Pattaya Daily News

15 November 2010 :: 13:11:31 pm 46041

New Scam Sweeps US Property Market

A new real estate scam is currently being perpetrated in America, but astute scammers may pick up on it and apply it to the Pattaya Property Market, so here are the details for your enlightenment, with the caveat - be prepared.
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November 15, 2010: A new property scam is being carried out on the US property market, where sellers are overeager to sell their property due to constant threats of repossession and depreciating property values, making US sellers highly vulnerable to the unscrupulous. The scam takes the form of the infamous advance fee fraud, with a new twist, that sets out to convince property sellers that the scammers, usually bogus real estate agents, have a guaranteed buyer prepared to pay over the fair market value of the property.

The normal, tried and tested advance fee fraud takes two forms. In the first one, the victim receives a dud cheque as a supposed upfront payment, a portion of which they then have to wire as untraceable electronic cash to a third party. In the second instance, property owners receive an email that invites them to a share in a large cash reserve, with the proviso that the recipient must pay some fees up front to receive the money, which, as in the infamous Nigerian Advance Fee Scheme, never materializes.

In the new variant, the property seller receives an out-of-state phone call referring to the vacant lots or property they are selling. The bogus real estate agent maintains they have a fully committed buyer lined up, and promises to handle all the closing formalities. In addition, the estate agent says the buyer is prepared to pay well above the market price, in one instance three times the price! Having dangled the carrot and hooked the often gullible seller, the real estate agent explains all that is necessary for the seller to do is to send a non-refundable cheque to cover the closing costs. Furthermore, the whole transaction can be deducted very conveniently by email, so the seller never even has to meet the agent or the purchaser, both of whom remain anonymous.

All the danger signs are there: an unrealistic bid price, and fees upfront, all conveniently handled at a distance. The unscrupulous scammers are really trying it on, but with many people faced with the prospect of foreclosure and desperate to sell their property, the attraction of getting a high price, thus conveniently solving all their financial problems could make them throw caution to the wind.

In reality, very few purchase sight-unseen, email is hardly the best way to deal with such transactions and the market being a buyer’s one, no one in their right minds would offer such inflated prices. Accordingly, if you are ever presented with a ‘too good to miss’ prospect such as this, refer the whole matter to a trusted real estate agent and ensure you know exactly who you’re dealing with.

Photo : Internet   Category : Property

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