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Beware of real estate scams

Buyers interested in acquiring a residential or commercial property will typically gravitate towards a good deal. Unfortunately, some utter scams target Florida buyers with too-good-to-be-true offers. Other shady deals might be more subtle, but they also intend to separate the buyer from their money through deception or outright fraud. Buyers should be mindful of common scams to avoid them.

Scams and underhanded behavior

When a seller or a seller’s representative cannot provide proof of ownership, the person could be a complete con artist. Shockingly, people who don’t own a home or business may present themselves as the owners and procure money from an unsuspecting or overly trusting person. Reviewing and researching deeds and liens could reveal the truth about who owns or has claims to a property.

Asking for an immediate wire transfer down payments upfront may go hand-in-hand with the aforementioned scam. The wire transfer could turn into an outright theft, possibly from someone whose identity may be hard to trace.

Upfront payments need not be wire transfers, as cash payments might suggest something is amiss. Perhaps there is an issue with the property, and the seller wants a cash payment in advance to repair things. Again, that type of behavior may indicate a scam.

Legal action and real estate scams

A real estate scam could lead to unavoidable litigation to resolve the problems. Someone who purchased or leased commercial real estate might discover numerous problems the seller or landlord did not disclose. Legal action may lead to a resolution that provides a solution to the injured party.

Commercial real estate scams could also involve misappropriation of funds or embezzlement. Such actions could lead to criminal charges as well as civil actions.