Problems with Craigslist

Real Estate Broker/Owner with Crossroads Real Estate LLC
With everything that could go wrong in Real Estate, this problem
should not happen, but exists in many other businesses.   This problem
should have the easiest solution but shows how criminals twist laws to
their advantage.

The Wisconsin Realtor's Association has been releasing articles about
the advantages of advertising on the local Craigslist.  As a concerned
Real Estate Agent I concentrate on using all the available tools to
sell a client's home as quickly as possible.  I use a number of proven
Internet web sites, one of which used to be Craigslist to sell Real
Estate.  I decided I had to end my association with Craigslist for one
simple reason.  Their lack of concern put me and my clients in a
dangerous position.

Scams are prevalent on Craigslist.  In this case I advertised a
listing for a home for sale on the local Craigslist site in Milwaukee.
 It didn't take long before I began receiving phone calls, asking me
information about renting the home.  I explained the house was for
sale and occupied by the seller.  Callers would tell me they suspected
a scam, then told me about another ad they saw on Craigslist.

I located the ad and attempted to alert Craigslist of the scam.
Someone from a different country knowm for scams copied pictures and
descriptions from my ads of the homes for sale, and posted it as a
rental for only $300 a month.  Most people called me from the yard
sign, but a few were so exited they instantly wired money to a foreign
country.  In each case it was much more than $300.  The scammer told
them to knock on the door for the keys, or to call me.  In some
instances the victims wired thousands and were told I would refund the

This put myself and clients in a very dangerous position.  I called
the FBI and National Association of Realtors to report the scam.  Both
contacted Craigslist and were told they refuse to do anything about
the scams.    The National Association of Realtors attorney called
Craigslist only to be informed they had been through this many times
and claiming freedom of speech protected them.

This is an example of poor communication.  The NRA was aware of a
problem and failed to alert its members and the public.  Freedom of
speech should be allowed to work in both directions, along with
responsibility and ethics.
Posted by

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Dennis Herman Realty Home Town Realty Home Town Realty,N3091 State Rd. 67 Campbellsport, WI 53010

Phone: 414-426-1784  Fax: 888-645-2580


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Ralph Janisch ABR CRS Broker
Janisch & Co. - Conroe, TX
Selling Northwest Houston to good people like you!

I've put a few things on Craigslist and never had any success.  But, then again I didn't have any problems either.  Just not much of a fan of Craigslist.

Sep 13, 2012 11:56 AM #1
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