UTAH

Real estate agents, along with Utah residents, being scammed on Zillow

Dec 8, 2022, 12:28 PM
Housing interest rates...
Housing and interest rates will play a big part in Utah's financial forecast for this year, according to the annual "Economic Report to the Governor. (Ben B. Braun, Deseret News)
(Ben B. Braun, Deseret News)

PARK CITY, Utah — Summit County residents aren’t the only ones being scammed on the real estate app Zillow.

The Utah Department of Commerce’s Division of Real Estate said real estate agents are also being duped.

“Vacant lot or land parcel listings are an easier target for scammers because often there’s little reason to physically visit the property,” Division director Jonathon Stewart said.

The Department of Commerce says they are aware of at least ten different cases and there could be others.

Last week, Park City residents as well as others in Summit County woke up to find their home was for sale on Zillow.

The homeowners in question did not advertise their house nor are they looking to sell.

Cpt. Andrew Wright told KSL NewsRadio this is more than a harmless prank. “We do believe there is an actual criminal intent here,” he said.

“[What we have] is fraud against the property owner. [Or] someone who thinks the property is for sale and goes down the process of buying it could be duped out of thousands of dollars.”

He said they believe the culprits are looking to score unsolicited down payments from unsuspecting buyers.

According to the department, the best way to see if someone is a scammer is to meet in person and ask specific questions that only the actual owner would know.

Related reading: Suspected criminals on Zillow listing Utah homes for sale without homeowners’ knowledge

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Real estate agents, along with Utah residents, being scammed on Zillow