Most likely, you responded to a fraudulent ad and sent your money to a crook. For a complete explanation of how this scam works, see my blog at http://www.trulia.com/blog/ellen_doc_stephens_realtors/2010/
When you use a REALTORÂ® as your representative as a Buyer or as a Renter, it costs you NOTHING extra - the listing agent pays your representative's fee. Your agent's job is to help you to find exactly what you want and negotiate the best possible price and terms for you. Your agent can show you ANY property that is on the market, regardless of whose name is on the ad or sign. Having an agent also will protect you from this kind of scam.
All of us in the industry hate it when some thief uses our industry to steal your money. The best defense is to hire some help who knows what they are doing. The price is right, and the alternative is to lose it all.
Doc Stephens, REALTORÂ®