‘Sophisticated scams’ to be aware of & avoid this year

The last thing you should be worrying about when buying or renting a home is being scammed, but unfortunately, fraud is becoming increasingly prevalent in the real estate industry and it’s essential to be vigilant throughout the process. Now, more than ever it’s critical to appoint well-established and accredited property professionals.

To read the full article and sharpen your ‘scam-detecting’ skills click HERE

Tips for all parties to keep in mind:

a Short recap:

  • Agents and attorneys need to verify and know their clients and always personally verify any change in the payment instructions.
  • Be especially vigilant if bank details are changed and independently verify the bank account details directly with the bank. Most banks have systems to enable conveyancers to do this.
  • Never, ever pay money into an account that does not belong to a bona fide party to the transaction.
  • Confirm that your estate agent is legitimate. You can also do so via the Estate Agency Affairs Board website where all agents who are marketing properties must be registered.
  • Never, ever click reply to an email when you are sending important information. Rather create a new email and input the email address directly from your address book. This will ensure that you never send information to a fake email address that looks similar.
  • Buyers and sellers should always ask for verification of the bank account into which any funds are being paid.
  • All correspondence requesting a change of banking details should be viewed with suspicion.
  • Only use the banking details provided in an email if you have confirmed authenticity.
  • Nowadays, face-to-face meetings are not always possible however, important documents should always be signed in person and verification of bank details should always be completed.
  • Be on the lookout for the following red flags: spelling errors in emails or other messaging systems, the presentation of sudden changes or decisions as having strict deadlines, hasty changes to terms and conditions of the contract, refusal to speak on a phone call.
  • Property professionals should be adequately insured.

Article courtesy of property24