Real estate scams can affect property owners, home buyers and renters! Northwestern Wisconsin real estate doesn’t attract many fraudsters, but you need to be aware of these scams.
Title fraud: A scammer looks for vacant land without any liens. Next, the scammer pretends to be the property owner. He may use an unsuspecting agent to list the property. A bargain price is used to draw a quick, cash sale. The scammer pretends to be the property owner all the way through the closing, using online processes and forged notary credentials. Learn more from the US Secret Service.
Wire fraud: After hijacking an email account involved in a home purchase, a fraudster sends fake closing instruction changes to the home buyer. After receiving the false instructions, which appear to be from a known party, the victimized buyer wires the down payment to the scammer’s foreign bank account. The money is impossible to recover once this has happened. Do not accept any closing instruction changes through email! If you receive such an email, stop and contact your agent and mortgage lender directly, via phone or in person. Read more from the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau.
Rental fraud: A scammer copies home photos from an online listing. He uses these photos to create a fake “House for Rent” post on social media, with a bargain rent. The scammer only responds to rental inquiries by text. He tells applicants to look through the windows to see the property, because he is “out of town.” The scammer says to send money right away to hold the rental, promising to send the keys and the rental contract later. Once the victim has sent money to the fake landlord, the text number stops working and the money is gone. If you are pressured to send money before obtaining a tour of the property, it’s a red flag! Read more at FTC.gov.
Buying or selling Northwestern Wisconsin real estate? Trust the experts! Six Lakes Realty is a locally-owned family business with over 45 years of experience. Contact us today for friendly, hometown service!
Six Lakes Realty
Office: (715) 924-4806