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Bob Gordon, Real Estate Pro in Boulder, CO

Looking for suggestions to make ADS on Craigslist Un-scammable.. Suggestions appreciated.

Asked by Bob Gordon, Boulder, CO Wed Feb 8, 2012

I am an agent. I list properties both for sale and for rent using paid services such as Rentals.com and sites like Trulia. I have gotten good tenants from Craigslist, but have also experienced scams where the photos are reposted with a false rental ad. Looking for suggestions to made the ads less susceptible to this.

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Hi Bob:

I have had the same problem with Craigslist. But, no matter what you do in real estate, someone will eventually find a way to try to scam you. The unfortunate truth is that real estate will always attract scam artists because homes are worth so much money. Siphoning off even a small percentage of the value can net a lot of money for the dishonest. However, scams usually are pretty transparent. If something in the back of your mind tells you this does not sound right, listen to that voice and be very careful.

When house is advertised for rent at an extremely low price, when an "international" buyer wants to purchase a house sight-unseen and sends a "cashier's check" on a foreign bank, or when you find a window unlatched after an open house, take extra care to protect your clients and yourself by double-checking everything and contacting the appropriate authorities. That is the best you can do.

Kind regards,
Ron Rovtar
Prudential Real Estate of the Rockies
Days: 303.981.1617
Evenings: 303.473.1926
ron@rovtar.com
http://www.rovtar.com
1 vote Thank Flag Link Fri Feb 10, 2012
On Craigslist it is a bit difficult. You can use an image instead of text... but then it is not really searchable anymore. You want to put in text that people are going to search for. Since Craigslist is a free ad placement site, there's really no way of stopping someone from throwing up a scam ad in the rental section. I would suggest just putting a disclaimer in your ads saying to the effect that these properties are NOT for rent and if you see these in the rental section please flag appropriately. If people end up getting themselves scammed on Craigslist they really didn't do their research into the property. You can't really be held accountable for someone not doing their research. Just make sure you educate your sellers that this may happen. If the property IS a rental property, give the ads some sort of rememberable quality like a logo or HTML template and again have a disclaimer that if the property is seen in another ad to flag it.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Sun Feb 12, 2012
If I understand you, you want to ensure that no one changes your information.

Here is what my marketing pro suggests:

Place a jpeg (picture of your information) in your Craigslist Ad that provides the information you don't want anyone to change.

You can do this by making a screenshot of your Word docs.

Make sure you can see the entire page on your screen when you make your screenshot.

On a Mac, it is very simple.
Open your document. Press Command + Shift + 3. Presto you have a screenshot.

A screenshot of your page will appear on your desktop. Trim the jpg or png so you can only see the document. Then upload to Craigslist (in the spot where it calls for photos).


For PC, I have a link for you.
http://www.wikihow.com/Take-a-Screenshot-in-Microsoft-Windows

Recommendations:
Size your type at 18 or larger. You can use photos but remember the image is going to be small when it appears on Craigslist. Use a half page or smaller for your screenshot.

You can also borrow some HTML from someone else who has mounted photos on Craigslist. Or just upload your screenshot as a photo. No one can change the photo.

My marketing guy just tried it. It works. Just fill out the information. Write a headline in the "posting description" and then choose a file for your photo or photos. Try some creativity.

Good luck with that.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Thu Feb 9, 2012
Bob,
This is a very common problem on Craigslist and I have run into it. A local property manager tipped me to NOT include the exact property address on Craigslist. You can use street intersections, neighborhoods, proximity to notable amenities, etc. But don't use the property address in your Craigslist Ad. This should come close to eliminating scamps on Craigslist.
Web Reference: http://www.jonrroberts.com
0 votes Thank Flag Link Wed Feb 8, 2012
Bob,

Good question. I sure don't know the answer. I will be watching for new posts if anyone has succeeded in warding off the scammers.

Thanks. Robert...
0 votes Thank Flag Link Wed Feb 8, 2012
are you seriously asking how to make an advertisment that will prevent someone from defrauding?

Well...NO!
0 votes Thank Flag Link Wed Feb 8, 2012
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