How to avoid property scams

Are you wondering how to avoid property scams? You can protect yourself from fraud by learning more about the most common scams that are out there. Understanding housing law can also help you avoid being scammed.

While online sales and rentals have helped both landlords and tenants, it also introduces new risks to the property market.

The majority of scams are easy to expose, however, expert fraudsters are developing new scams that seem very convincing on the surface.

These fraudsters develop fake online profiles to create a digital footprint.

Property scams online | GotProperty

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Read our blog post to learn more about rental schemes and the property protection steps you can take.

The rise of fraud in property scams

You can protect yourself from fraud by entering sales agreements with caution. Common fraudulent behaviour includes forging signatures and creating fake payslips in order to obtain a bank loan.

While these tactics have been around for a long time, digital fraud is on the rise. A common tactic used by fraudsters is hacking email accounts and tampering with bank account details so that the money is transferred to a new beneficiary.

Scammers intercept emails with the goal of stealing large amounts of money that are sent from the seller to the estate agent when a sale agreement goes through.

You can protect yourself from this scam by ensuring that any requested detail changes done over email are confirmed before they are processed.

Vital documents should be signed in person and in the presence of a witness.

It’s also advisable to avoid sharing personal information online. Offers to purchase should be completed properly and essential information should be filled in, including the buyer and seller’s details as well as the property’s address.

Using a reputable estate agent is vital if you want to avoid property scams. Make sure that the estate agent is registered and that they have traceable references.

While cash deals may seem attractive, these transactions can also be derailed by scammers. A deposit prior to occupation offers a level of property protection.

Fake estate agents

Other property scams include fake estate agents. In these incidences, scammers pose as estate agents and advertise your property using photos they found online.

As part of their scam, they’ll approach you as a private buyer, put in an offer and ask you to sign documents so that they can supposedly secure a home loan.

Property scams documentation | GotProperty

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You may then find a third party laying claim to your property without anyone being aware of the scam that has taken place. In these cases, the buyers are tricked into paying the fake estate agent a deposit fee.

Documents can be forged and email addresses can be cloned as part of the deception. In order to protect yourself, make sure that you read documents thoroughly before signing them. Buyers should check the credentials of estate agents before using their services.

Ask to see the estate agents proof of certifications and tax registrations before you use their services. You can also inquire about the qualifications and check their VAT numbers.

It’s also important to use reliable conveyances.

Rental schemes

Rental schemes occur when a property is advertised as for rent by fraudsters. These properties are typically advertised at surprisingly low rates to attract more victims.

Property Scams low offers | GotProperty

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In these cases, prospective tenants discover the hard way that the property doesn’t belong to the advertiser.

The moral of the story is that you shouldn’t hand over money before you’ve viewed the property or without signing a lease agreement.

The fraudsters may try put off any attempts for you to view the property by claiming that they’re overseas.

Now that you know how to protect yourself from property scams, you can list your house on GotProperty or search for your new home.

Protect yourself from fraud by dealing with genuine estate agents who understand housing law. Likewise, prospective tenants can avoid rental or buying schemes by being cautious when they look for properties to online.

Property scams - What to do to protect yourself from them
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Property scams - What to do to protect yourself from them
Are you wondering how to avoid property scams? You can protect yourself from fraud by learning more about the most common scams in SA.
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