Realtor.com Hit with Lawsuit Over Fraudulent Leads
By Maggie Wilson @ Real Estate Daily
June 4, 2018

Realtor.com and parent company Move Inc. were hit with a lawsuit for selling fraudulent leads. Several realtors brought the suit against realtor.com after becoming fed up with paying for false leads.

Specifically, the suit alleges that the company counted the same individual as separate leads, failed to remove clearly fraudulent leads, and sold the same leads to multiple customers despite promises of exclusivity.

A former employee of Move Inc. made similar allegations towards the company. Early this year, Brian Bobik claimed he was wrongfully terminated from Move for refusing to participate in shady lead practices like delivering “bogus” leads.

Key Takeaways

  • A group of Realtors hit Realtor.com and parent company Move Inc. with a lawsuit over fraudulent leads
  • Realtor.com allegedly counted the same individual as separate leads, failed to remove clearly fraudulent leads, and more
  • Brian Bobik, a former employee of Move, says he was wrongfully terminated to refusing to participate in shady lead practices

Excerpt

Have you heard the news? Realtor.com and News Corp. subsidiary, Move Inc., has been hit with a class action lawsuit by a couple of realtors who have had enough — and they’re bringing their friends with them.

The lawsuit alleges that the company has defrauded thousands of agents by failing to deliver the number of viable leads from realtor.com it promises.

Big surprise? Not really, especially for anyone who has ever invested in leads from realtor.com.

The way most people would describe the leads? Let’s just say it rhymes with pit.

Before we dig into why this isn’t surprising and how to avoid falling into this trap for lead generation efforts in the future, let’s look into the facts of the complaint.

The suit says that the company:

  • Counts the same individual as a separate lead each time that person submits a contact form for a listing — whether the listings are in different ZIP codes and whether or not that person was already previously provided as a lead
  • Fails to remove duplicate leads that, though they may have different contact information, are clearly the same lead based on IP address and time of contact form submission
  • Fails to remove clearly fraudulent leads based on IP address, the person’s geographic location, the information submitted on the contact form, and history of submissions from the same device or IP address
  • Provides the same person as a lead to multiple Move customers, despite promising one or more of those customers “exclusive leads”

Below is an excerpt from November 12, 2017 email from plaintiff Tina Wilson to Move requesting that her account be canceled immediately:

This is not the first lawsuit alleging fraudulent leads — there are even allegations from former sales reps.

An example of this would be the lawsuit filed in January by Brian Bobik. Bobik alleges that he was wrongfully from Move in retaliation to his objection and refusal to participate in what he believed to be unlawful conduct. This includes lying to real estate agents to get them to pay for leads, delivering “bogus” leads, charging agents for services they never ordered or received, and billing agents’ credit cards without authorization.

I personally know an agent who has filed complaints with realtor.com about getting unauthorized charges to his credit card.

A lot is wrong with realtor.com.

For any agent out there, beware – realtor.com is not the only place where shady lead generation goes on for the real estate industry.

The good news, however, is that not every service is shady.

Continue reading about red flags in lead services at The Real Daily