Real-estate scams – Other scams to be aware of

While these are the 4 most common scams, it's certainly not an extensive list of the scams doing the rounds in Australia’s real estate market.

Here’s a few other scams you need to keep your eyes open for:

Overseas buying scams: It is hard enough to get your due diligence right in a familiar culture, let alone in a foreign country with a foreign residential property market. You may be tempted to buy that run-down home in Sicily, which is worth a car space in Sydney, but if something seems too good to be true, it generally is.

Bait and switch scams: A prospective buyer will make an offer on a home that's much higher than market value, agreeing to pay after a designated amount of time, but once the period ends, the buyer asks to extend. When the second wait is over, the buyer comes up with an explanation of why the initial offer won't work. Frustrated and eager to complete the purchase, the seller agrees to a lower price.

Phishing scams: Here, a scammer hacks a legitimate business or businessperson (such as a real estate agent) and then steals sensitive personal information from their clients. Confidential information, such as online banking logins, credit card details, business login credentials, or passwords/passphrases are at risk from these criminals.

Superannuation scams: These scams offer to free up your super fund in order to buy real estate. Early superannuation access is illegal, so scammers often coerce you into agreeing to a fraudulent story to release the fund. Once the money is available, the culprit will take exorbitant fees or even leave you with nothing at all.

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Jason Gwerder
Thursday, 23 May 2024

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