10 Mar Beware of Internet Scammer in the Housing Market
How to Beware of Internet Scammer in the Housing Market
- Transfer the closing funds or down payment to a fraudster
If you are in the process of buying a home beware of the digital scammers who target the buyers, real estate agents, and the escrow officers.
This can cost you tens, hundreds and even millions of dollars in markets such as Los Angeles or New York city as properties prices soar in the past 8 years and the down payments are at staggering amounts. The scammers target the real estate agents and escrow companies and find the closing date. Then on the closing day, they send a fake email, usually cloned from the original with logo and contact name, to the buyer with a change of the bank account and routing numbers for the account, so you will wire the down payment to their account. They even insert their own telephone number in case you will call to confirm.
If you get a notice at the last minute to change a bank account number, go meet the title officer to confirm the “changed” details in person.
The officials are investigating, and realtors issued a warning.
2. You are paying for a rental that it does not exist
The scammers find a home for sale or in foreclosure that is vacant and then makes a fake listing of a house for rent. They post online images that might have taken from the realtor site or they took themselves and insert their contact information.
In many cases, they send you an agreement via email and ask you to send the money to a bank account outside the country or a cashier’s check to a PO box address.
Before sending any money search online to see the property and if it is for sale or in foreclosure. Ask to talk to the property owner or manager in person. If you are from out of town contact a local real estate agent who can gladly find you a property and do all the due diligence work for you.
If you are renting a home for vacation, use AIRBNB or OAKWOOD, This way you can review feedback and your money will be refunded if the rental is a scam.
In conclusion, trust your gut and if something smells fishy, it usually is.
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