A popular idea in real estate today is the idea of “flipping” or buying and reselling houses to earn aprofit. This idea has even been the basis for some current reality shows of a similar name. But how can you avoid being “flipped” by a potential real estate scam?
1. Are Recent Advances in Technology helping to fuel these scams?
n Craig’s list, Internet sites
n Opens the door for fraudulent activity
n “Sellers” or “Agents” selling properties or houses for which they do not have clear title
n Targets consumers who may not be able to qualify for traditional mortgages due to bad credit
2. What are some examples and how pervasive is the problem?
n Just beginning to receive calls from consumers in our area
n Scammers may attempt to sell a house without a title
n Consumers may pay for several months with no money actually going toward the mortgage – eventually may be evicted
n May also take the form of scammer assuming a mortgage and both the seller and the buyer end up being scammed
n Sometimes a scammer may partner with a title company to pull off the scam
3. What can consumers do to protect themselves?
n Insist on using only Accredited Businesses for these transactions
n Check out the businesses review and record with the BBB
n Ensure all assertions and promises are backed up in writing
n Be cautious of any situation that seems suspicious or too good to be true.
n Call the Better Business Bureau 24 hours a day at (409) 835-5348 or 855-BBB-SETX