Real Estate fraud can cause financial loss. You could find that you no longer own your home or additional mortgages have been taken out in your name. There is also the Kijiji fake rental scam that seems too good to be true and you lose money.
There are 3 different Real Estate Scams that you need to be aware of:
-Foreclosure/Home Equity Fraud
-Kijiji Rental Scams
The Canada Revenue Agency (CRA) is warning Canadians about fraudsters that steal the title to your home and sells your home or applies for a new mortgage against it. This fraud starts with identity theft, where someone steals your personal information.
The CRA warns that foreclosure fraud happens when you’re having problems making your mortgage payments. Some “investment” firms may trick you into transferring your property title to their name to help you make payments. These fraudsters will keep your money, possess the title to your home and can resell or remortgage your home.
Kijiji Rental Scam:
In these scams, attractive rental property is advertised on Kijiji at lower than market costs. The ads will have information and photos stolen from legitimate MLS properties for sale. The scammer will impersonate the landlord and answer questions via email and calls. Usually the scammer will say that they are away and cannot meet you. They will put pressure on you to put a deposit down without seeing the property, so you won’t lose it as they’ll claim that they have a lot of interest. They will have legitimate looking rental leases and questionnaires.
Ways to protect yourself against fraud:
-Keep your mortgage information in a safe place and shredding important documents.
-Contact your mortgage lender directly if you’re having trouble making payments.
-Consult a lawyer before giving another person your property title.
-Consider buying title insurance to protect against title fraud (speak to your lawyer about title insurance).
-Never give personal information out over the internet or over the phone, unless you verify that you are speaking to the actual company.
-If it sounds too good to be true – it probably is. Do your research before committing to anything!
-Any rental property that you are considering, Google the address of the property to see if it is for sale. If it is, it’s a scam. Contact the listing agent right away to let them know.If you believe you have been a victim of real estate fraud file a police report immediately. Contact your financial institutions and other companies where you think accounts may be compromised.
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