Watch out for real estate scams
Real estate scams have increased across the country. The Lawhead Team would like to share an article from BBB.org to let you know the most common way scammers try to get your attention when you buy or sell a house.
The following is from the Better Business Bureau:
Fraud and scams are common in the realm of real estate. BBB serving San Diego, Orange and Imperial Counties urges you to be on the lookout so you don’t fall victim. Whether you are buying, selling, or foreclosing, BBB wants to make sure you are doing so with caution.
As indicated by the National Association of Realtor Estimates, 90% of consumers turn to the web first to search for a rental. Con artists exploit the posting’s date to target their victims by posting them as their own. These phony listings will require you to provide money forthright, asking you to wire it. In addition, they may also ask to run a credit check on you and provide you with a phony application that asks for personal and financial information. Scammers will even go to the extent of strategically listing the rental price at an extremely low rate to garner interest, enticing more people to attend an open house, in which they can pass out more fake applications.
Losing your home is scary and you wouldn’t want scammers to aggravate the situation. Con artists will often pose as foreclosure experts offering to help negotiate and reduce your mortgage payments. At times, they will request to collect the fees upfront and then vanish. In times like this, these false ads may sound appealing, but BBB urges you to do your research before allowing anyone to assist. It is vital to know your rights. Thus, recognize that it is illegal for a company to charge for mortgage relief services until you actually receive and accept a written offer from your lender. Here are some red flags:
- Asks for money up-front
- Requests wire transfers
- Asks to make mortgage payments directly to them
- Suggests you transfer your deed
Though rare, one of the most devastating scams is title fraud. This typically starts with identity theft. The scammer will use illegitimate documents, acting as the property owner, forge documents, and transfer the property in his or her name. In the wake of securing a home loan, the trickster will take the money and vanish. In these cases, homeowners that rent out their homes or do not have a mortgage are in fact more vulnerable to falling victim to title fraud. The best way to ensure you are not scammed is to get title insurance.
Article about real estate scams is from BBB.org http://www.bbb.org/sdoc/news-events/news-releases/2015/real-estate-scams/