When searching for a home loan, it can be easy to fall victim to a scam.
In fact, this article reported that Aushadians had lost around $300,000 in rental scams during COVID-19. This is a massive 56% increase from last year, primarily as scammers target innocent buyers by offering fake properties and using government social distancing restrictions to bypass the property inspection process. With these alarming news of home loan scams, here’s how you can protect yourself!
In-Person Property Inspection
If you’re a potential home buyer or property investor, it’s highly recommended that you view a property in person before making a payment or signing a contract. With COVID-19 restrictions, you can also ensure that the property legitimately exists by doing an online search and checking that you’re dealing with a licenced real estate agent.
Conduct Detailed Research
Rental scammers also find sneaky ways to avoid proper identification, primarily through email channels. You should conduct detailed research into a possible contact number and insist on speaking to the property manager or arrange a face-to-face meeting to verify that the real estate agent or property owner is credible.
Whenever you’re browsing online for real estate listing websites or social media platforms, beware of suspicious advertisements or posts. Legitimate and professional brokers or lenders will know what kind of home loan best suits you after examining your credentials to prevent outstanding debt. In contrast, scammers will sell you a loan you don’t need
Avoid Unrealistic Loan Offers
If you’re searching for a home loan, there’s a good chance that a company or individual may contact you. They will claim to help you modify your mortgage, providing you with unrealistic and overly optimistic promises. These loan scams could include providing a “guarantee” to get your loan modified or foreclosure stalled in return for money, along with lenient approval despite the bad credit.
This is usually coupled with pushy sales tactics which may throw around keywords like “administration fee” to further coerce you into making a payment. If the scammer requests that they need an upfront cash deposit to secure the property, or phish for personal information through a ‘tenant application form’, then this can raise huge red flags.
If you have any questions, please don’t hesitate to contact us now!
For more information about rental fraud, you can also visit Scamwatch.