One of my fellow bloggers, Sticky Crows wrote a comment on the other blog stating he firmly believed the value of Craigslist for finding tenants for his rental property. I do see a value in the free service Craigslist offers but I also see after a long search yesterday with responding to emails there is a lot of potential for money making with credit protection services and email address harvesting.
Case in point in the beautiful city of Pensacola, Florida where I'm seeking an apartment for rent. I see lots upon lots of listings with varied google email accounts that give remarkable pictures and remarkable amenities including some with 2000 square feet as a one bedroom one bath apartment single unit.
I've started to flag a lot of them because these listings when I email them for more information as simple as the location, I receive a reply to fill out a credit report because giving out the location makes the unit suspect for possible break in burglaries.
They politely tell me via email they must have a recent copy of my credit report including a credit score to give to them and include on this "fake" rental application that is designed to harvest, name, social security numbers, work places, previous addresses, and other references.
And yes, again, there's no real telephone number to call anyone about the property and only a direct statement you must fill out this online form for getting your credit report through this company and no others.
I did on one on a whim email an ad back from Craigslist when they asked for this information to say I received my credit score back and if there was anyone I could call to talk about this with questions.
Nothing happened at all. It's as if the auto reply feature turns off after the first email they send back offering Credit Protection Service.
I flag these listings that are without any doubt fake on Craigslist and see wise people have also done the same during the same type of search.
Then I get happy when I see a note from Craigslist the listing has been flagged for removal. But then a few minutes later, the listing just re-appears at the top of the page as it just posted completely over again with only a slight variant of email address as the one we in the CL community removed.
I realize it's a free service and you tend to get most of what you pay for with CL, but I do agree, it does have some value. Maybe I just have been too blind to see what that is.
Have a great weekend everyone!!
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