As online rentals fraud is becoming an industry-wide problem, Trulia is committed to keeping our rental listings scam-free and accurate. While tackling this problem and keeping up with fraudsters is an ongoing task, we have taken a few initial steps to reduce fraud and protect our valued customers.
As of this week, anyone posting a rental listing on Trulia will need to prove that they can receive calls on a valid US phone number. We will call them at the number they provide, and provide a code that they have to enter on our website before posting any rental listings. If we detect fraud, this phone number may be reported to the authorities. Here’s a screenshot of how it will work:
Also on the topic of ensuring quality listings, we are implementing a manual screening process for rental listings in our top markets. Trulia Customer Service representatives will now contact new rental listings that are submitted to Trulia; we will soon be reviewing 100% of rental listings in our top markets.
Additionally, in order to help Trulia renters avoid scams, we are including prominent messages on our rental listings to educate our users on some red-flags for scams and how they can protect themselves.
Aside from these immediate efforts, we have several more sophisticated fraud detection and prevention features planned. Ensuring high quality in our listings is at the core of the Trulia Rentals mission, and we will continue to work on this aggressively until our site is fraud-free!