I work primarily with rentals and leasing for private landlords. This seems to occur most frequently with single family homes for rent. The ads almost always quote a considerably lower rent than the actual ad they are copying. Additionally, the claim they allow dogs, cats, mountain lions, etc. which the original ad did not. Also, these ads usually do not have a contact phone number....email contact only. And, they are inevitably in some foreign country
These ads will often use the name of the previous tenant as the current owner. This would seem to suggest that person(s) posting the fraudulent ads are checking mail that has been delivered after the former tenant has moved. You can always check with the tax assessor's office in the respective city or town in which the property is located to verify the owner of record.
Unfortunately, the person posting the genuine ad cannot remove an ad posted by someone else. But, as Debbie said in a previous response, we can "flag" the fraudulent posting thus reporting it to Trulia, Craislist, etc. and they will remove it. Just be very cautious when the offer appears "to good to be true" or is a duplicate of the same property location posted elsewhere. By the way, I find this problem to be most prominent on Craigslist (not their fault).... more