20 Outrageous Real Estate Scams Happening Right Now

Ever wondered how safe your real estate investments truly are? Scammers are getting cleverer by the day, exploiting unsuspecting victims. Here’s a rundown on some of the top tricks they’re pulling off.

1. Dual Contract Scheme

Image Credit: Shutterstock / qoppi

This scam involves two contracts: one with a lower price shown to the lender, and another with a higher price for the buyer. It’s a dirty trick to deceive both the lender and you, leaving you in financial turmoil.

2. Rental Rip-Offs

Image Credit: Shutterstock / ymgerman

Beware of rental listings that steal photos from legitimate sites. Scammers create fake listings to lure you into paying deposits for properties they don’t even own. Always verify before you wire any money.

3. Foreclosure Relief Frauds

Image Credit: Shutterstock / fizkes

Scammers target homeowners struggling with mortgages, promising to secure loan modifications for a fee but fail to deliver. They take your money and run, leaving you in a worse state than before.

4. Title Washing

Image Credit: Shutterstock / fizkes

This scam involves falsifying documents to hide significant problems like liens from new buyers. Unsuspecting buyers think they’re getting a clean title, only to find a mountain of legal problems.

5. Loan Flipping

Image Credit: Shutterstock / fizkes

Predatory lenders refinance your loans repeatedly, charging high fees each time. It’s a cycle that benefits them while draining your equity, trapping you in endless debt.

6. Bait-and-Switch Loans

You apply for a mortgage with agreeable terms, but at the last minute, the lender switches to an agreement with much worse conditions. Under time pressure, many buyers unwittingly sign these predatory contracts.

7. Escrow Wire Fraud

Image Credit: Shutterstock / Roman Zaiets

Scammers posing as real estate agents or title company representatives instruct you to wire closing funds to them. Always confirm where your money is going directly with known and trusted contacts.

8. Land Banking Scams

Image Credit: Shutterstock / wutzkohphoto

In this scheme, companies promise high returns on undeveloped land, claiming it will skyrocket in value. Most times, these plots are virtually worthless, and the returns are nonexistent.

9. Property Tax Scam

Image Credit: Shutterstock/ fizkes

Scammers send official-looking letters offering to retrieve your overpaid property taxes for a fee. In reality, they pocket the fee and disappear, leaving you with less than you started with.

10. Timeshare Reselling Cons

Image Credit: Shutterstock / fizkes

Here, you’re contacted by someone claiming they have a buyer for your timeshare; all they need is an upfront fee to proceed. Once paid, both the supposed buyer and the fee vanish.

11. Fake Real Estate Lawyers

Image Credit: Shutterstock / wavebreakmedia

These fraudsters pose as lawyers, claiming they’re necessary for closing deals, often in urgent situations. They disappear once your payment clears.

12. Overpayment Scams

Image Credit: Shutterstock / fizkes

This involves a buyer who sends you a check for more than the purchase price and asks for the difference back. The check eventually bounces, and you’re out of pocket for the amount returned.

13. Investment Seminars

Image Credit: Shutterstock / Studio Romantic

Be wary of seminars that promise foolproof real estate investment strategies for a hefty entry fee. They make their money from your attendance, not from successful investing strategies.

14. House Stealing

Image Credit: Shutterstock / Pickadook

Scammers forge your identity, claim ownership of your property, and sell it without your knowledge. Regular checks on your property status can prevent this nightmare.

15. Off-Plan Scams

Image Credit: Shutterstock / maruco

Investors are shown plans for beautiful developments, encouraged to invest before construction. Too often, these projects never materialize, and your funds are lost.

16. Home Improvement Cons

Image Credit: Shutterstock / LesPalenik

After natural disasters, scammers posing as contractors offer quick, cheap repairs, taking your money without completing any work, or use substandard materials that cost you more in the long run.

17. Mortgage Elimination

Image Credit: Shutterstock/ fizkes

Scammers claim they can legally eliminate your mortgage, for a fee. Unfortunately, their methods are bogus, and you’re left with less money and the same mortgage.

18. Chunking

Image Credit: Shutterstock / Lek_charoen

This involves a scammer using your identity to buy properties, then defaulting on the loans. Your credit takes a hit, and you’re left dealing with the fallout.

19. The Straw Buyer Scam

Image Credit: Shutterstock / fizkes

In this scenario, someone is convinced to purchase a property on behalf of another. The real buyer defaults, leaving the straw buyer legally responsible.

20. Equity Skimming

Image Credit: Shutterstock / VisualFood

A buyer uses a straw buyer, secures a mortgage, then rents out the property without paying the mortgage. When the bank forecloses, the renter is evicted, and the scammer pockets all the prior payments.

Watch Out!

Image Credit: Shutterstock / Antonio Guillem

These scams can hit anyone, and the best protection is knowledge and vigilance. Don’t let a sweet talker trick you out of your hard-earned money. Verify everything, trust your gut, and keep your investments safe!

Remote No More: 19 Companies Returning to the Office

Image Credit: Shutterstock / Monkey Business Images

As the pandemic wanes, companies are recalling remote workers back to the office, sparking debates on fairness, costs, and convenience. However, there are also notable productivity, coworking, and mental health benefits to consider. Feeling the effects of these changes? Remote No More: 19 Companies Returning to the Office

8 Costco Must Buys and 8 to Leave Behind

Image Credit: Pexels / Gustavo Fring

Ever wandered Costco’s aisles, questioning if that giant jar of pickles is a real bargain? Or debated buying tires where you get your rotisserie chicken? Welcome to the definitive guide to Costco shopping—a journey to save money, prevent regrets, and offer quirky insights into bulk buying. 8 Costco Must Buys and 8 to Leave Behind

23 Reasons Texas Is the Next Big Thing

Image Credit: Shutterstock / Sean Pavone

Texas is becoming a beacon of opportunity, blending cultural heritage with economic growth. From its landscapes to its industries, the Lone Star State offers a dynamic lifestyle. Here are 23 reasons why Texas stands out, attracting entrepreneurs, artists, tech professionals, and families seeking new beginnings. 23 Reasons Texas Is the Next Big Thing

15 Top Sites to Sell Your Unwanted Goods Besides Craigslist

Image Credit: Shutterstock / GaudiLab

Selling your unwanted items can declutter your space and boost your income. While Craigslist is popular, there are many alternatives with unique features and wider audiences. Explore these 15 Craigslist alternatives for selling everything from furniture to electronics, finding the perfect platform to turn clutter into cash. 15 Top Sites to Sell Your Unwanted Goods Besides Craigslist

Work from Anywhere: 19 Companies Still Supporting Remote Work

Image Credit: Shutterstock / insta_photos

Tired of commuting and craving work flexibility? You’re not alone. Many companies now offer remote work, benefiting both employees and employers. Ever wondered how this shift could enhance your work-life balance? Work from Anywhere: 19 Companies Still Supporting Remote Work

The post20 Outrageous Real Estate Scams Happening Right Now first appeared on Liberty & Wealth.

Featured Image Credit: Shutterstock / goodluz.

The content of this article is for informational purposes only and does not constitute or replace professional financial advice.

For transparency, this content was partly developed with AI assistance and carefully curated by an experienced editor to be informative and ensure accuracy.

Leave a Comment