3 Real Estate Scams You Need to Watch Out For
June 15, 2021 | Kirk Callender
It’s never a good feeling when you’ve been taken advantage of, but being scammed out of your hard-earned money by a monumental purchase is even worse. Unfortunately, real estate scams are becoming all too common in the world. Be on your toes when picking out a home or apartment, and be aware of the signs you are facing a potential scammer.
A relatively new form of scam has developed because of the internet—the rental scam. People have become incredibly comfortable buying products online. But for living spaces, you always want to inspect them in person.
Rental scams start innocuously enough. You are checking out homes in your area, hoping to find your dream rental. Scammers will often reach out to you with an offer to buy their home, but occasionally they will just wait for an unsuspecting shopper. The scammer will have a nice-looking property that can be enticing. However, they will act like they don’t want you to see it and will request a sizable down payment upfront. The whole process will seem short-term. Don’t give them your information.
Foreclosure Relief Scams
Desperate homeowners that are worried they will lose their home are often sought after by foreclosure relief scammers. These “helpers” will ask worried tenants to hand money over to them to “save their home.” In reality, the homeowners are losing equity on their home, money from their pocket, and can be evicted by the scammer.
Additionally, phantom help can lead to criminal charges in California because it is considered mortgage and real estate fraud. Never give your account information to anybody who isn’t associated with your bank. It isn’t smart.
Buy and Bail
One form of fraud that renters and agents need to be made aware of is the buy and bail tactic. This is where a homeowner who is in the red on their current home abandons it for a newer home they “bought” from a real estate agent. This form of fraud starts as soon as a buyer forges or fakes information on their documents.
If you ever notice somebody faking information, immediately report it to the authorities. You don’t want to be held liable for the bank losing money on two different homes. Sadly, this type of property fraud has increased over the last few years.
Being careful about house fraud and scams can save you a lot of money. On top of that, you won’t have to worry about making a faulty decision that can take away your hard-earned cash.
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