Sometime in 2018, the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) published a report that showed that about $150 million was lost to real-estate fraudsters that year alone.
This highlighted the need for experts in the industry to improve their cyber-security measures.
A lot of real-estate experts believe that having too much personal information online and email hacking are the main reasons a lot of people fall victim to these frauds.
In this post, we will be taking a quick look at how you can avoid scams when either purchasing or selling a house.
AVOIDING REAL ESTATE SCAMS
A CEO of a reputable company who had previously been a victim of real estate fraud stated that there are signs that anyone looking to purchase a house needs to watch out for. He advised that a buyer should avoid buying any house if they see any of them.
Here are a few pointers that will help you avoid real estate fraud scams:
- DO NOT SUCCUMB TO URGENT REQUESTS: One of the ways to identify a fraudster is that they want everything done in a hurry. That way, they can complete their scams without leaving any obvious evidence of who they are. Always keep in mind that no one has any right to put you under any kind of pressure when selling or buying a house. You should take all the time you need to verify every bit of information provided by the prospective buyer or seller. This is why you should take time to find a credible real estate company like https://homeflippers.ca/
Rushing into making a decision because of the incentives they offer or with the aim of avoiding someone else beating you to the property will only make you more vulnerable to these scams. Also, be extremely careful if you are asked to wire funds to a third party.
- ENSURE THAT YOUR DOCUMENTS ARE SENT SAFELY: One of the common mistakes among a lot of real estate agents is that they often send PDF real estate contracts without any security measures. This is a terrible idea, considering that crucial and sensitive data such as the price, payment structure, closing dates, and much more is documented in the contract. Using a transaction management system to send real-estate contracts is more secure than sending them through e-mail.
- ALWAYS VERIFY PAYMENT INFORMATION PERSONALLY: You should call the recipient of the funds directly to verify the account details before sending the money if you are buying a house. If you are selling, you should demand a one-on-one interaction with the buyer before handing over the contract. Watch out for any e-mail that asks you to send or input sensitive information about yourself and your account.
- UNUSUAL CHANGES COULD BE YOUR CUE TO ABANDON THE SALE: People don’t just change their account information like that. Hence, a change here may be your cue that you are about to fall victim to a scam.
Being a victim to fraud or scams when purchasing or selling a house is fully avoidable and the steps above show you how.