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Setting Up a Google Alert for Your Home Address

June 16, 2010

After the Clark Realty-Waimea sales meeting yesterday, an agent mentioned that she had received a call from someone asking if one of her listings was for rent.  The caller mentioned Craigslist.

Last September, I posted about this rental scam on the clarkhawaii.com blog, but yesterday’s conversation reminded me that not everyone is familiar with using Google Alerts.

I’ve also had a seller whose property was the target of this scam, so now I recommend that sellers take the step of setting up a Google alert for their own address when they list their property.

This isn’t a fail-safe protection from scams, but it is one tool to use to monitor where your address appears online.

Setting up a Google Alert is simple.

Here are the steps:

  1. Go to the Google Alerts page: http://www.google.com/alerts
  2. Enter the search term you want to monitor.
  3. Choose the type of content for which you want to receive an alert.
  4. Choose how often you want to receive email notifications (as it happens, once a day, or once a week).
  5. Enter your email address.

If you are signed in to Google, you are done.  Otherwise, you will receive an email requesting verification of the alert.

My Google Alerts come in every day at 7 pm — I monitor blogs from the Big Island, my name and a few other terms related to work. Yes, I sort through some junk, but I’ve also found some situations that required action.

If you use other monitoring tools, I’d like to hear about them!

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