The Internet can be a wonderful thing. It has power that is hard to imagine. In the words of Buzz Lightyear “TO INFINITY & BEYOND”. No seriously. If you want to know something, just ask the Google. It will tell you. Or Bing or Yahoo or Facebook or Twitter or….well you get the idea. While there is so much good that is in the Internet, there some bad folks with less than ideal intentions and they use the Internet too. Unfortunately scams happen bad those with less than honorable intentions

So what can you do? First, set up a Google Alert on you and your family. A Google alert will send you an email if you, your family, business or whatever appears on the Internet somewhere. I use it all the time in my business. I have alerts for Realty One Group, Arizona Real Estate, Sedona & Prescott so we can stay up on the fun stuff happening in the area…and be on top of things that may not be quite as fun. To get started all you need to do is go to www.google.com/alerts

Online ScamNow what about your home? There are some pretty bad online scams out there. One that has been circulating Arizona is using Craigslist. Scammers find a nice looking house & offer it for rent. They may tell would be tenants that the house is currently occupied & can not be shown. But if the prospective tenant will give a deposit and rental application (usually at a greatly reduced rate) they will hold the house for the tenant. The prospective tenant wires the funds and just like that, the “landlord” and the money disappears. Many times the house was never available for rent. So how to know if someone is scamming your house on Craigslist? AGBeat recently had a great article on using different technology to protect your home from online scams. Using IFTTT, which is a free service, can help you set up alerts to help you avoid the inconvenience that some of these scams can cause. Go to Craigslist for your city and in the upper left you can perform a search of your address. This will all be done from the main page and you don’t