Jane, Renter in Denver, CO

What kind of screening does Trulia use to prevent scammers from listing?

Asked by Jane, Denver, CO Mon Sep 12, 2011

851 S. Krameria St., Denver, CO property listed. "Owner" replied to my inquiry & is another "owner now in S. Africa"...

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Answers

6
Laura Feghali, Agent, Stamford, CT
Mon Sep 12, 2011
BEST ANSWER
Hello Jane,
Rental scams are evident on numerous real estate web sites. A popular ruse is for the scammer to take the information from a property that is "for sale" and post it as a rental listing in order to gain personal information or money.

I don't think that these real estate web sites have any screening as the Trulia site allows someone to register as a "landlord" and post his rental listing. No way to tell if it's legitimate unless you know the rental market well in that area.

Flag the listing or report it to Trulia via the link below:

http://www.trulia.com/help/ask

Thanks for your post!

Laura Feghali
Prudential Connecticut Realty
1 vote
Laura how long does it take for a flagged property to be reviewed?
Flag Sat Feb 21, 2015
Ron Rovtar, Agent, Boulder, CO
Fri Sep 30, 2011
Hi Jane and Emily of Trulia:

This is a good thread. Unfortunately there are currently (probably always are) a number of scams going on involving real estate for sale or rent. If you are a buyer, renter or even an agent you should be on guard. If something seems too good to be true, or even not quite right, you should check very carefully before releasing any money. In recent months we've seen international buyers who want to buy a property sight-unseen. They send earnest money in the form of a fake cashier's check then ask for some of it back before the check clears (or doesn't). I've had photos of my listing used by a "missionary." He offered the property for rent at a very low price. One poor woman left my open houses nearly in tears when she found out the house was not for rent. Fortunately, she had not sent money, but it sounded as if she would have had she not discovered the house being held open. The thing to remember is that real estate is very big money. Hence the scam artists do okay when they can skim even a very small fraction of a homes value through something like an earnest money shell game or by convincing a renter to send a deposit. So be careful! and triple check anything that sounds even a little suspicious.

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
Michael Kozl…, Agent, Englewood, CO
Sat Feb 21, 2015
There seem to be more and more real estate scams surfacing every day.
0 votes
A great idea to let your agent verify properties for you to make sure they are valid.
Flag Sat Feb 21, 2015
Emily Erekuff, Home Owner, Menifee, CA
Mon Sep 12, 2011
Hi Jane,

In the past few months we've implemented several measures to help combat fraud, such as phone number verification for all submissions, and manual screening in our top markets. Please read the blog below for more details about these features, and keep in mind that we will continue to launch more features in the future to reduce scam listings.

It appears as though this particular rental listing has already been removed from our site. If you encounter any other suspicious rentals in the future, please use the 'Report error' button on the property page to report them to us to help ensure that they are removed from our site.

Thank you,

Emily Erekuff
Community Moderator
0 votes
Great ideas, all websites should consider similar ideas.
Flag Sat Feb 21, 2015
Ron Thomas, Agent, Fresno, CA
Mon Sep 12, 2011
Sales are protected better, because you have to have Documents and you have to (as a rule) use a Title Company for the Escrow.

Renting in another matter entirely:
It seems that the number one SCAM involves an out-of-town owner and a request for the Renter to wire or send the money:

Even face-to-face, you probably should investigate the Owner/Landlord,
Do they really owner the property?
Are they about to go into foreclosure?
Are they requesting CASH?
What do the other Tenants say about the Landlord?
The Better Business Bureau?

I would try to hold Trulia responsible for an Ad or a Listing.
0 votes
Kevin Olson,…, Agent, Colorado Springs, CO
Mon Sep 12, 2011
I don't think there is really any screening going on; there sure isn't in terms of people trying to contact the professionals on here attempting scams. There are 3 simple ways that we all know of that people can use to post homes as listings on here. The best thing you can do is simply report is and hope that someone actually looks at the report to consider removing it.
Web Reference:  http://www.LiveInSprings.com
0 votes
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