SCAM ALERT: FBI Issues Warnings about Real Estate Scams
FBI Warning about Real Estate Scams
There is an increase in real estate scams going on right now and the FBI says to be on the lookout for con artists.
This can happen in Aroostook County, Maine if you’re not careful and know what to look for. The FBI has issued several advisories and warnings. Forty-two Mainers lost $489,000 in 2021. That’s almost half a million dollars.
First Type of Scam
A couple of the situations to be concerned about is when a scammer goes after someone who is trying to sell a piece of property, according to WGME.
How the first scam works is a deposit is sent on the advertised sale. The scammer then backs out and asks for a refund. The check is counterfeit and the person selling the real estate is the victim.
The FBI also warns about the second type of scam that alters a real estate listing. The scammer tells the interested party to pay a deposit to secure the listing as the owner is out of town. Once the victim sends the money, the listing is not available anymore.
Losses in the Millions
The amount of money scammed using these scenarios is in the hundreds of millions of dollars. Losses added up to over $350 million across the United States in 2021. The difference is 64% from 2020, said the FBI.
FBI Tips to Avoid Scams
The FBI offers some really good advice with these tips.
- Don’t send money if you haven’t seen the property and don’t know the person selling it.
- Public records are available and should be checked to confirm the seller of any property.
- Lastly, be suspicious if someone wants to rent a property right away and has not seen it.