Jon Zolecki leads in Craigslist apartment spam race

We’ve written about Chicagoland Property Group (“CPG”) a number of times, and singled the firm out as the most prolific source of spam apartment ads at Craigslist.

CPG accounts for nearly 1 in every 10 City of Chicago apartment ads at Craigslist, with 5,750 ads as of yesterday afternoon for a shockingly small number of buildings. Search on Streeterville, for example, and CPG had 622 of the 2,578 ads returned in search results. Another firm accounted for 600 of the Streeterville ads, many of which are not for Streeterville apartments.

When we wrote a year ago, Jon Zolecki ranked third among CPG’s spam-bots, with 623 ads. He had 982 apartment ads at Craigslist as of yesterday afternoon, more than CPG’s spam-family trio combined.

Take a closer look at Zolecki’s ads and things quickly turn ugly. His ads for Elm Street Plaza studios, for example, tout rents ranging from $1,300 to $1,420 a month.

According to Elm Street Plaza’s website, the lowest price for an available studio was $1,450. Zolecki ads for other properties surface much larger discrepancies between advertised and actual prices.

CPG is just one of the Chicago rental services that gain your attention by spamming you with abusively repetitive, inaccurate ads at Craigslist, Trulia, Zillow and other websites, and resorting to other deceptive tactics. You’re going to miss out on some of Chicago’s best apartments if you work with a rental service – and that might be the least of your losses.

The best way to find Chicago’s best apartments is to work directly with property owners and management companies. Spend a few minutes with YoChicago’s best landlords list, and our apartment reviews and at-a-glance lists. You’ll be pleasantly surprised by how easy it is to find a great apartment in the neighborhoods we cover, and you’ll avoid the risk associated with responding to rental service ads.

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