Beware this housing scam that's easy to fall for

It's a common scam that is easy to fall for -- fake homes for rent or sale ads. This scam preys on people desperate or anxious to find a home. Buyers are taken to a home that is really not for sale. They are shown the home, encouraged to leave a deposit -- which is never returned and the person showing the home is never seen again.

VIDEO: Frank Tarala from Principal Brokers Network joins us to tell us some of the red flags to look for in a real estate scam. You can hear his advice by watching the interview in the video player above, or by reading a summary below.

Some of the more common red flags include pictures that do not match the description, out-of-state phone numbers, false urgency to act immediately and someone asking for cash.

A good rule of thumb, as always, is that if it's just too good to be true -- it probably is.

For more information on Frank Tarala or Principal Brokers Network, visit