Searching for a flat online is increasingly safe: less than 3% of private ads are ‘fake’

05/03/2020
Searching for a flat online is increasingly safe: less than 3% of private ads are ‘fake’

The International Safe Internet Day, a date that, as one of the reference digital players in the Spanish real estate sector, is once again a great opportunity to analyze Internet fraud and the online security of the user and real estate client. In this sense, searching online is increasingly safe. And it is that only 2.6% of the more than 160,000 ads published by individuals in one of the real estate portals during the last two years were identified as fraudulent and subsequently eliminated by the portal.

The portal uses a proactive system reviewing, 365 days a year, all the ads of individuals who are registered in the portal. In addition, the portal acts on the complaints of its own users. Thus, the website immediately deactivates any advertisement that cannot confirm the data. In the same way, the company has alerts that allow it to detect phishing cases in its customers, acting quickly.

The big capitals, the coast and the islands, the most problematic areas, since it is where there is more demand and where the highest proportion of fraudulent ads is published

The highest concentration of fraudulent ads occurs in the most dynamic real estate markets such as Madrid, Barcelona and Valencia, as well as coastal areas of the peninsula and the Balearic and Canary Islands, especially in the period between March and June, when they multiply Online fraudulent ads for summer vacations.

“The attempt to fraud users interested in renting a home is made through false ads that are published by organized groups that are very difficult to keep track of. It is important to minimize the risk trying to verify the real existence of the property as much as possible and act at all times with common sense. In case of being a victim of a real estate scam, you have to gather all the information and report the case to the Police or the Civil Guard. ”

How to recognize Internet fraud? A suspiciously low price, confusing text or watermarked photographs are some of the keys to detect possible scams
The price: You have to distrust the "bargains" or "bargains" that include all real estate expenses. Even more when they are "completely renovated" and in the best area of ​​the city. The sector reports that publish portals such as flats.com help to get a clear idea of ​​how much it could cost to buy or rent a home in Spain.
The text of the announcement: That the owner indicates that the rent is “urgent” and that he needs the money “as soon as possible”, should put us on alert. Also if the ad is written in a ‘strange’ language. There are foreign scammers who publish ads with an unclear Spanish, poorly translated or with small grammatical defects.
Photographs: Many of the ‘fake’ ads use watermarked photographs because they are being used without the permission of the image owner.
The form of contact: Often fraudulent ads only offer to contact the advertiser via email with an email address that also does not allow to know who is behind it. They also usually give a mobile phone or phones with special pricing (initiated by 905, 803, 806, 807, etc.). In addition, you should suspect if the mobile offered is never available. The landline is more reliable and easy to check.
International Safe Internet Day has been celebrated since 2004. This year's motto is "Together for a secure Internet"

International Safe Internet Day (Safer Internet Day) is an international campaign. Its purpose is to draw attention to the "responsible, respectful, critical and creative use" of technology. Originally, the European Union proposed the Safer Internet Day in 2004 and is currently celebrated in more than 100 countries around the world. The motto of 2020 is "Together for a secure Internet". The objective is to promote and discuss the need for a safer Internet, especially for girls, boys and adolescents.