By CBS13 Staff

NEWCASTLE (CBS13) — Detectives are warning homeowners to be on the lookout for a property scam that’s starting to pop up again in California.

The Placer County Sheriff’s Office says, back in April, a Newcastle couple were alerted by their neighbor that a realtor had stopped by to take some photos for a listing. The thing is, the couple weren’t selling their property.

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After checking online, the couple found out their property was listed for sale. Detectives say a scammer had apparently forged the property owner’s signature – including giving a falsified California ID to the realtor. This allowed for the listing to be placed on several websites.

Investigators say this type of scam often cheats unsuspecting buyers out of an initial fee or down payment. The scam is often not discovered until the victim learns that the property is actually owned by someone else.

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In the recent Newcastle case, detectives say the scam was caught in time so that both the property owner and prospective buyers didn’t lose any money.

Detectives say they are still trying to identify the scammer.

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Property owners are being urged to regularly monitor their credit card and bank statements, as well as periodically search their home address to make sure it’s not being fraudulently listed.