Real Estate Frauds and Scams are viral all over the news after some residents in Hazleton became in danger of being evicted from their “thought to be” own homes, reportedly sold to them by a Real Estate Agent named Ignacio Beato. Con-artists are getting creative on how to lure and catch unsuspecting buyers, lenders, and sellers. Here’s the list of the three most common real estate frauds and scams to watch out for.
1. Online Market Listing
These kinds of scams are common now that we live in an era of internet. Scammers make use of online buy-and-sell sites such as Amazon, eBay and Craiglist to advertise cheap homes for sale or for rent. The scam artist pretends to be a property owner and landlord and will respond to e-mails and inquiries about the property for sale or rent. Transactions will be made off-site due to some reasons the scammer may provide. Exchange of keys and cash will be made in person. The unknowing victim will only find out that he/she has been duped upon seeing that the property is already occupied.
2. Foreclosure and Refinancing Fraud
Homeowners who struggle to meet with mortgages and rents are the most vulnerable targets of scammers who use this kind of fraud. The scammers will approach a homeowner who is in danger of being foreclosed and offer a refinancing loan. They will demand for an upfront payment and an agreement to transfer the property title. Once the victim falls for the trap, the criminal will keep all the payments made by the owner and ignore the bills and taxes. The criminal then remortgages the property and flees with the money, leaving the victim without the home but still in debt.
3. Real Estate Workshop Scam
First-time real estate investors are the prime target of these kinds of scams. Scammers will post an advertisement in a different website offering crash courses on real estate investment. They promise to turn your investment into millions if you attend one of their workshops. It is common that the first session would be free of charge or will only be worth a couple of dollars, but they will tease their victims of enrolling in advance courses to better know and understand their trade secret. Sometimes, they even make the investors sign an agreement that if the investor fails to make money, they can’t come back and sue them.
Keep yourself in the know to protect yourself from being a victim of real estate scams and frauds. Share this article to your family and friends too, so that they won’t fall prey to scammers.
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