After watching ABC's Lookout last night, it really hit me that bogus listings are a problem and a growing one. According to the FBI’s Internet Crime Unit, false rental property listings are growing at an 8% to 10% rate.
People are showing up at the home they thought they rented only to find the homeowner unaware of any advertisement regarding a rental opportunity for their home. Chances are pretty good this fraudulent tactic (the “owner” collects a deposit) will head over to the homes-for-sale side of the business, if it hasn’t already (Hey, I’m going to put my neighbor’s home up for sale online just to screw with him).
While the Internet has changed how consumers search and conduct business for rentals and homes-for-sale, it has also opened Pandora ’s Box for scams.
The ABC show pointed out just how easy it is to defraud consumers online with bogus listings. So, how can this be stopped or certainly slowed? Pay to play.
When someone posts a listing online for free….IMO, they get what they pay for. A free listing or “post your property here for free” won’t work and the bad guys are proving it out.
The old adage “you get what you pay for” and “nothing is free” is alive and well. If there’s value in the product or service chances are we pay for it…….On the other hand, when something is free, I usually don’t expect much and in these growing cases it looks like; “free can bite back”.
Value for free……..for me, not so much :)