Why does Trulia have so many fake rental listings?

Asked by Vincent, Burbank, CA Tue Dec 11, 2012

This question was asked from this property: http://www.trulia.com/rental/3103266227-610-21st-Pl-Santa-Mo…

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Valnes Bell Realtors’ answer
Valnes Bell…, Agent, Santa Monica, CA
Tue Dec 11, 2012
A lot of scammers from outside the country pull properties off the MLS and list them as rentals here, hoping to get someone to mail them a deposit or rent check in exchange for the "keys to the property". It's unfortunate, but happens quite a bit. If you ever suspect something shady, please flag it. And never send money to anyone, especially before seeing the property and taking all the appropriate steps to properly renting a place.
1 vote
Emily Knell, Agent, Huntington Beach, CA
Tue Dec 11, 2012
Every website out there has fake rental listings. There's absolutely no way that Trulia can nationally monitor this to pick out which ones are scams & which ones aren't.

If you're wanting to rent a place, I STRONGLY suggest you click on my profile here on Trulia & read my 2 blog postings called "RED FLAGS - RENTAL SCAMS - PUBLIC BEWARE", if going through my profile doesn't work, just google that phrase & it will link you to my 2 postings.

I tell you how to easily spot the scammer, how they talk & act about your renting their fake deal. It will aid you in your quest to find a Real rental & rent from a Real landlord.

The scammers will tell you, you can have 5 dogs, bad credit ok, you can rent the place for 3yrs no problem, go peek in the windows to see the house because we're getting a high volume of callers & can't meet you right now, send us a security deposit & we'll mail you a key, etc etc, use your common sense!

Emily S. Knell
562-430-3053 c
Realtor Since 1996
Realty ONE Group
Short Sale Specialist - 100% success rate
1 vote
Suzanne MacD…, Agent, Morristown, NJ
Tue Dec 11, 2012
There are a lot of con artists out there these days targeting tenants. They are most prevalent on Craig's list. The scammers find a house for sale on some website then steal the photos and list it as a rental. Unfortunately, it is almost impossible for websites to keep up with them. I looked at the listing and there were no red flags that I could see. However, I will say, if it seems too good to be true, it probably is. And, if anyone asks you to wire money, especially outside the country, it's a scam, walk away, fast! And by all means flag the listing and let the administrators here at Trulia know. The only thing that will stop these people is if we can educate the public so their schemes are no longer effective. Believe me, if they weren't making money they wouldn't be doing it.
1 vote
Stefanie Bla…, Home Buyer, Atlanta, GA
Mon Mar 23, 2015
This post is from 2012 yet I type this in 2015 and the problem is still prevalent!
0 votes
Jasmine Asvp…, Renter, Jackson, MS
Sat Dec 13, 2014
How do you know if a property is being used for fraudulent activities? I am considering two homes to rent on the Trulia website and I would like to be certain before I make any payments. If I were to give you the two addresses would you be able to check?
0 votes
I just had someone try to scam me saying I can drive by the house but can't do a tour of it because they are out of state. I got to the house and there was a car parked outside. There was no rent sign on the lawn. I rang the doorbell and there was a family that just barely moved in. Always check the houses in person first if you need to be sure.
Flag Sat May 2, 2015
X_tian77, Home Buyer, Pembroke Pines, FL
Sun Jun 30, 2013
hi all,
it's not only "criminals" that put up fake postings. It's also realtors that use homes that were just rented/sold as available in order to get interested people's contact info. Then they'll just say that the property "just" became unavailable and they'll give you 10 other listings. Thus, they use these fake posts as baits.
0 votes
Andrew Wilki…, , San Francisco, CA
Wed Dec 12, 2012
Hi Vincent,

We apologize that your experience with Trulia has been less than satisfactory. Chris Creed is correct in that rental listings do not have many of the regulations on them that For Sale listings do, and therefore are much more susceptible to scams.

Fraud is a huge issue for any online rental listing site, not just Trulia, and we are constantly monitoring and adjusting our tools to remove fraud before it is seen by our users.

Trulia publishes data from many sources and all of our sources are subject to quality control. Some fraudulent properties do get through though and our Customer Service department removes them as we find them or are alerted to them by users.

If you do spot a fraudulent listing on Trulia.com, we urge you to report it to our Customer Service team by using the "Flag" feature on the listing, and to report the listing to the FBI using this online form: http://www.ic3.gov/complaint/default.aspx

Thank you for your question and for giving us the opportunity to address it.

Community Manager
Trulia Voices
0 votes
Where is this "Flag" feature? I'm coming up on an hour on hold for your Customer Support line & I have not been able to locate the Flag button. In the meantime, I have located a second fraudulent use of our rental listing.
Flag Thu Jan 8, 2015
Chris Creed, Agent, Santa Monica, CA
Tue Dec 11, 2012
Hey Vincent,

Rentals are not as regulated as sales listings. I took the time to run a full report for you on what is available in Santa Monica. This report is direct from the MLS. Let me know if you have any questions, want to see other areas, or lets go take a look!

Here is the report:

Good luck with your search!

Chris Creed
DRE 01880695
0 votes
Elizabeth Sa…, , Fort Collins, CO
Tue Dec 11, 2012
Hi Vincent,

I'm sorry this is frustrating for all. If you are interested in leasing or buying, it's best to contact a professional Realtor like myself to be sure it's not a scam. Feel free to contact me and let me know what you are looking for.

Elizabeth Sorgen
0 votes
SERGEY FEDNOV…, Agent, Beverly Hills, CA
Tue Dec 11, 2012
Maybe The reason is because they don't monitor these listings and there are a lot of scam properties / scam artists who's trying to advertise and lure people.
0 votes
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