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Property Fraud: Recover Your Lost Funds
How Does Property Fraud Work?
Property scams vary greatly in how they are executed, but they all aim to steal money from unsuspecting individuals who are interested in renting, buying, or leasing a property. In these types of scams, the fraudsters often pose as property owners, landlords, real estate agencies, property management companies, or other property-adjacent businesses to trick their victims into handing over money or sensitive financial and personal information that they can use to steal from them.
From rental property scams to property buying scams, every year more complex types of property fraud emerge that you need to be aware of. At Foresight refund LTD it’s our goal to fight back against rental, real estate, and property scammers. If you think you’ve fallen victim to one of the many property scams out there, don’t hesitate to contact us today. We will assign a fund recovery specialist to your case to get started right away. The sooner we start reviewing the evidence and determine the best course of action for your unique case, the faster we will be able to get your money back.
Common Property Buying Scams
Escrow Wire Fraud
In escrow wire fraud scams, the fraudsters typically gain access to an email account associated with a real estate sale that’s currently in progress. They usually do this through some sort of phishing attack targeted at a real estate agent, a lender, a title agent, or a buyer. They then contact the buyer at the appropriate point in the sale process and pose as someone from the title or escrow company, asking the buyer to wire funds to a bank account. They then disappear with the wired funds.
Loan Flipping Scam
Loan flipping scams involve ill-intentioned lenders convincing homeowners to repeatedly refinance their mortgage, borrowing more money each time. This results in the property owners eventually ending up with more loans than they can realistically afford to pay off, and the malicious lender earns more and more in fees and interest.
Foreclosure Relief Scam
In foreclosure relief scams, the scammers target people who have homes in foreclosure by advertising foreclosure relief services or acquiring lists of properties in foreclosure. They promise to help the victims keep their homes for a fee, but never actually provide the foreclosure relief they promised.
Moving companies have also been known to commit fraud in a number of ways. For example, they may demand cash upfront and then never provide moving services or they might not give you a written estimate and then charge you much more than you agreed on for a move. Or, they might get you to sign a blank contract for the moving services and charge you an exorbitant sum after moving. Moving scammers have even been known to hold belongings hostage until you’ve paid them whatever they want.
Commercial Real Estate Scam
Buying or renting a commercial property comes along with the risks of different types of commercial real estate scams. Scammers may pose as property owners and demand money upfront to see a property, then never appear to actually meet you in person. Or, they might show you a property that’s different from the one you saw online. Other commercial real estate scammers forge documents in order to obtain sensitive data from you that they can use to steal funds or your identity.
Home Inspection Scam
Real estate scammers sometimes work with home inspectors to commit fraud. Fraudulent home inspectors will tell you everything is alright with a property in exchange for a fee from a scam real estate agency, so you end up paying way more than something is worth and are stuck with expensive repairs down the road. Alternatively, scammers might just pose as home inspectors and charge you for inspections, when they really have no idea what they are doing.
Title or Deed Scam
In title and deed scams, the scammers attempt to illegitimately transfer the ownership of a property to someone else, without the real property owners knowing about it. They can do this by altering real deeds and titles with different names. They may then use the altered titles and deeds to sell the property to an unsuspecting buyer or to borrow money against your property.
Common Rental Property Scams
Fake Property Listings
Scammers often place fake property listings on rental sites, or copy existing listings from them, and use these to trick interested renters into giving them money as a deposit for a showing. Of course, they never show up to the property to give you a tour — if the property even exists at all.
Fake Letting Agents and Landlords
Fake letting agents and landlords show potential renters around spoof properties, then ask them for a deposit or a month’s rent upfront. They then disappear with all the money before the victims realize that the individuals weren’t who they say they were and weren’t authorized to rent the property or receive payments for it.
Fake Overseas Landlords
Scammers sometimes use the excuse that they are “overseas” as a reason to ask interested renters for holding deposits in order to not rent a property to someone else before the interested party views it. The properties usually don’t exist or the listings are clones of real listings that are instead operated by fraudsters.
In property phishing scams, the fraudsters send out bulk emails pretending to be someone from a rental or letting agency. They ask the receivers to pay rent or other fees for their rentals through a fake online portal or by providing credit card details due to some type of fake issue that they invent.
Fake Printed Listings
Though less common than online property rental listing scams, some printed listings you see in newspapers or flyers may also be fake. Scammers use these to lure in unsuspecting victims and try to get upfront payments from them to see or hold a property.
Property Scams Online
Facebook Property Scams
Fraudsters also use Facebook to place fake listings for properties for sale or rent. The scammers pose as landlords, real estate agents, or property owners and invent various reasons why they need upfront payments to show you a property.
Rental Property Scams On Craigslist
Craigslist is another online property listing site where scams occur. The scammers use the same tactics as elsewhere, posting fake rental or for-sale listings and tricking victims into sending them deposits, holding fees, or other upfront payments.
Fake Property Scam Websites
In more complex property site scams, the con artists will even go to the lengths of setting up a whole fake website for property listings. They may even clone the websites of legitimate listing companies, real estate agencies, property management companies, or rental agencies.
Property Scam Questions? You’re covered.
Properties that don’t match listings, landlords that won’t meet you in person, and individuals or companies who demand up-front payments are all red flags of different types of property rental scams.
Know what the market values of properties in your area are and don’t believe any deals that sound too good to be true. Have a lawyer, real estate agent, or other reputable expert examine any sale contracts for inconsistencies and errors before signing anything.
What Are the Most Common Besides rental and sale scams, there are also foreclosure relief scams, home inspection scams, moving scams, loan flipping scams, title and deed scams, commercial real estate scams, and phishing property scams to be aware of.
Yes! Many people who have fallen victim to a property scam have successfully retrieved their stolen funds by working with a fund recovery firm, like Foresight Refund LTD. Fund recovery specialists are familiar with the ins and outs of the many different property scams out there and know how to track down and put pressure on the scammers.