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How to Avoid 2 of the Most Common Real Estate Fraud Schemes

Real Estate Fraud IllustrationBeing a first-time homebuyer can be intimidating and many are not necessarily prepared to handle this large of a transaction. Because of this, first time homebuyers are more likely to fall prey to real estate scams. Below are the 2 most common real estate fraud schemes to watch out for and some tips on how to avoid them. At Russell Pruner, we are here to make your home buying experience as headache free as possible. We’re always here to help; give us a call!

Mortgage Fraud

Mortgage fraud is defined as any misrepresentation or omission of a loan. Mortgage fraud has two categories: fraud for housing which is committed by the person borrowing the money and fraud for profit which is committed by the lender. 

To avoid being taken advantage of it’s a good idea to ask your real estate professional for a recommendation on a reputable lender. It’s also a smart idea to consult with a local regulatory agency to confirm the lender’s licensing and credentials. 

You should always be transparent and honest when filling out a mortgage document to avoid accidentally or purposefully committing fraud. Never include false information, even if someone suggests to do so. 

Always read and re-read your mortgage documents before signing on the dotted line. Never sign documents that are blank or incomplete. It’s also not a bad idea to have your mortgage documents reviewed by your lawyer before signing. 

Identity Fraud

We share so much information on the internet every day. It’s important to make sure you are keeping yourself safe on social media because sometimes all it takes to steal your identity is your birthday, maiden name, and a photo. 

The best rule of thumb is just to be careful. You should review your privacy settings on social media sites regularly and only friend people you know. 

Write checks sparingly. The more often you write checks the more people have access to your account and routing number listed on the check as well as your address. Making wire transfers or using a credit card is a good way to avoid writing checks. 

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