Real Estate Fraud: 5 Tips On How To Avoid It

real estate fraud

Real Estate Fraud: How It Works

Real estate fraud is not new, but scammers have improved their tactics and are no longer limited to just phones or emails. Unfortunately, most people are unaware of how they operate and fall victim to them. It has become commonplace for scammers to have a field day with the internet. You need to understand how they work and what better way to do so than to learn how to spot them.

When venturing into real estate, you must be very careful because you deal with a lot of money. Condos aren’t cheap, and it is not easy recovering from such a huge loss. Here are some of the things to look out for, which will help you identify real estate fraud and condo scams.

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1. Fake Listings

First, you need to be wary of fake listings. Whether you are buying or renting a condo, you should be careful when you see a price that is too good to be true. Most times, these properties are listed at an unbelievably low price to draw buyers’ attention. Most times, the property will look great online, whether on the website, Facebook, or Instagram. That’s how most of the real estate scams happen these days.

It is usually a red flag that such property isn’t real. You have to be careful communicating with any agent or person with such a listing. If you are asked to wire money before viewing the property or ask for sensitive information from you, it is likely a scam, and you should leave immediately and report such persons to the police.

2. Scammers Impersonating A Buyer Or Seller

Another possible real estate fraud is the case when a scammer poses as a buyer or even an agent of the condo property. It is easy for anyone to upload pictures of rent or sale properties today. They can claim to be real estate agents, especially on social media. Even some buyers pretend to have an interest in a property.

You have to be careful with people like this. You should do a little research about them. If the agent has a website, you can easily find out people’s opinions about them. You can also explore forums to determine if they have any scamming records.

3. No Formal Business Page

Most real estate fraud perpetrators don’t have a formal business page. They have very little information about themselves online. If you are dealing with an agent, you should find out more information about his/her business. If there is nothing to show or any online reviews, that’s another red flag. Also, you find any information about them online, but it leaves out any reference to real estate, it is also a sign they may be scammers.

“It is important that you only patronize reputable companies, especially when buying condos. To avoid getting scammed, only buy from certified sources. It is critical to look out for those that have an official business page and licenses to engage in real estate transactions”, says Will Parker from CondoWizard, a company specialized in Whitby condo units.

4. Unwillingness To Meet In Person

Scammers would avoid any physical meetings. They will prefer to hide on social media. If you ask to see the property and meet them, they will cook up an excuse but will readily request your money. Most likely, the excuse will be about the pandemic these days.

As a buyer, you must be careful not to exchange money for any property before seeing it and before any legal contract has been drawn.

How To Report a Real Estate Scammer

Warn your family and online friends know about real estate fraud on social media. You can report scammers and suspicious activity officially to the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) using this link, below:

Report To The FTC Here

Protect Yourself More

If you want to be the first to receive the most notorious scams weekly, please subscribe to the Scam Detector newsletter. You will get periodic emails – no spam.

Meanwhile, educate yourself with some other real estate fraud-related articles below this paragraph, so that you know how to stay safe online. Last but not least, use the Comments section below to expose other scammers.

Realtor Impersonation Scam

Common Real Estate Scams

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selma hrynchuk
Selma HrynchukSelma is a fraud prevention specialist renowned for her expertise in private eye investigations and a remarkable partnership with law enforcement agencies. Beyond her investigative triumphs, her public speaking engagements and written works have empowered countless individuals to protect themselves and stay ahead of deceptive schemes. Selma's legacy shines as a tenacious agent of change, unyielding in her commitment to battling fraud and ensuring a safer world for all.

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