point, according to a report by WISN 12 News.

The man, a registered sex offender, reportedly worked as a real estate agent for two years under a fake name prior to his arrest, the news agency said.

"I’m just in shock. It’s horrible news, it’s rocked the office," the sales director of a Shorewest Realtors office where the suspect worked told the news agency.


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