Technology has changed the way properties are bought and sold. But it’s also created a world of opportunity for fraud and scams. Just recently, the National Association of Realtors warned that its name is being used as part of a property rental scheme.
Rental property is offered to consumers, who are led to believe that NAR is functioning as an intermediary for rental deposits from prospective tenants. Prospective tenants are told they’ll receive the keys to their rental units after they send money by Western Union to NAR’s purported agent in the United Kingdom.
NAR, obviously, is not involved in the questionable business. But the potential for damage remains. Some of the listings have been posted on Craigslist, which reportedly has had difficulty in tracing the original listings.
At a time when online real estate advertising and marketing has surpassed print as the medium of choice–and the checks and balances offered by traditional media are gone–how can CRE pros protect their companies, their names and the reputations of both?