It’s not a perfect world and I know this. There are, unfortunately, scam artists in every city- no matter how pleasant, clean or affluent some may seem to be. Right now, there are two very popular real estate scams hitting seniors. As a result, I want to address them on my blog. Please share this information with others. Together we can stop these terrible people from hitting honest and hardworking folks.
#1. Title Fraud.
This type of fraud starts with identity theft. The scammer will use false documents to pose as the property owner, registers forged documents transferring a property to his or her name, and then gets a new mortgage against the property. After securing a mortgage or line of credit, the criminal takes the cash and leaves the owner on the hook for future payments.
While an identity thief may get a forced discharge of an existing mortgage, it is generally held that fraudsters are more likely to go after homes that are free and clear of mortgages.
#2. Property investment seminars and courses.
Prospective investors should be cautious when it comes to seminars or courses that offer investor education. The value of the information provided can vary wildly, as can the costs. Some may be free, with sponsorship by a company or association, others will charge money, ranging from nominal amounts to upwards of tens of thousands of dollars. Still, even if someone pays for a course that provides basic information that could be found through a simple Internet search, it does not mean that the seminar was a scam. A rip-off may charge excessive prices but be completely illegal, but a scam typically involves legal wrongdoing, misrepresentation or fraud.
One common type of seminar is designed to hook buyers into “sure-fire” investments that are promoted by the seminar hosts. Potential investors may be invited to these seminars through an ad in a newspaper or magazine, a phone call, an email or other method. These seminars may include a motivational speaker, an “investment expert” or a “self-made millionaire.”
Some seminars may make money by charging attendance fees, selling highly priced reports or books and selling property and investments through high-pressure sales tactics.