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October 22, 2014

REALTOR.com Cracks Down on Listing 'Scraping'

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REALTOR.com Cracks Down on Listing 'Scraping'

More real estate professionals have become concerned about the unauthorized use of their listing data, also known as "scraping." REALTOR.com recently announced several efforts to prevent the stealing and misuse of listing data at its site by other sites.

REALTOR.com says it logs, tracks, and monitors patterns “that signal illicit behavior,” and then blocks “those IPs from accessing our site.” And apparently, it's paying off. According to REALTOR.com, its site has seen a drastic drop in scraping attempts in the last few months. In October 2011, REALTOR.com reported 385 million scraping attempts compared to 75 million in February.

“The practice of stealing and misusing listing data is very common. ...Scraping happens everyday, and it’s something that’s surprisingly inexpensive for cyber-criminals to do,” according to REALTOR.com in a recent post at its blog “Lockbox.” The blog cites efforts by cyber-criminals, such as an ad recently posted from someone looking for a programmer to write a program to scrape listing data from REALTOR.com for $50.

REALTOR.com says its new programs have helped block about 1.5 million pages daily from being scraped by scammers. 

Source: “How Realtor.com Protects Your Listing Data from Scrapers, Scammers and Spammers,” Lockbox (REALTOR.com blog) (April 19, 2012) and “Realtor.com Details Anti-Scraping Efforts,” Inman News (April 20, 2012)

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