Scam Alert: $1.6 Million Home Listed for $10,200 – Couple Fights Off Househunters!

Kansas City, Kansas – A couple in Kansas City, Kansas found themselves in a confusing situation after discovering that their $1.6 million home was listed for sale at a shockingly low price of $10,200 on popular property site Zillow. Jamey and Lauren Bertram were stunned to see strangers showing up at their door, interested in buying their home that was never actually on the market. The Bertrams, who purchased the five-bedroom, 5,300 square foot house for around $1 million in 2019, were taken aback by the elaborate scam that fooled potential buyers.

The scammers behind the fraudulent listing claimed that the Bertrams were wealthy homeowners who annually sold a few of their properties for under $25,000 to bless families in need. The fake listing explicitly stated that only first-time buyers were eligible to purchase the house, excluding realtors, lenders, investors, wholesalers, or lawyers. The scammers even provided instructions for interested buyers to send money through an online banking app to the owner’s mother, promising that the funds would be refunded later on.

Jamey Bertram, a senior vice president at an architecture and engineering firm, recounted the chaos that ensued once friends approached them about the supposed sale of their home. Despite making efforts to rectify the situation with Zillow, the couple received minimal assistance from the platform in removing the fake listing. Eventually, after a week of dealing with unexpected visitors and confusion, the fake listing was finally taken down over the weekend.

Zillow, a popular online real estate marketplace, offers guidelines to help users spot and avoid scams. Common red flags include requests to wire funds, overseas sellers or landlords asking for unusual procedures, and listings with typos or sob stories. The Bertrams’ case serves as a stark reminder for buyers and renters to exercise caution when dealing with online listings that seem too good to be true. Zillow advises individuals to always visit properties in person, verify the legitimacy of listings and agents, and use trusted methods when exchanging money.

The Bertrams’ experience underscores the importance of vigilance and due diligence when engaging with online real estate transactions, as scammers continue to find inventive ways to deceive unsuspecting individuals. The couple’s resilience in navigating this ordeal serves as a cautionary tale for others, highlighting the potential risks involved in the digital property market.