Thursday, November 12, 2020 / by Vanessa Saunders
By Vanessa Saunders, MBA, MIMC , Broker Owner, Global Property Systems Real Estate.
I love it when something old becomes new again, except when it comes to real estate fraud. We heard of a “new” scam involving rentals that puts a creative new spin on an old trick. Years ago, we first ran into this one when a woman came into our Rockland County office asking for the key to her new home rental in New City. We’d never heard of her, or the rental.
She had responded to a fake ad for a real rental placed by the con-man on Craig's List. He told her he lived in the Caribbean and couldn't meet her but he owned the property for rent. He convinced her to send him the deposit and first month's rent, telling her she could view the house only from the outside, and pick up the key at our office. She swallowed the story, telling us, "He's a church minister, such a lovely man." She didn't get the key. Or her money back.
Using Covid to play an old con.
In the new version, scammers ...
Monday, May 18, 2020 / by Vanessa Saunders
From Vanessa Saunders, MBA, MIMC , Broker Owner, Global Property Systems Real Estate.
This weekend, one of our agents received an unusual phone call about one of our listings. What that caller told her set off all kinds of red scam-flags. The caller said she was interested in a rental of ours she saw on Craig's List. (Flag one - we never use Craig's List, EVER.) She had called the number on the Craig's List ad and spoken with a gentleman who claimed she could see the property but had to put down a $1,000 deposit. (Flag two - we don't require deposits to view a property.) Our caller thought something was odd about it, so she called our agent. (Flag three - if it doesn't pass your smell-test, it probably isn't legit. And this one stank to high heaven.)
As long as there has been real estate, there have been scammers trying to take advantage of buyers, sellers, landlords and renters. With COVID-19's slowing down of personal property viewings and interactions between parties ...
Thursday, April 16, 2020 / by Vanessa Saunders
April 16, 2020
From Vanessa Saunders, MBA, MIMC , Broker Owner, Global Property Systems
We have a friend who owns property on the island of Antigua in the Caribbean. An Antiguan real estate agent contacted her claiming to have a buyer willing to give her over $2 million dollars for her two undeveloped mountainside properties and an adjoining lot with a small house built on it. The agent said our friend needed to sign him as her real estate agent so he could conduct the sale. Fortunately, she asked us to read over his contract.
We smelled a rat immediately. For one thing, if there was already a buyer, why did she need to hire an agent to represent her? We ran a Current Market Analysis for similar properties sold recently in Antiqua and the offering was way more than anything listed or sold. The truth came out when we read the fine print in the contract. It specified that if the properties failed to sell after a certain period of time, the contract would be cancelled and she wou ...
Wednesday, March 25, 2020 / by Vanessa Saunders
Wednesday March 25, 2020
By Vanessa Saunders, MBA, MIMC , Broker Owner, Global Property Systems
In times like these, especially like these, it is easy to spread mis-information. There is so much information coming at us 24/7 from so many sources that it can be overwhelming and impossible to process entirely.
Spreading mis-information is easy, even if unintended. The chief medical officer of CVS Pharmacy shared in an internal memo that drinking warm water is an effective way to combat coronavirus. Of course, it's not. If you are going to share information, you have an obligation to verify it before passing it on. Even if you don't intend to pass health information or other vital knowledge along, you should verify for your own personal well being.
In this regard, the power of the internet is both a wonderful and terrible thing. It transports information at the speed of light, able to "go viral" in seconds. But it also is a wonderful tool to check facts and verify information. What&rs ...
Friday, December 13, 2019 / by Vanessa Saunders
Once upon a time, you could count the number and types of crypto-currency on one hand. That is no longer possible. The market for crypto - Bitcoins, Altcoins and tokens has grown in leaps and bounds. Besides Bitcoin, the "brand name" in crypto currency, there is LiteCoin, PotCoin (I think I know where they're going with that one), TitCoin (I have no idea where they're going with that one but their logo gives me a hint), NXT, MEM, ConYeCoin (as in a certain rap star) and DogeCoin, pronounced "Doggie-Coin."
The newest "coin" on the market and available online is called HoweyCoin. According to the HoweyCoin website, most travel businesses “require processing, centralized currency, and most importantly, nickel and dime fees that add up to literally billions.”
HoweyCoin is different, the site says, because:
“HoweyCoins utilize the latest crypto-technology to allow travelers to purchase all segments without these limitations, allowing HoweyCoin users to buy, sell ...