Real Estate

Zillow: We use the best fraud prevention system available

Who do you believe?

As first reported by HousingWire on Tuesday, some real estate agents accuse Zillow, an online real estate marketplace, of allowing scammer “leads” to slip through its system and into their inboxes.

Zillow, in response, sees no problem with its system, and argues it uses one of the best fraud prevention systems available.

“We have put a lot of time and energy into developing, what we consider, the best fraud detection and prevention capabilities out there, including the ability to filter these types of messages,” Zillow said in an email to HousingWire. “Should an agent get a lead that appears to be fraudulent, we encourage them to report it to us and we will block the user.”

Jay Thompson from Zillow Group commented on the article which questions whether or not real estate agents often get fraudulent leads, calling the article "factually inaccurate" in some instances. He added an extra layer to the Zillow email to HousingWire: "Agents can report these to and/or flag them directly from the listing information page on Zillow."

One of our readers, Milly Casas, left this unflattering comment on the message boards:

Zillow and Trulia are a waste of realtor's money. They advertise homes as active when they are under contract with open escrows. They are purposely misleading the consumers. Anyone can place a house for sale and I found some are bogus listings. In addition the leads are a total waste of time and money.

Zillow responded that while there are occasional scammers, the vast majority of the contacts are legitimate consumers looking to connect with an agent.

One user, blackberryuser, recently posted this on Reddit, which started the conversation about whether or not spamming is a common occurance among Zillow users.

Zillow, again, adds it is doing all it can to prevent these scam emails from getting through its system.

“We take any kind of fraud very seriously,” Zillow said. “We can’t share specifics of our tactics, but we do everything we can to prevent this type of behavior.”

Further, some readers object to the original article itself, with one calling the HousingWire coverage "ridiculous," and another referring to our content as spam.

Read at the bottom for a full version of the criticism.


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