What should we look for to avoid falling into a real estate scam?

Scams and scams around real estate they are usually frequent, since criminals can obtain important economic amounts in a short time and in a simple way. Both renting and buying a home involve a significant outlay of money and that is why scammers know that they can make huge profits from these transactions. Many times we can be victims of these crimes because we have not analyzed certain details, but with a little attention there are a series of warning signs that at least make us suspect that we are before a possible deception.

Contemplated in the Penal Code

The crime of real estate fraud is found contemplated in the Penal Code and prison sentences can range from one to four years. Appears collected in article 251.1 and establishes these penalties for that «who alienates movable or immovable property, again, before the definitive transfer to the purchaser, to the detriment of the latter, or of a third party. That is, this crime is committed when the author of the same is in charge of selling a home, premises, land, despite not being its owner or when you sell it to several different people having already sold it previously.

In grief are also taken into account the amount that has been defrauded, the economic damage caused and various elements that aggravate the action of the offender.

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Beware of the internet

One of the places where these types of scams are occurring the most is the internet. In these cases, the hook is the price of the house, which is usually very competitive, but it is also about houses located in very good neighborhoods of the city in question, considering itself a real bargain. It occurs both in the case of apartments for rent and for sale. Although it is more common in the former.

Here it is usually indicated a foreign phone to contact, something that from the outset should surprise us. If at the end we call, he will tell us that since he is not in Spain it is not possible for him to show the property, and it is likely that he will send us photos to give credibility to what he is saying. Later he will pressure us to send him a signal ensuring that you have several interested parties and that if we do not give you an immediate response you will have to opt for one of them.

All this has to make us distrust. If we have doubts we can ask for the documents that prove that you are the owner of the house, although you can send us falsified documents, therefore we must counter them with an expert. In any case, it is never advisable to advance amounts without even seeing the place where we are going to live.

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On other occasions, scammers also use web pages that are already known in this world and to contact the potential client they use the pishing. Namely, send an email posing as a company of buying and selling real estate and offer a series of advantages to the victim, but in return they will always request that they enter an amount in advance by clicking on a link that they will send in the mail.

If in the end we bite it is possible that infect our computer with a virus and access our data. We must look at the addresses of these emails to see if they correspond to the official domain of the web, if they are well written and without grammatical errors, and if money is requested in advance, decline to do so.

Another aspect that should make us doubt is when after closing a rental or sale deal and having paid the agreed signals, the alleged tenant tells us that he is going to deliver the keys by courier. Sometimes it happens that it never comes and we see ourselves without the money and without the apartment. When they tell us this, we must be suspicious, because the keys must always be handed over by hand.

The stamp

Within the real estate world the Rip Deal or scam of the stamp, only applied to this sector. The alleged buyers pose as a group of foreign businessmen. They look for an advertisement and call the owner from outside saying that they represent a businessman interested in buying the house, and also they offer more than what is requested by her, but in return they request that part of the management be done in black money

Then, with the excuse that they have a large quantity of 500 euro banknotes that they cannot easily move in their country, they indicate to the seller the exchange of this sum for minor bills, all in exchange for receiving a commission. In the end, if it is accessed, criminals will be able to exchange counterfeit bills for legal ones, and they will have scammed us.

In the latter case, the signs that something is wrong are almost evident from the first moment, especially from the moment in which they tell us that they are going to give us more money for our home and also pay it in an illegal way.