Real estate scams are increasingly becoming more popular, and targeting more vulnerable people. Over $1 billion was transferred from the purchase of real estate into accounts that were under the control of criminals in 2017. The problem is deep set, and looks like it will continue to cost the real estate buyer a fortune.
Losing your money to a real estate scammer after spending a long time trying to find a home can be a stressful event. You may end up without a home and out of your savings if you are the victim of one of these scams. But unlike online and computer scams, not a great deal of precautionary information is available.
How do you know a real estate scam? For starters, a request to wire the settlement of funds immediately during a real estate transaction may be as a result of a scam. Before sending any money, especially through tertiary bank accounts, you should verify with your agent and keep records of such transactions and verifications.
The internet has enabled people to widen the scope of their real estate hunting. You may be miles away, but could still find property in an area through the internet. Real estate has entered into the digital age, with almost half of people looking for property doing it online. You might fall prey to a false listing. These are designed to look real and appealing, and to convince interested buyers to drop hefty deposits. You will need to do some research before buying any property from the internet. Make sure you can corroborate it with maps, verify its presence in the records of the particular place, and find other legitimate images of the place as well.
The classic seminar scam that was so popular before the digital platforms became a legitimate base to research and view a property listing is also thriving now. Scammers create and advertise fraudulent seminars, through which they will offer real estate tips and market certain listings. Customers are provided with little information, but are persuaded of the property’s appeal. This unsuspecting victim ends up buying a house that is badly flawed, with some even being conned out of their money outright.
The seminar scam may even involve paying for additional classes. After experiencing one seminar, which may have been infused with good real estate information and tips in order to make it seem legitimate, people may be tricked into paying large sums for additional classes. You should find out as much as possible about a real estate agent before paying for any classes.
You should also be wary of potential scams during the moving stage. Scammers have also encroached into the moving phase of real estate, and are looking to target unsuspecting people who may be after an affordable move. It is advisable to look into a mover thoroughly before sanctioning the move, as well as having the agreement in writing in case of any legal action. This will protect you from falling into easy scams that may ruin your ability to make your move.