Warning: The Latest Real Estate Scams and How to Avoid Them
People have been falling for real estate scams since the beginning of time. They have affected our society to the point where the scams have been ingrained into popular culture. If you don’t believe that, I have a bridge for sale in Brooklyn.
Victor Lustig, a con man visiting Paris (not Paris, Tennessee), once sold the Eiffel Tower for scrap metal TWICE to unsuspecting buyers.
Many people fall victim to these types of scams due to their own greed. That’s not always the case. Others fall because they are grabbing for straws due to desperate situation.
The old adages about scams are sound advice.
Trust that little voice when it tells you that everything does not add up.
If the train is leaving the station now, wait on the next one.
If it sounds too good to be true, it probably is.
I believe the best way to avoid a scam is to recognize it on the front end.
The #1 way to recognize is to learn about their existence and the way they work.
This way they stick out like a hair on a biscuit.
Many of these scams are newer versions of the old favorites.
These are three of the latest real estate scams to avoid.
- Advance Fee Scheme: This one is typically targeted at folks trying to sell their own home. The homeowner receives a cal from an interested (out of state) buyer who is willing to pay over the asking price. The buyer offers to take care of the closing, if the seller will send funds to pay their closing costs. Once the funds are sent, the prospective buyer disappears and your money is gone.
- New Wiring Instructions: This scam targets buyers (and title companies) at the worst possible time. Just before closing the buyer receives an email from the title company with a change to the wiring instructions. What the buyer doesn’t realize is the email was hacked and their money is gone.
- Out of State Renters: You find a home to rent at a great price. The owner is a missionary overseas. If you send him the deposit and rent, he will deliver the keys to the property. Once the money is gone, so is the homeowner. This typically happens with vacant homes for sale. In some cases, the renters moved in anyway; unaware that they were deceived. If your home is vacant for any period of time, you could be a victim too.
If you have an unusual like these and want a second opinion, let me know.
It’s better to be safe than sorry!
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