New lead generation scams on the rise, Zillow warns

A scammer is sending agents messages asking for money in exchange for contact information for 'Kelly Sawyer'

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Zillow is warning real estate agents to be on the lookout for scammers trying to take money in exchange for leads, posing as the real estate technology giant.

Emails were sent to Premier Agent members and Zillow customers Friday with tips on how to identify scammers. In the email, the company warns to look for websites, email addresses and phone numbers that look similar to Zillow’s. Zillow never asks to give PayPal account details or make a wire transfer.

The company is asking anyone who sees a potential scam to report it to agentcare@zillowgroup.com.

“We take fraud very seriously and have been working hard to reduce spam leads on our site,” a spokesperson said. “Please be on the lookout as well.”

In one such scam, reported by Inman last month, real estate agents receive text messages promising a lead from a buyer named “Kelly Sawyer.” Clicking the link brings the agent to a bogus Zillow page with a “.info” domain name and a request for a “small advertising fee” for full contact details.

Screen shares from a Facebook post about a new scam trying to take real estate agent’s money for fake Zillow leads.

“We will never ask you for payment before we send you details about a lead,” the spokesperson said. “If you are in doubt about a lead, please consult the Premier Agent app or inbox. Only leads found in the app and Inbox are from us.”

Email Patrick Kearns