In the process of purchasing a home, real estate scams are usually not at the top of your to-do-list. Soon-to-be homeowners have a lot on their plates, from packing their stuff to assembling their financial records. Although there are many of unscrupulous persons out there seeking to take advantage of unwary consumers, it is important to safeguard your possessions and future financial security.
If individuals aren’t aware of the dangers, they run the risk of losing a significant amount of money possibly their whole life savings to cunning scammers who know exactly what they’re doing.
ESCROW WIRE FRAUD
Escrow wire fraud is a common scam used to defraud unsuspecting homeowners. In order to fool unsuspecting customers, these con artists create phoney websites that closely resemble real loan institutions or title agencies. Problem is, the details about how to reach you have been altered. One letter or one number may separate the URLs, phone numbers, and e-mail addresses. These scammers then contact naive purchasers claiming to be a representative of the lender or title business in order to arrange up a transfer for the monies in the buyer’s account.
Wire transfer fraudsters take advantage of their victims’ lack of awareness and make it tough for them to recover their money. For this reason, you should never do any financial transactions without first consulting your original paperwork. Texts and emails should never be clicked on first verifying the URL. Contact your business representative to verify that the wiring instructions are correct.
DUPLICATED RENTAL LISTINGS
Over 5 million consumers have been conned out of money by scammers selling identical listings. However, it’s not always the case that younger individuals are the ones who get addicted. It is common for persons who have no connection to a property to post bogus ads on Craigslist and other media sites like Facebook. You’ll then be charged up front for the privilege of seeing the property.
New York and other highly competitive marketplaces have a reputation for this kind of behavior. It’s a “deposit” fraud, but scammers don’t return your money after they’ve taken it from you. Ensure that you engage with reliable and recognized rental agencies or property owners at all times! As a rule of thumb, it’s advisable to verify and sign documents/submit payments in person rather than over the phone or email.
If you or someone you know has been duped by a rental scam, the Federal Trade Commission’s website provides information on how to file a complaint.
Another widespread real estate scam in Florida and elsewhere in the United States is that of title fraud. Identity theft is the focus of this article. In order to acquire a second loan on a property, fraudsters would generate bogus paperwork that make it seem as though they own the property. This is problematic because the original homeowner (the one whose identity was stolen) may wind up having to pay for the extra mortgage that was fraudulently taken up on their behalf.
That old adage, “If it sounds too good to be true, it usually is,” applies here as well: This is a great statement to use in the context of loan scams. Those looking for the greatest bargain on a mortgage are the target of these real estate scams. However, these fraudulent loan organizations, which frequently market themselves as actual mortgage agencies, will sell guaranteed loans at a reduced price (typically a very low one) provided you pay an advance charge.
If you want to keep your personal and financial information safe, go with well-known financial institutions like banks and credit unions. Additionally, the FTC investigates loan fraud.
OVERSEAS WIRE SCAMS
If you ever get an email or a text message on your phone about investing in overseas real estate, you should be very suspicious of the information. Protect yourself from real estate frauds like these ones:
- Having to make decisions on strict deadlines,
- Not being able to speak to someone on the phone,
- Spelling errors in texts, emails, or other types of messaging systems including social media, and
- Quick changes in contract terms
PRACTICE CAUTION TO PROTECT YOUR ASSETS
If you’re concerned about the safety of your assets and financial future, you should exercise prudence anytime you make a transaction. You may be the victim of one of the many real estate scams out there. You may report real estate frauds by calling the Federal Trade Commission (FTC), but it’s best to deal with reputable companies (and verify who has contacted you).