In these trying times, it’s no longer surprising how creative people can get just to earn easy money. Property investment scams are no longer confined in the digital space. Con artists can exploit your trust and snatch your hard-earned cash from under your nose.
Common Types Of Property Investment Scams
If you’re planning to invest in a property for the first time, don’t do so in a hurry. You must do your due diligence first and be wary of the following investment scams.
- Up and Coming Property Scams
Property investors looking to diversify their portfolios may be eager to spend for a new investment scheme promising high returns. While some of these offers may be legitimate, scammers take advantage of this and promote their own fake investment offers, as the review here warns.
These impostors often pretend to be real estate investors who need additional funds from other investors (you) to build a large-scale property development project. They’ll then ask you for large amounts of investment money for a project that’s yet to be built. Later, they’ll come up with various reasons why the ‘project’ is yet to come to fruition. Of course, you’ll find out later on that no such project exists.
- Online Property Scams
Some cyber hackers use the name of a legitimate real estate property site in order to convince people to invest in fake investment properties or schemes.
Cybercriminals often engage in phishing, by sending an email offering a lucrative investment opportunity which redirects to a page that mimics a legitimate property site. On this fake site, you’ll be asked to supply your personal and financial details. And before you know it, your bank and card details are now exploited by cybercriminals.
- Telephone scams
Some fraudsters may call unsuspecting investors and pretend to be real estate agents or representatives from the rental agency that you’re renting out. They’ll come up with any kind of reason to convince you to disclose your bank details or one-time personal identification number (OTP).
Red Flags To Watch Out For
As always, one must always exercise extreme caution before parting with ‘investment’ money. Protect your assets by checking out the most common property investment scams and watch out for the following red flags. If you notice one or a few of these signs, never hand over your investment money. If you’ve already done so, report the fraudulent transaction to the concerned authorities.
- Scammers pressure you into handing over your investment money as soon as possible so as not to miss the ‘limited offer.’ They’ll bombard you with emails and calls just to convince you to send money. But once you’ve done it, you can’t contact them anymore.
- If using email, the cybercriminal will tell you the investment transaction will not push through unless you verify important details such as bank name, password, and personal identification number, and so on.
- The email may look legitimate, but upon closer inspection, it contains spelling and grammatical errors, as well as a URL address that’s slightly different from the legitimate site.
- Fraudsters will ask you to submit a check for more than the agreed amount. In a desperate move, some scammers will resort to threats, warning that you’ll get arrested or face legal action if you don’t pay the amount as soon as possible.
- Some may claim that you’re entitled to a ‘refund’ from your ‘investment earnings’ but they need to know your banking details first. They will then promise to send you more money after you send in your bank details—which, of course, is a lie.
- They offer and guarantee ridiculously high investment returns within a very short period.
- They can’t meet you in person because they’re busy or are out-of-town. And the supposed ‘agents’ cannot provide licenses, accreditation, and other documentation from agencies and regulatory bodies.
- You can’t find the Chief Executive Officer or any of the officials’ names and business address online or upon checking with concerned agencies.
- They’ll show you brochures and leaflets about their offer, but you can’t find these materials anywhere else.
- You can’t see the property, or they come up with excuses to prevent you from doing an ocular inspection on the property. They may also come up with various excuses as to why the project has not started yet.
The Wrap Up
To avoid losing huge amounts of your hard-earned cash, always do your due diligence and research about the person or the company to find out if they’re who they say they are. You can also ask concerned agencies for a legitimate check. And since it’s a property investment, you must demand to personally see the site. As much as possible, avoid investing in properties that you can’t see or don’t have access to. Ultimately, if you receive an investment offer that seems too good to be true, it probably is.