How to spot real estate or housing fraud?
Real estate fraud can be costly and stressful for victims. That's why it's important to know how to spot it so you don't get scammed. Here are 12 tips on how to spot a real estate or housing scam:
The offer is too good to be true: If the offer sounds too good to be true, it probably is. Be wary of unusually low prices and offers that require a quick purchase.
Advance payment: If the scammer asks for an advance payment before you can see the home or sign a contract, it could be a scam.
Unclear or illegal contract: Beware of unclear or illegal contracts that may hide unfair terms or financial traps.
Owner absent: If the owner claims to be absent or out of town, be suspicious. It's best to visit the property in person before signing anything.
Address untraceable: If the address of the accommodation cannot be found or appears to be incorrect, it is probably a scam.
Fake photos: Be wary of ads that use fake photos or images from the Internet to showcase the property.
Poor communication: If the scammer dodges your questions or the answers are unclear, it is probably a scam.
Refusal to meet in person: If the scammer refuses to meet you in person, be suspicious.
Fictitious owner: If the owner claims to be a representative of a fictitious company or refuses to provide valid contact information, it could be a scam.
Refusal to provide financial information: If the scammer refuses to provide financial information or show you financial statements, be suspicious.
Discrepancies: Look for discrepancies in advertisements, contracts, or financial information.
Refusal to show you the home: If the scammer refuses to show you the home before you sign the contract, it is likely a scam.