When you’re looking for your next investment property, be wary of anything that sounds too good to be true. Here’s our guide to real estate scams.
We have some bad news for investors: property scams are on the rise in Australia. What’s more – even the experts are unaware of the latest fraud schemes, including 46 per cent of property lawyers, according to GlobalX.
As scams become more and more advanced, it’s important for investors to be leery of financial opportunities that sound too good. Here’s what you need to know.
Real estate scams to be aware of
There are a number of property scams out there. Many fall into the category of phishing scams, where hackers impersonate trusted people – such as conveyancers – to trick investors into giving up private information.
- Investment seminars
After charging you an exorbitant fee to attend, so-called real estate experts will give you high-risk advice and pressure you into investing with them.
- Superannuation scams
With this scheme, a scammer usually poses as a financial adviser and ‘helps’ you gain early access to your retirement savings. Then, he or she will charge large fees out of the fund or deplete it entirely.
- Overseas ‘opportunities’
Overseas real estate scams are largely based in the United States, where desperate sellers will contact Australian investors with an offer of ridiculously cheap property. Almost always, these properties are in poor condition and located in very bad neighbourhoods.
Tips for safe investing
To steer clear of fraud, be suspicious of anything that seems ‘too good to be true’. Never commit to investments without seeking out professional, independent advice, and avoid corresponding with organisations you’re familiar with.
If you’re considering an investment opportunity, be sure to ask your Civium property manager for their opinion.