Local Records Office Seeing Online Scam Increase Targeting Homeowners
The company the Local Records Office has been in the real estate game for a long time and has seen many types of scams; from bad deed hoaxes, foreclosure schemes, and loan documentation fraud to letters being sent to new homebuyers scams. In 2023 hustlers have gotten very creative with their craft. Even with online complaints and bad reviews, these companies continue to do their dirty work. Remember that scam artists will do anything possible to get quick cash, that’s why homebuyers need to be on their “A-game”.
Local Records Office created tips on how to spot and avoid online blackmail and fraud that want to steal homeowners’ hard-earned money.
Real Estate Scam and Fraud: #1: Foreclosure Rescue Hoax
Due to the 2008 real estate housing bubble, many homeowners lost their homes to foreclosures and high-interest rates. The scammers know homeowners who are in foreclosure proceedings would do anything in their power to keep their homes. Therefore, they would promise homeowners that they will save their homes for an upfront fee. The perpetrators would obtain a new loan on behalf of the homeowner or by having the homeowner sign over the home’s deed and then rent the home until they can repurchase it. Unfortunately, many people fell into this scam.
Most of the time with these types of foreclosure programs the homeowners would have to sign over the home’s deed to a third-party company. The homeowners will become renters in their own homes and eventually lose the home.
The Federal Bureau of Investigation reported that it has gotten more aggressive in pursuing those who endanger the stability of banks and homes. This means that anyone found guilty of committing white-collar fraud will be punished to the law’s full extent.
Real Estate Scam and Fraud: #2: Bad Home Flipping
In this scam, home investors buy worn-down homes that have been abandoned for many years. Others have severe water damage and repair them with extremely cheap material that only lasts a few months. The home will eventually cost the homeowners more money to fix the home than to buy it. A lot of times the repairs are not approved by the inspectors and therefore become illegal repairs.
In most cases, the home’s foundation would be so damaged that the mold and water damage would cause the residents health problems. The only thing the investors would do is paint over the mold or put drywall. Since they want the biggest profit possible the results wouldn’t even pass inspection. Bad home flipping is becoming a big problem that some states have passed laws on the issue.
Real Estate Scam and Fraud: #3: Loan Documentation Fraud
The scammers provide fake and or fraudulent paperwork to qualify for a lower loan. The scam artist would have an income too high or no employer’s address. In many of these cases, the con artist would apply for many loans and just rent the property out.
Scam and fraud are nothing new in real estate but over the past decade, con artists have gotten extremely smart. They go to many extremes to get loans and home titles.
In recent years federal and state law enforcement and regulatory agencies have seen a rise in Sub-prime loans associated with suspected fraud. Fixed income and elder exploitation and identity theft were on the list too.
Real Estate Scam and Fraud: #4: Title Fraud
This rip-off is not as common but it’s one of the easiest and more dangerous scams. This particular scam involves identity theft. The thief will pose as the homeowner and take out a new mortgage on the property. After a secure loan, the con can take the money left at the real homeowner’s expense.
Real Estate Scam and Fraud: #5: Loan Modification
A loan modification is one of the most common scams since the scammer could do it at the ease of his or her home. The con artist will call the homeowners and say they are calling from an agency and that the home is in foreclosure. The caller will suggest that the homeowner has few options. One is reduced mortgage payments all for the low price of a fee or access to some sort of bank information.
A few years back the most common way this extortion started was with a simple link in an email. Now hackers are taking it a step further and going for the mother-load. In the past few years, websites like Yahoo, Adobe, Equifax, and LinkedIn have been victims of massive data breaches. If you feel like your email has been breached check this website here.
Why Don’t Many Real Estate Scammers Get Caught?
Many scam artists don’t get caught because they use fraudulent documentation to do their dirty work from the beginning or online. Others use legit but stolen documentation and just change the picture on the driver’s license or identification card.
Other scam artists are illegal aliens who are not in the system so there’s no way to track them down. Real estate scams are a serious problem in the United States. When homeowners see a deal that sounds “too good to be true” it probably is “too good to be true”. Make sure to do your homework and research how scam artists are scamming new homeowners.