Are Fake Felons Scaring Away Buyers?

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Services for Real Estate Pros with API Network

Ever get those notes from "friends" telling you to send this to everyone you know to protect them from whatever?  I received one of those today and I couldn't resist taking a peek.

Lots of traffic!Here's an example of how some people get traffic-- lots of it using a fake database filled with felons.  Ok, I'm not suggesting you do this, but it's always a good thing to watch what others do.  In this case, it's a spoof site that people have taken as fact. It's almost something I would expect to see from TheOnion.

They've only been around since the start of the year and they were up to almost 1 million uniques (uniques=different people) by April. They're down to just over 600,000/month now.  (To put this in perspective, ActiveRain had about 600,000 in April '08)

I didn't spend too much time reading, but after a few minutes their method was clear. It was enough realism that visitors would start forwarding before reading the details -- or even trying the same search twice.  e.g., Some of the criminals in my area are showing up in the University golf course. Not near it, I'm talking on the 7th fairway.

Here's an example of why it shouldn't take too much reading to figure out this isn't real: (from their About page)

Can I help by suggesting someone who needs to be listed?

Yes you can! Just use our contact page, and we’ll get them added in a hot hurry. Usually we verify it, but usually we don’t have the needed time or resources to insure it is valid. Please use this tool with honesty and integrity.

(Their "terms of service" page is even funnier.)

Anyway... here it is.   It's good for a laugh, interesting to see how others generate lots of traffic, useful to understand how clever techies/scammers will monetize traffic based on real looking fake data and crappy landing pages.   (Also good to know in case you hear of buyers being scared to attend your next open house)

All I ask is please don't click any of their "sponsor ads" as they're already making enough money from this.   PS.  It's ok to forward this post to everyone you know...  I've confirmed it's real :)

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Ambassador
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Russ Ravary ~ Metro Detroit Realtor call (248) 310-6239
Real Estate One - Commerce, MI
Michigan homes for sale ~ yesmyrealtor@gmail.com

There are so many scams you don't know what is real and what isn't anymore

Aug 19, 2008 08:11 AM #1
Rainer
25,424
Real estate with a purpose
Our Father's Houses Realty - Easley, SC

I got pulled into one of this several months back.  I didn't know enough to pull the same search twice, but when I happened to pull it a second time on my address, EVERYTHING changed!

Aug 19, 2008 08:36 AM #2
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Rainer
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Kasey Kase

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