Your Guide to Avoiding Real Estate Scams
The list of advantages of buying real estate in New York is endless. The city is lively, rich in culture and history, full of business opportunities, and home to some of the most beautiful dwellings. One problem exists, though, and that is the risk of real estate scams. Yes, the industry is rife with scammers who take advantage of unknowing buyers, and the thriving New York market is a major target.
There are a few tips to keep the scammers at bay. First, you need to use a reputable resource before you can forge ahead confidently towards procuring your dream NYC real estate. Scammers are smart, but buyers can be even smarter. The best strategy would be to nip the problem in the bud by leaving no loopholes.
Detecting the Problem
You need to know what kinds of scams exist in order to identify them. The typical real estate scams include:
· Wire payment fraud,
· Title fraud,
· Loan flipping,
· Rental rip-offs.
Preventing the Scam
The majority of real estate frauds that occur are a result of hacked email accounts and intercepted buyer information. Scammers find it easier to hack into emails with weak cybersecurity. That is why a strong password is essential for these accounts.
Also, avoid sending documents containing personal and sensitive information. Only share such data after you have thoroughly verified the seller’s identity. Without access to any information, scammers can do little or no damage.
Beware of the Rush Signal
A common tell sign is when the seller pushes you to send the money. For scammers, time is of the essence as they need to avoid detection. Whether you are buying or renting a home, if you feel you are being pressured to wiring money, you probably shouldn’t.
Be Wary of Account Changes
Nowadays, e-transactions have taken up the bulk of buyer-seller interactions because they are more convenient. At the same time, they are prone to cyber scams. Fraudsters will often hack into the seller or agent’s email account and intercept the correspondence. Posing as the seller, they will send you their bank accounts. Once you wire the money, they hit the road never to be heard from again.
Any email, phone number, or name changes even to a single letter or digit should arouse suspicion. Naturally, this requires you to pay apt attention. It is best to meet in person to verify such details before concluding the payment.
Get Title Insurance
Useful protection against title fraud is title insurance. This usually involves some sort of impersonation. The scammer forges the house documents under their own name, so everything appears to be in order. They are usually great actors and would put up a convincing show. Sometimes, they will have taken out a mortgage on the property, and once you sign the documents, they take to the hills leaving you to bear all responsibility. With title insurance, you are covered against such a situation.
How to Recover Your Losses
Time is your greatest ally. Alert the local authorities, the bank, and other interested parties as soon as you realize you’ve been a victim of real estate fraud. The earlier you do so, the better chances you have of recovering your losses. With the steps in this guide, however, you won’t have to bother with such. Rather than reporting fraud, it would be much better to prevent it.