In the hard times such as today, there are many who would take advantage of people battling hardships. Because of that, you must always know how to spot a scam, even in the real estate market.
As criminals have become adept at developing scams in the real estate industry, including all of the services associated with real estate, the importance of working with a professional buying or selling real estate in Milwaukee has never been of such significance. You can feel secure knowing you are working with trustworthy service providers, through the knowledge your Sparks Property Investors LLC real estate professional provides.
Being the victim of a real estate scam is not something anyone wants to happen, especially with their real estate transactions.
We’ll cover four of these areas to help you spot a scam and provide some tips for your protection.
Wire Transfer Instructions
Stop! Don’t click that link! Escrow funds are a target of this trend. If you are contacted to wire the money by any means of communication, especially if there is a change to the original instructions, you can check your original paperwork to ensure the contact information matches.
There’s no harm in reaching out to your lender to confirm the instructions you’ve received are legitimate and to ask them to spot a scam artist if this is his work. These criminals create an offshore account and disappear with your escrow funds. Then, when you’ve transferred your funds, reach out to the settlement agent to confirm receipt as well.
Refinancing an Existing Mortgage
Loan flipping is when you refinance your mortgage over and over. Sometimes, refinancing mortgage is a good thing, but borrowers usually end up with high interest loans and no equity left to leverage. This is why predatory lenders love to pursue homeowners to flip their loans over and over again.
These scam artists love to target the older population, especially those with memory impairment which is an additional vulnerability. Lenders must provide closing disclosures as well as loan estimates, including any additional costs as and all fees.
This is why any inexperienced senior person doing business should always ask their family member to review any significant transactions. It isn’t always easy to spot a scam artist, especially in modern days. Always have a trusted person to help you with any financial agreements.
Capitalizing on Your Foreclosure
Facing foreclosure is extremely stressful and can leave homeowners desperate for a solution. Regrettably what seems too good to be true ends up being a nightmare created by swindlers. Often they represent themselves as government agencies and charge enormous upfront fees for resolution, leaving the homeowner in an even worse financial situation.
If they approached you first or don’t want you to speak to your lender, the red flags are waving and this is an alert to find a reputable source of assistance who can help you spot a scam artist immediately.
Should you find yourself facing foreclosure, first thing you should do is to be direct with your lender. Many are willing to work out a solution with modifications, forbearance, or some other arrangement.
Speak to a HUD accredited housing counselor to provide you options as well, they will even attend third party telephone calls with your lender to assist you.
Online or Over the Phone
Should you decide to make a go of renting on your own, there are a few steps you can take to safeguard yourself and spot a scam. Do your research, locate the county records for the owner’s information.
If someone is acting as a representative of the owner, contact the owner and speak or meet with them personally, confirming you are actually dealing with the right person!
If they claim to be a real estate professional, ask to see their license and take a picture of it. You can easily spot a scam artist because all licenses can be confirmed on the state division of real estate licensing website.
Avoid the internet or over the phone transactions, meet in person to sign documents, and make payments whenever possible! Use a check for a record of the transaction as well.
While making our lives easier in many aspects, disreputable schemers have developed a system that uses the internet to their advantage. Inexperienced renters are their favored victims, although they’ll gladly rob anyone of thousands of dollars.
A good way to spot a scam is they’ll post photos of houses that aren’t even available and demand upfront fees just to make a viewing appointment. Never pay anything upfront before you know everything about the rental you are interested in here in Milwaukee.
Avoiding this financial pitfall can be made by working with a real estate professional who can spot a scam from a mile away.
Trust your gut instincts. Your gut is like a second brain without emotions. How did you feel about the initial contact? Be wary of anyone interested in your equity! Reach out to those you know and trust for recommendations if something doesn’t sound right to you!
Don’t click a link or respond to any message that may be from a scammer. Do contact your local police department. Reach out to the FTC on their website to report any fraud, identity theft, or financial scams.