Real-state fraud is now one of the worlds fastest growing kinds of white collar crime. However, we can take measures to avoid becoming a victim of property fraud in various ways. In both on and off market property deals, we have to establish security that will benefit all parties. Anybody can be a victim of property fraud. May it be the buyer or the seller or even the agent and solicitor has to protect their part in every transaction. In order to avoid being victims of property fraud, we have to understand what exactly property fraud is and how it works.
How Property Fraud Works
Property fraud happens when someone uses someone else’s identity to acquire properties by forging documents. This can also be a product of investments on some get-rich-quick scams by bogus solicitors through bogus companies. We may receive some brochures in the post about free property investment seminars. A fraudster can offer presentations and talks about quick money in property investment. There are also offers to buy properties at a discounted price, properties that are not yet built. These are the kind of offers that are too good to be true, and more often than not, they really are.
Property fraud can happen to anybody but it is most likely happen to property owners whose identity has already been stolen in some way. Documents can be forged and properties can be transferred to someone else’s name. Increased risk in property fraud is also heightened when a property has been empty for a while or has been bought to let. It may be that the owner is abroad, living at another address, or in a home care. This also most likely happens to property without mortgages attached or to properties that are unregistered.
Prevent Property Fraud
In every transaction, not just in property deals, we have to ask questions and ask for references about the people or company we are dealing with. We should never make an investment without thorough research. We should know the person and the company we are dealing with. Never buy a property without actually seeing it or having the detailed property plans and all the documents that prove the particular property is real and in off plan deals an insurance that the property will definitely be built. In every transaction, we should keep copies of all the paperwork, courses and notes. As for the property owners, properties should be registered and contact details should be kept up to date.
Benefits of Proof of Funds
Frauds and scams rarely happen to us if we are careful and take the correct steps. Following basic principles to avoid property fraud can be very helpful. One that can also be beneficial to avoid being a victim of property fraud is understanding the benefits of using proof of funds in property dealings. Between buyers, sellers and agents, it is easier and more secure to provide proof of funds. This document proves that someone is capable or has the capacity or the necessary funds for the transaction. This also promotes transparency between parties that enables everyone to establish trust. It is easier for a legal binding to use legal documents and proofs to create a more advantageous deal to all parties involved. Let us be vigilant to avoid being a victim of property fraud.