Seller Impersonation Fraud

Fraud is certainly a subject that no realtor wants to hear about but lately there is a huge fraud scheme happening that everyone needs to be aware of.  Our industry is constantly targeted by fraudsters and it is important that all realtors stay current on the issues at hand. 

What’s The Current Big Fraud Scam? 
Fraudsters impersonating an owner and trying to sell a property they don’t own.  If you have not seen this scheme yet you should watch out because these attempts are running rampant!

What Are The Fraudsters Doing?  
The fraudsters are literally impersonating the owner of a property to make contact with a real estate agent to get a listing started so that they can go under contract and ultimately sell the property to collect the sales proceeds. 

Targeted Property Types by Fraudsters:

  • Vacant lots
  • Raw land / acreage
  • Investment properties
  • Vacation homes
  • Free and clear properties

Some Common Red Flags:

  • “Seller” only makes contact via email or text or makes excuses on why they can’t talk on the phone, show up in person or appear virtually.
  • “Seller” wants a quick sale and either insists on a low asking price or is willing to take a lowball offer.
  • “Seller” doesn’t have proper identification. See TNT’s “How to Spot a Fake ID”
  • “Seller” tries to use their own notary (the “notary” of course is part of the fraud)
  • “Seller” offers incentives or is willing to cut corners for a quicker closing. 
  • “Seller” wants to avoid closing at a title company

HERE’S THE REALLY SCARY PART – these fraudsters are finding agents to take their listings and they are getting these deals closed. 

There Is Good News Though! 
Call me to discuss ways that you can help protect yourself and your listings.  We can discuss some tips and tricks that will help you determine if your listing is potentially a fraudulent one before you waste any time on a fraudster. 

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