An agent has said his business is getting up to 100 false leads a day from Rightmove.
Luke Bennett, director of SW19 which has three branches in south-west London, said: “We have approached Rightmove and they have confirmed that someone is targeting their website and that they cannot find a solution.”
Rightmove yesterday evening confirmed a spam problem, although it said that this was confined only to a few agents.
Bennett said that the problem has been going on for about a week and is proving “an aggravation” in terms of wasted staff time.
In an email from Rightmove, the firm was told: “We’re aware you’ve been sent some leads that are not genuine.
“We’ve been investigating this problem due to repeated abuse of the Rightmove lead form.”
Bennett said that on one day his firm received 100 false viewing requests, and that yesterday there were about 30. He said it has been impossible to detect the false leads from the genuine ones until they are followed up.
The leads that Bennett’s firm is experiencing are viewing requests for both sales and rental properties, and all have false names and telephone numbers, he told EYE.
Bennett, whose firm uses Zoopla’s Expert Agent software which is automatically reporting on the number of leads, said: “We cannot possibly be the only firm to be struggling with this.”
Yesterday evening, a spokesperson for Rightmove said: “A small number of agents have received some email leads through the Rightmove website recently which we’ve identified to be spam.
“We know this is irritating and we’ve been working closely with these agents to separate the leads from genuine home hunter leads and remove them from their reports.
“We’ve introduced short-term changes to help this and are also working hard to augment our existing measures to prevent these leads being sent.”
Last night, Bennett said that fake leads are still continuing to come through.