Today we want to talk about a serious issue that’s affecting the real estate market – fake sellers and landlords. Recently, there have been numerous cases where fraudsters pose as legitimate sellers or landlords and scam innocent people out of their hard-earned money. In this blog post, we want to advise you on how to avoid falling victim to these scams.
To give you a background, we were directly involved in such a incident. We got a property with three parcels under contract in Orange county representing a buyer, this was couple of weeks ago. In a week time, we noticed another active sale listing for one of the three parcels. We spoke to both listing agents and were able to get the fake listing out of the market. Here is the advisory based on some more information from Florida Realtors on fake sellers.
Firstly, always verify the identity of the person you’re dealing with. This can be done by checking their credentials and licenses with the relevant authorities. It’s also advisable to meet the person in person or have a video call before making any payments or signing any contracts. Don’t rely solely on online communication, especially if you haven’t met the person before.
Secondly, be wary of deals that seem too good to be true. Scammers often use the lure of a good deal to entice unsuspecting buyers or tenants. Always do your due diligence and research the market value of the property you’re interested in. If the price is significantly lower than the market value, it’s probably a red flag.
Thirdly, never make payments to an individual or company that you’re not familiar with. Use a secure payment method and only pay through reputable platforms or escrow services. This will protect you in case of a dispute or if the deal turns out to be a scam.
Lastly, if you suspect that you’re dealing with a fake seller or landlord, report it to the relevant authorities immediately. This will not only protect you but also help to prevent others from falling victim to the same scam.
In conclusion, we urge you to be vigilant when dealing with sellers and landlords in the real estate market. Verify the identity of the person you’re dealing with, be wary of deals that seem too good to be true, only make payments through reputable platforms, and report any suspicious activity to the authorities. Let’s work together to prevent these scams and ensure a safe and secure real estate market for all.
Here is a reference link for some more information on who can file a complaint with IC3 ( Internet Crime Complaint Center ), from Florida realtors association.