Craigslist spammer of the day: Andy Trejo and iQrentals

by Joe Zekas on 4/7/14

We haven’t written about Andy Trejo before, but he’s been on our radar for well over a year, and his company names have been on our Chicago rental service do-not-call list. The LinkedIn screen cap on the left, above, dates to January of last year. The one on the right is current. The LinkedIn profiles tell you that Andy’s company is “taking Chicago by STORM!” My take: it’s the kind of storm defined at Urban Dictionary.

A search for “Andy Trejo” at Craigslist yesterday surfaced 197 apartment ads. All of the ads contain exact addresses for actual apartment buildings. That might lead you to lend some credibility to the ads, which would be a huge mistake. They’re spam, and placed by someone I think you’d be a fool to contact.

For starters, the IDFPR license lookup database contains no record of Andy Trejo having ever held a real estate license of any kind.

A week ago I emailed the compliance staff at MRED, the local MLS, questioning how Trejo could be listed in its Find a Realtor search without ever having been licensed. He’s no longer listed in that search.

Added 4/7 1:32 pm: MRED just emailed that Trejo’s named was misspelled in the IDFPR database and at MRED as Trego. He now appears in the MRED search as Trego. See below, and note the gap in dates of his licenses:

I haven’t contacted all of the 26 properties Trejo is currently advertising, but I know for a fact that almost all of the ads are being run without the written authority required by the Illinois Real Estate License Act, 225 ILCS 454/20-20 (a) (26).

Trejo currently does business as iQrentals, formerly @rentals. If you have a moment to spare, you might call Andy and ask him about the name change.

Note the variation in the way the phone numbers are presented in these ads, and the random text that’s included in the ads. These are often indications that Craigslist has previously flagged and blocked the spammer’s ads.

When I dialed the phone number (twice) yesterday to speak to Andy, the voice mail message said “Hi. You’ve reached Rob. If you’re calling about the apartment, please leave a message after the tone and I’ll return your call shortly.”

Tip: You should never respond to any Craigslist ad that contains randomly-generated text.

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