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Rochester man catches Craigslist scam involving his own home

ROCHESTER, Minn. (KTTC) – A Rochester man is warning others about a Craigslist scam he caught involving his own house.

Though he caught it before someone lost money, he says it could very well happen again.

After more than a decade in his Southeast Rochester home, Kurt Jorgensen chose to sell his nearly 100-year-old house using a realtor.

But about a week ago, a couple came to his house, asking about an ad they saw on Craigslist, which listed the home not for sale, but for rent.

“They wanted to look at the house for the rent-to-own Craigslist ad and I said ‘I’m sorry I haven’t listed anything on Craigslist. I think that’s a scam,'” Jorgensen said.

It appears a scammer had taken the photos from Jorgensen’s own listing, and re-posted them in order to trick someone into sending them a deposit and rent.

“I felt violated in a way because I felt like someone had just taken something that I’ve worked years and years with and just has now scammed other innocent people out of that whole thing.”

The couple didn’t send them any money, and Jorgensen says he reported the post to Craigslist.

It’s since been taken down.

And with Rochester’s active real estate market, he wants to warn others to be wary of deals that seem too good to be true.

“One of the biggest purchases of your life is a home,” he said. “Whether you’re going to rent to own or actually own a home. Don’t trust the internet.”

Jorgensen’s realtor, Gwaltney Group, says it also reported the scam to Craigslist, and to the Multiple Listing Service.

Gwaltney Group has seen scams like this several times over the years but is not aware of anyone here actually losing money to any of these attempted scams.

Erin O'Brien

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