Fresh Meat Has Arrived
Are you looking to rent / buy / sell your home, room or apartment? Then beware of a trend that many Facebook users are reporting. We caught wind of the issue two weeks ago as one of our bloggers started to investigate Facebook groups in several cities.
We began working with an affiliate (SpareRoom) and decided to join several groups in cities that we do alot of business in. We gave word to our blog team and let our eyes watch. It did not take too long to see a pattern.
In San Diego, we started to promote SpareRoom on a Facebook Group where people can list their homes, rooms, apartments and even find roommates. It didn't take but 30 seconds for the spam posting to start.
"It's almost as if the admin for the group condoned the spammer silently" said one of our blog team members. "Every time I would post, the same link and message would be shared by different memebers, then a series of likes would follow" he reported.
Crunching The Big Apple
So we headed East to see if the same thing was happening there. We took a look at the Big Apple. We got accepted into many rent/sell groups and watched. Sure enough, same situation. Tampa, yep, there too. Atlanta, you guessed it. Dallas, Houston, Phoenix - I think you already get the point.
In New York, there were several postings that were obvious scams. Renters asking buyers to make a deposit before even viewing the apartment - the reasons always were creative and colorful. One scammer even posted pictures of elderly people with blackened eyes and bruised faces saying "my grandparents are scared because someone assaulted them last week. That's why we are asking for a good faith deposit before we meet".
After seeing Facebook groups being mentioned in media news channels locally and in other countries, we began to wonder if Facebook actually monitors what goes on. One case, a lady posed as a baby photographer and offered free sessions to women with newborn babies. Her plan was to kidnap a child. After poisoning a lady with a cupcake, she finally got arrested. Police arrested her and her teenage daughter (see story).
The best way to avoid the scammers/spammers, simply do not repond to or click the links (which usually start with sites.google.). You will get plenty of contact from legitimate people who are looking to make a real business connection.
Does anyone have any suggestions on what can be done about Facebook groups whose admins are a part of the plot to spam? Please email email@example.com