Not a single day goes by without most of us receiving spam robocalls or other unwanted scam calls, text messages, or emails. With this said, calls to extend your car’s warranty aren’t the only calls that you need to be weary of. Unfortunately, real estate has also become fertile ground for scammers to target. Whether you are a homeowner, landlord, buyer, seller, or renter, there are real estate scams targeting all of us. Although new real estate scams are developed virtually every day, we share some of the most common ones below.
4 most common real estate scams
- Wire scam: This is a common type of scam that can quickly result in a significant loss of money. In this scenario, someone pretends to be your real estate agent by hacking into or copying their contact information and calling you to deposit good-faith money or an earnest deposit into a fake bank account. Needless to say, you will want to contact your real estate agent or attorney to confirm prior to taking any action.
- Fake listing scam: In these cases, scammers will typically take real photos from actual listings and post them on various sites such as craigslist or on social media sites. If contacted about a property, these scammers will typically require an upfront deposit prior to seeing the property. As a best practice, you should avoid doing any transactions via email or on the phone.
- “We buy homes” scams: Chances are that you have exited the highway and have seen the “We Buy Homes” signs at the stoplight. According to FinanceBuzz, more often than not, these are scams. These scammers will typically offer you a quick payout if you sign over the deed to your house to them early. Once they take over your deed, you are left with nothing except for the mortgage payments.
- Foreclosure relief scams: Although there are foreclosure relief services, not all are legitimate. In these cases, a fake company will prey on individuals on the brink of losing their homes. The scammers will then promise that they can stop the foreclosure process or modify the loan in exchange for an upfront payment. As a rule of thumb, never pay for any services until they have been completed.
Unfortunately, with a deteriorating economy we tend to see an increase in scams and crime in general. It is for this reason that we must all be diligent in all that we do. Whether it is a cybercrime or a housing scam, these events can be quite costly and time-consuming. As always, for real estate matters it is best to consult your local and knowledgeable real estate agent as well as a real estate attorney. Throughout the South Florida market, Live South Florida Realty, Inc. has become one of the most trusted real estate brokerages. We can assist you as well. Contact us today! Also, be sure to download our free Florida Home Search app!