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  1. #1
    Gus
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    Default Beware of fake real estate ads on Craigslist

    A local realtor has been caught posting fake real estate ads on Craigslist.

    No, I'm not talking about the fake advertisments for the too good to be true apartments for rent (which the site is filled with). The real estate agent was busted for posting explicit sex ads about a rival realtor.

    http://www.miamiherald.com/news/brea...ry/161662.html

    For more than a month last fall, hundreds of men hunted Debbie, an Internet vixen who promised ''you'll go home with a smile'' for the right price.

    Their lurid messages did not go to an escort. Instead, they went to a Realtor and married mother of two who eventually called police.

    An investigation traced several of the Web postings to the home of fellow Realtor Dean Isenberg, 42, the police search warrant said. Last month, detectives raided his home while investigating possible charges of cyberstalking and unauthorized access to a computer network.

    ''There's nothing I've done wrong,'' said Isenberg, who sells properties with his wife Bonnie as the "I-Team."
    Dean Isenberg sounds like a real jerk.

    I often complain that Craigslist is full of real estate spam, but I'm referring to fake ads for properties, not fake ads for sexual favors from realtors.

    How is a normal person supposed to find a nice place to live?

    And what is it with people using Craigslist to post fake sex ads. It reminds me of the Craigslist sex baiting prank I blogged about at Discourse.net.

    Do you trust the ads at Craigslist?

  2. #2
    Senior Member Doug's Avatar
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    Hi Gus,

    Interesting story! The real estate business is even more competitive than I thought!

    I've found that Craigslist is full of email harvesters -- people who collect email addresses to sell to spammers by placing fake ads. It works against people responding to ads as well: I've noticed when trying to sell furniture, find a roommate, or pretty much anything on Craigslist, that I'm always getting "generic" replies, requesting more information (e.g., "Very interested! Is this your best price?"). Sometimes when I google the email address, I find that they've posted ads all over Craigslist in different sections. When you reply, you never hear back from them. Then, a few days later a bunch of spam shows up in your inbox.

    The only way to get around this is to only respond to ads (or emails) that provide phone numbers (though this wouldn't really work for sex ads). If someone is replying to an ad you placed, request in your ad that they provide a phone number or other specific information so you'll know they're not a spammer. Maybe in the future, Craigslist will enable people to respond to ads without having to reveal their email addresses. That would solve the problem.

  3. #3
    Suzanne C
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    Talk about competition! Apart from whatever legal backlash he's facing, she should sue him for defamation of character!

  4. #4
    Gus
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    Hey Suzy, Doug just posted some excellent tips about moving to Miami and avoiding the Craigslist Hustle:

    "They would advertise something like, “Jr. one bedroom with balcony, French doors at 15xx Pennsylvania Avenue, $850”—and it would appear in issue after issue. On Craigslist, one place with the same pics kept popping in week after week advertising parking, a pool, and really low rent. I didn't go for that, either. I learned early on that when dealing with Craigslist, look for phone numbers in the ads"
    Great job, Doug! I'm sure people moving to Miami will really appreciate your article.

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    Senior Member Doug's Avatar
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    Thanks, Gus! I'm happy to pass some of this on in the hopes that people can avoid the traps, as well as having to worry about things needlessly (as I did).

  6. #6
    Senior Member Doug's Avatar
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    This is what is behind a lot of the ads on Craigslist:

    The Dreaded Spambot

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    Hey Gus, Dean Isenberg has made a fortune on his real estate business without the assistance of Craigs List. Real estate is kicking butt in Miami at the moment. Even if it was not, not only would he need Craig's list, he certainly would not need your idiotic comments to make him look like a low life, you can only dream of the money he makes. You may want to call him a "JERK", but he has been through hell and high water after the loss of our dad to get to where he is now. People make mistakes (I'm sure you have had yours), but Dean worked his butt off to get to where he is at now, and it was not due to Craigs List. Until you actually know a person's life and situations my dear friend, please do not call my brother a jerk. He is an awesome guy, and I KNOW you would think so too if you knew him. Debby Thomas sterlingsilvr@austin.rr.com

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    Senior Member Doug's Avatar
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    Debbie, no one on here claims to know him personally, but in all fairness, don't you think making a fake hooker ad for your competition and then saying you've done nothing wrong once you get caught qualifies someone as a jerk? And pointing out that he isn't one because he makes a lot of money doesn't make him any less of a jerk. Au contraire! A lot of wealthy people are jerks. Especially if they have to defame their competition in order to do so. Have you or your brother thought about the grief he caused this woman? Some conscience, not a fat pocketbook, would be the best indicator that he's not a jerk. And a mistake is something you do on accident. This was an on purpose.

  9. #9
    Member Maria de los Angeles's Avatar
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    Gus, unfortunately the original Herald link is no longer active ... I found this report on another site.

    Sounds like a plot line from a Carl Hiaasen novel!

  10. #10
    Suzanne C
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    Actually Debby, I don't have to KNOW your brother or know of the difficulties he faced before, during or after anyone's passing to know that your brother Dean is SHADY, SELFISH and GREEDY.

    He PURPOSEFULLY set out to ruin someone's reputation for his own personal, MONETARY gain. That's shady and greedy. What's more, he posted that woman's personal contact info as well as work related contact info in his ads.

    Her phone did not stop ringing for months. What about the struggles she went through in life to get ahead only to have to combat your brother Dean's adult version of playground badmouthing? What about her CHILDREN- the ones who had to endure months of phone calls at all hours from people making obscene comments? Do 'good' people purposefully set out to turn childrens' lives upside-down? I know jerks do.

    A person's work is one thing but to purposefully try and cause damage to her home life and children...That's not a jerky thing to do Debby, that's downright SLEAZY, not to mention a CRIME; which is why he is going to be prosecuted for it.

    Dean worked his butt off to get to where he is at now, and it was not due to Craigs List.
    Gee, I wonder how many other competitors he snowballed.

    And by the way, since Real Estate is NOT kicking butt in Miami (2nd straight year we make the Top 5 cities in the country list for foreclosures), I'd venture saying IF your brother Dean has been making any money, it's because he's been pulling scams like the one he pulled on that poor woman he antagonized. Truth be told, if he has made a FORTUNE, as you say, he should be able to find something better to do with his time (and fortune) other than to use Craigslist to harass people.

    Lastly, I happen to think my sister is an AWESOME GAL, even when she's being bitchy to people. Brotherly love is potent stuff. You'd never think badly of your brother- as this CRIME proves.

    If you really don't think what he did was all that bad, a)can I have your home, cell and work numbers to post, alongside the e-mail address you listed above, on Craigslist with an offer of low-cost sex services? AND b) (if you have children) would you ask your brother to teach your kids about workplace ethics?

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    Please know that I had no idea of any of this until last night (my daughter was researching my brothers for reasons unknown to me), my heart goes out to Debbie now that I have seen the full extent of it, but I cannot change the damage that may have been done in this situation. I no longer live in Miami, which is a major backstabbing place to live, when I posted last night, I did not read all the links my daughter sent me. Dean is my baby brother, and we were not raised in this manner, but my apologies to Debbie and the rest of you are in order, I had trouble accepting my own brother doing something of this nature, especially since he has a wife a 2 kids himself. But as I mentioned Miami Beach is a big time back stabbing place to live and also conduct business. Sincerely, Debby Thomas sterlingsilv@austin.rr.com

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    Why does that not surprise me? There are plenty of wealthy dirtbags in Miami and thats no gauge of personality ethics or common sense. If you are doing good in realestate right now something is up. Morgage brokers and realestate agents are packing it in and finding other jobs. You are so right #2 in foreclosures...

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    Quote Originally Posted by Gus
    A local realtor has been caught posting fake real estate ads on Craigslist.

    ...
    How is a normal person supposed to find a nice place to live?

    Do you trust the ads at Craigslist?
    I trust some of the ads on Craigslist. I have purchased a car from there well below market value.
    A normal person can look for a professional like me and I would be more than happy to find the best possible deal on the market :coolsmile:

    http://www.veloire.com

  14. #14
    Suzanne C
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    Craigslist is a powerful tool. I sold a car on there and I scour the garage sale posts for pictures of trash, I mean treasure.

    It's unfortunate that scammers always try to ruin a good thing.

  15. #15
    Full Member MiamiRentsAlot's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Veloire
    Quote Originally Posted by Gus
    A local realtor has been caught posting fake real estate ads on Craigslist.

    ...
    How is a normal person supposed to find a nice place to live?

    Do you trust the ads at Craigslist?
    I trust some of the ads on Craigslist. I have purchased a car from there well below market value.
    A normal person can look for a professional like me and I would be more than happy to find the best possible deal on the market :coolsmile:

    http://www.veloire.com
    I'm in the same business as you and it's not easy for a "normal" person to find decent and honest professionals in this town. I run a lot of ads on Craigslist and all of them are for real. Quite a few of my clients I drew from them complained about a large amount are fake. It's true. Way below market value prices for properties that go for a lot more and fake pics.

    $900 a month for a brand new unit in buildings like Midtown Miami, Quantum, Latitude, or Brickell On The River? Give me a break! An educated person is going to know it's a joke.

    Miami is overrun with assholes and a bunch of morons. There are more backstabbing individuals here that I come across than anywhere else.

  16. #16
    Member Maria de los Angeles's Avatar
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    Guys, this is a good thread to create awareness. Can you share with us perhaps any tell-tall signs a new Craigslist reader should look for? A long-term local here may know what's bogus, but those people looking for places to rent who are from out of town won't really know. Also, what should CL readers look for in a genuine real estate agents, once they make contact?

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    Quote Originally Posted by MiamiRentsAlot

    I'm in the same business as you and it's not easy for a "normal" person to find decent and honest professionals in this town. I run a lot of ads on Craigslist and all of them are for real. Quite a few of my clients I drew from them complained about a large amount are fake. It's true. Way below market value prices for properties that go for a lot more and fake pics.

    $900 a month for a brand new unit in buildings like Midtown Miami, Quantum, Latitude, or Brickell On The River? Give me a break! An educated person is going to know it's a joke.

    Miami is overrun with assholes and a bunch of morons. There are more backstabbing individuals here that I come across than anywhere else.
    Unfortunately I have to agree with most what you wrote, however, I seriously doubt that other metropolitan areas have less back stabbing ....etc. The grass is not always greener somewhere else. I heard some horror stories form California/ L.A. and New York.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Maria de los Angeles
    Guys, this is a good thread to create awareness. Can you share with us perhaps any tell-tall signs a new Craigslist reader should look for? A long-term local here may know what's bogus, but those people looking for places to rent who are from out of town won't really know. Also, what should CL readers look for in a genuine real estate agents, once they make contact?

    On Craigslists opportunities that seem too good to be true, usually are.
    I am not working with rentals so MiamiRentsAlot can give much better advice on that area, I guess.
    If you are a buyer or seller check out your agent's license make sure he/she has at least a few years of experience.
    https://www.myfloridalicense.com/wl11.asp
    Also make sure he/she is a professional and not a part time agent, part time mortgage broker, stock broker, part time waiter and yoga instructor...etc…lol
    If you are selling your property or ready to make an offer, ask your agent to show you a printout of recent sales of the subdivision and the section of the subject property. Ask him/her the neighborhood boundaries. Let him/her explain the details why it is cheap or expensive ...etc. Look for a professional with detailed skilled opinions not an entertainment center or a fashion model.
    I work only with one agent in my company beside myself. I am always looking for agents to expand with little luck. Greater part of people are looking for fast money and not willing to learn and invest into themselves for the long run.
    If you look for a good agent to buy or sell, this company I can personally guarantee: http://www.veloire.com/
    The link I placed is directly connected to the subject, so I hope its okay with Gus :red:

  19. #19
    Full Member MiamiRentsAlot's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Veloire
    Quote Originally Posted by MiamiRentsAlot

    I'm in the same business as you and it's not easy for a "normal" person to find decent and honest professionals in this town. I run a lot of ads on Craigslist and all of them are for real. Quite a few of my clients I drew from them complained about a large amount are fake. It's true. Way below market value prices for properties that go for a lot more and fake pics.

    $900 a month for a brand new unit in buildings like Midtown Miami, Quantum, Latitude, or Brickell On The River? Give me a break! An educated person is going to know it's a joke.

    Miami is overrun with assholes and a bunch of morons. There are more backstabbing individuals here that I come across than anywhere else.
    Unfortunately I have to agree with most what you wrote, however, I seriously doubt that other metropolitan areas have less back stabbing ....etc. The grass is not always greener somewhere else. I heard some horror stories form California/ L.A. and New York.
    No, the grass isn't always greener on the other side. L.A. is similar to Miami except probably worse, because it's 100,000 x's the size. As a native New Yorker and being extremely familiar with the folks and it's surroundings it's nothing like the other cities mentioned. It's more sophisticated up there. For the most part people are reliable and are not posing to be something they are not.

    Anywhere you go for the most part there are always going to be backstabbing assholes. Some places are just worse than others.

  20. #20
    Full Member MiamiRentsAlot's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Veloire
    Quote Originally Posted by Maria de los Angeles
    Guys, this is a good thread to create awareness. Can you share with us perhaps any tell-tall signs a new Craigslist reader should look for? A long-term local here may know what's bogus, but those people looking for places to rent who are from out of town won't really know. Also, what should CL readers look for in a genuine real estate agents, once they make contact?

    On Craigslists opportunities that seem too good to be true, usually are.
    I am not working with rentals so MiamiRentsAlot can give much better advice on that area, I guess.
    If you are a buyer or seller check out your agent's license make sure he/she has at least a few years of experience.
    https://www.myfloridalicense.com/wl11.asp
    Also make sure he/she is a professional and not a part time agent, part time mortgage broker, stock broker, part time waiter and yoga instructor...etc…lol
    If you are selling your property or ready to make an offer, ask your agent to show you a printout of recent sales of the subdivision and the section of the subject property. Ask him/her the neighborhood boundaries. Let him/her explain the details why it is cheap or expensive ...etc. Look for a professional with detailed skilled opinions not an entertainment center or a fashion model.
    I work only with one agent in my company beside myself. I am always looking for agents to expand with little luck. Greater part of people are looking for fast money and not willing to learn and invest into themselves for the long run.
    If you look for a good agent to buy or sell, this company I can personally guarantee: http://www.veloire.com/
    The link I placed is directly connected to the subject, so I hope its okay with Gus :red:
    Here's a prime example of a fake ad on CL:

    $899 - 1 Bedrooms in brand new hi-rises in the Downtown/Brickell areas.
    Stainless Steel Appliances
    Granite Countertops
    Concierge/Security
    Marble Floors
    Washer and Dryer
    Covered Parking
    State Of the Art Amenities
    Million Dollar View

    Displaying fake pics.

    Stuff like that. Please there is no way in HELL that is exists in those areas. If that is someone's price range that's one thing, but don't lead people on when in reality you will get much less than that.

    Be careful with going through private owners directly. If you do make sure you get a receipt when you leave a deposit and just fill out an application. Don't sign anything until you read and understand the contract in full.

    This is the reason why I suggest to go through a licensed agent. Like myself I write receipts and go over contracts to make sure there is no mis-understanding. I don't charge a fee and will go the extra mile, but don't have me run rampant and than have the balls to tell me the next day you don't really have to move when it was a different story. Sorry I'm not a tour guide.

    I pre-qualify everyone that comes my way. Rule of thumb be honest with me with things such as income, credit, pets, how many people, rental/mortgage payment history, and what you are really looking for. I will also make sure the owner is financially stable. Mortgage, maintenance, and tax payments are current and up to date. A lot of cmy lients are moving due to foreclosures.

    I get a lot of phone calls off of the ads I run. Most of the prospects who call are dead beats. I weed the losers out. Out of every ten 1-3 are going to rent. My time is valuable too.

    On the sales side I operate the same way Veloire does too. Read his post. No need to repeat it. Unfortunately, I'm not targeting it, because the market crashed. It costs less to rent.

    Anyone who uses an agent and for some reason feels something is shady than you have the right to check with the Department of Business and Professional to see if he/she is licensed.

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