Wednesday, September 19, 2012
A Scammer Stole Your Listing? How to Fight Back!
So, you've heard that your property is being advertised by a scammer for a much lower rent. What can you do?
The Bad News: There is no way to stop a scammer from copying one of your online ads and posting it with a lower rent and their own contact information. Of course, the scammers do this because they are trying to cheat an innocent renter out of their security deposit.
The Good News: You can fight back! Take these simple steps:
1. Set up a Google alert at: http://www.google.com/alerts. Put your property address in the 'Search Query' box.
2. Google will email you when they find your property address on the Internet. Of course, some of the alerts will be for your legitimate ads. Just check for any ads with a lower rent.
3. When you find a scammer ad, contact the website and ask them to take it down. If it's on craigslist.org, go to the fraudulent ad, flag it, and then craigslist will remove it.
Scammers are looking for easy prey. By fighting back, you won't stop them completely, but at least you'll block their efforts to scam renters using your property information. And, you'll stop the confusion of renters seeing your property at a lower rent.
Another Tip: Set up a Google Alert for your own name, so you'll know if anyone on the Internet is mentioning you.
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