Fake emails offer $5 Zillow leads

A new scam is targeting Realtor in Florida and elsewhere. The hook is an email that arrives from Zillow, though the company has nothing to do with it. It seems to target Realtors who don’t use Zillow services and offers them a bargain price for two new leads – only $5.

Realtors who receive the email assume that it’s a marketing tactic, and that the bargain price is Zillow’s way of enticing them to try the service to see if they want to continue.

The email, however, does not come from Zillow, and the $5 introductory offer is a tool to get Realtors to input their credit card number and other information.

According to an article in Inman News, a Realtor in Oviedo, Florida, received one of the Zillow scam emails and responded to it. The message offered “two new premium real-estate leads from ZillowAds” but said “Note: You have to unlock these premium leads in order to see complete contact details.”

Instructions for “unlocking” the ads appeared at the bottom of the email: UNLOCK THESE PREMIUM LEADS FOR $5.00.”

The Realtor said the email ad had Zillow’s logo and appeared real. When she clicked on the bottom bar, it redirected her to a webpage with a URL that includes “www.zillow.com” in it, but the actual domain name at the end was “.info” rather than the “.com.” After submitting her credit card info to pay the $5, however, she didn’t receive the leads.

To find the missing leads, the Realtor turned to Zillow’s real website.

“These are scam emails and are not sent by Zillow,” the representative said, according to Inman. “Unfortunately, these emails are being sent directly to your email address, and are not going through any of the Zillow systems, so my team and I cannot block these emails from going to you in the future.”

The agent was advised to change her emails and passwords if she already shared private information, and to report the fraud to her credit card companies because “your credit card information may have been compromised.”

The Zillow representative also said that the company never requires anyone to unlock information.

The National Association of Realtors® says it’s looking into the scam.

Source: Inman News, April 7, 2017

© 2017 Florida Realtors

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