Too Many Scammers! What is Trulia doing to filter these scammers out?

Asked by Courtney, San Francisco, CA Wed Feb 19, 2014

Trulia has way too many scammers for rent on your site, your site is starting become discreditable. What are you doing to catch or filter who posts on your site? I have reached out to 10 "renters" and not one has been honest or posted honest rates to anything. Most of them want you to pay first months rent before even showing you the apartment. And of course there is the famous "Pastor" "whose is stuck in Africa"!!

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9
Pedro Baires, Renter, 94115
Thu Feb 20, 2014
just received a scam reply.
Watch out for phil_fisher@live.com

"Dear Kruti,

You fit in perfectly as the kind of tenant that we are looking for, cool headed and responsible. I trust you will take good care of the furniture in the unit during your stay.

Because of the high quality standard of comfort we render to our tenants during their stay in the apartment, our units are usually never vacant. 75% of Old tenants usually renew their lease while most new prospective tenants tend to secure units months before they become empty and unoccupied.

The unit is currently occupied which makes it unavailable for viewing now. Our tenants' comfort is our top most priority. This is something that you will get to enjoy during your stay in the unit. The current tenant's lease would run out on the 22nd of March. This means that the unit will be available for viewing and move in from 25th of March.

However, because of the high demand, rush and high competitiveness of the San Francisco real estate, I'm giving you the opportunity to put a hold on the unit now so we can take it off the market and have it reserved in your name to avoid any disappointment. To put a hold on the unit, you will be required to fill out the apartment lease/booking form (as legal backing) and make a down payment of only the first month rent and the refundable security deposit (as financial commitment). By doing this, the unit will be taken off the market and reserved in your name until your move in date.


Note that when the unit becomes vacant, you will be contacted to come over and take a tour of the unit and the building facilities. If interested, we shall proceed with the documentation proper. If for some reason you decide to not to continue with the lease, your deposit will be fully refunded to you there and then. This will be clearly stated in the lease booking form that I will be sending you.


Do get back to me with your decision so we can proceed immediately.

Sincerely,
Phil
3 votes
Debra (Debbi…, Agent, Livingston, NJ
Thu Feb 20, 2014
Glad you recognized the scam before falling prey Courtney!

You might want to "flag" that listing so that Trulia can remove it. Just click on "flag" under the address, and report it as fraudulent.....
best wishes!
1 vote
Just red this - didn't realize there was a "flag" option. I will start using this! Thanks Debbie!
Flag Mon Feb 24, 2014
Cindy Davis, Agent, San Diego, CA
Wed Feb 19, 2014
I agree with you whole heartedly. It appears that Trulia is not doing much to counter this.
1 vote
J.R., Both Buyer And Seller, Florida, NY
Mon Feb 24, 2014
To Flag it would be the best option....
0 votes
tjosdca, Renter, San Francisco, CA
Mon Feb 24, 2014
I have received the same email below for multiple units I inquired about, all over the city... Just the landlord name is different. When I replied early on they sent me a message out sending a deposit now to hold the unit and that is was currently unavailable to view and went on about the highly competitive SF rental market...

Bottom line I learned quickly, if it sounds too good to be true, it is too good to be true and move on!

here is a sample of the type of email I received:

Hello,

Thanks for contacting me, this apartment is available for short and long term lease.

690 Market St Unit: 2402
San Francisco, CALIFORNIA 94104
1 Bedroom, 1.5 Bathrooms
3063 Square Ft

One of the most incredible penthouses in San Francisco, this tech lover's dream sits perched atop the Ritz Carlton Residences--the epitome of luxury. Breathtaking views surround the genius of design, brilliantly melding every function into a tapestry of seamless beauty. Incredible home automation commands audio, video (7 screens and displays!), climate, lighting, and shades. Impeccable location with a Walk Score of 98, bathed in world class Ritz Carlton pampering: 24/7 concierge, 2-level gym, 2-car valet parking, resident lounge/terrace, and more! If you are looking for the best--the absolute best--this is it.
Basic Features:
Kitchen: Gas Range, Built-In Oven, Refrigerator, Dishwasher, Microwave, Island.
Laundry Appliances: Washer/Dryer, In Laundry Room
Other Rooms: Den/Study, Laundry Room
Views: Panoramic, City Lights, Water, Bay, San Francisco, Downtown, Hills, Twin Peaks
Heating/Cooling: Central Heating, Central Air
Fireplaces: 1, Gas Burning
Bathrooms: 2.5
Bedrooms: 2
Partial Baths:
Square Ft: 3063
Additional Features:
Parking Spaces: 2
Garage Spaces: 2

Lease plan: A month, 3 months, 6 months and A year for a start.

Monthly rental fee: $2,500
Security deposit: $1,000

Included in rent: Water, Electricity, Sewer, Cable, Trash and Gas

Warm Regards,



Oscar Howell.
0 votes
tjosdca, Renter, San Francisco, CA
Mon Feb 24, 2014
Hi Courtney,

I'm glad you asked this question. I am being relocated to SF and have been very disappointed by the number of posts that have turned out to be false listings. I used the Trulia App when we moved from Denver back to San Diego in 2012 and now am quickly becoming wary of this application because of the false listings. I'm finding it to be a lot less useful and a waste of my valuable time.

I think there should be a "Report" option added to alert Trulia to potential scammers.

Thanks,

Tim
0 votes
you can report it - click on FLAG under the listing and select the "faudulent listing option.
Flag Mon Feb 24, 2014
Linda Lorenzo, Agent, McKinney, TX
Thu Feb 20, 2014
Obviously you are a savvy renter but there are still many out there who are paying money in advance and getting scammed. You would think that with all the publicity about scammers that renters would be wary, I hope that posts like these will educate some more people.
0 votes
The Medford…, Agent, Fremont, CA
Thu Feb 20, 2014
Although it's definitely a problem here on Trulia, they are not alone, unfortunately. I've had to remove listings of ours that have been cloned and posted on HotPads, Craigslist and MANY other sites. It's a REAL problem - renters have to be VERY cautious.
0 votes
Dan Tabit, Agent, Issaquah, WA
Wed Feb 19, 2014
Courtney,
It's not just Trulia. I had a listing of mine cloned years ago on Craigslist. I wish Trulia would do more, but the consumer needs to be very careful.
0 votes
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