For fraud to occur in an event, there must be a qualified lie or fraudulent situation. It is known that many methods are used by fraudsters for this purpose, such as deceiving people completely, making promises that impossible situations will happen, playing with the perception of the other party by using fancy expressions, and taking advantage of victims by issuing fake documents. The most effective option to protect yourself from these scam methods is to comply with the terms and conditions stated in the law and to check whether the other party complies.
When the crime of fraud is considered in general terms, it can be examined under two headings simple and qualified. Simple fraud cases can be evaluated within the scope of reconciliation. The prosecution office can initiate the necessary investigation after examining the incident that is the subject of the crime. Victims also have the right to complain, which has a statute of limitations of 8 years. The qualified form of fraud concerns the public, in this context, the type of fraud that is carried out takes place in a way that affects the public.
Crimes expressed by real estate fraud increased after 2010 when house sales from models increased. Although there are numerous types of such real estate fraud crimes, there are many types of fraud, especially by construction companies and contractors. Recently, there has been an increase in the sales of houses made on models with the build-sell model. Customers are persuaded to buy flats by the officials of the construction companies by showing the model projects that appeal to the visual and by various promises. While there is no problem in most of such sales transactions, unfortunately, some of them suffer from the customer side. Some customers cannot get their houses or the title deeds of the real estate they buy, even though they pay the full price. Some customers, on the other hand, receive a different or lower quality house than the real estate promised to them during the delivery process. There are many more methods used by fraudsters, such as this and similar fraud methods are listed below:
1. Bank Transfer Scam
Scammers use genuine-looking fake documents, fake emails, and websites to appear official and pretend to be representatives of their unofficial fake companies. Forged checks are used in this process. The aforementioned fake checks play a leading role in many different fraud methods: Checks are used in real estate deposit fee or down payment frauds, mystery customer frauds, and more fraud methods. Victims are asked to deposit money with an unexpected check or money order. When requesting money from victims, it is stated that this fee is taken to cover taxes, transaction fees, or various expenses, and they say that they will transfer this fee back to them immediately. Weeks later, victims learn that the checks are fake. In this process, they have already transferred the money. Victims cannot get back the money transferred to the fraudsters. All of the victims send money to someone in the hope of receiving something of higher value and then receive less or nothing at all.
2. Home Title Theft
In this fraudulent system, fraudsters can transfer your property to them and then mortgage it and sell it further without your knowledge. During this process, you may have lost all your home rights on the aforementioned real estate. You become aware of this scam when a foreclosure takes place or you are evicted by the new owner to whom the house was sold. You can protect yourself from fraudulent examples like this by purchasing title theft insurance. To protect your title on the real estate, you can request 24/7 control and alerting you when a title change is made by someone else.
3. Moving Scams
There are many types of scams you can come across when moving, the most common form of scam starts with the potential customer contacting a shipping company and asking for an estimated fee for the action. These carriers can sometimes bid very low for the work to be done, but fraudulent carriers may change their initial bid for the customer to move the goods during the move. The new price may be four or five times higher than the original quote. Fraudsters act knowing that victims will have to pay these high amounts in line with their needs for their personal belongings.
4. Deposit Scams
The fraudsters deceive people through these advertisements by underlining the fact that the house is furnished and other distinctive features, with the fake house photos they specify in the advertisements. Afterward, they usually disappear with the deposit + initial rental fees they demand from the victim. Many people are victims of this fraudulent method. It is very important to work with reliable companies to protect yourself from this and similar fraudulent methods.
5. Rental Scams
Rent fraud is a fraud system that occurs as a result of misrepresentation of the owner and tenant of the real estate to be rented. Rental fraud can also occur in the form of misrepresenting the features and usability of the property to be rented. Fake advertisements and false responses to these advertisements for rental housing can cause problems for both tenants and property owners. If you are looking for rental housing, it is very important to get detailed information about the property you are considering renting to protect yourself from fraudsters in this process.
How to Spot Real Estate Scams?
If you are thinking of buying real estate, you need to pay attention to the details to minimize the risk of being defrauded during the process. After you decide to rent a place, you must see the deed if possible. It is very important to go to the land registry office and question the title deed as much as see the deed. This protects you against the risk of being scammed from the official point of view. After checking the compliance of the deed with the official requirements, a contract that fits your expectations and protects you should be prepared. In the process of paying the amounts to be paid to the owner by bank transfer, sent with a description of where the money should be sent. More important than these details and the most important factor that will reduce the risk of being defrauded is to work with a reliable company.
How to Report Real Estate Scams?
Citizens who are victims of fraud as a result of such a situation should apply to the nearest police department or the Office of the Chief Public Prosecutor for a complaint and file a criminal complaint without losing any time. These authorities will initiate the necessary investigations and investigations after the criminal complaint.
How to Avoid a Property Scam?
Deciding to buy a property is a very important decision that will affect your life and many obstacles may come your way. Being aware of these obstacles is very important in terms of not regretting the decisions made later.
When you decide to buy a property to avoid exposure to real estate scams, there are some important details to consider before signing any documents are listed below:
- Research the Real Estate You will Buy Well: It may be perceived as a very cliché warning to say research before you buy, but we can say that this is the most important factor in order not to be exposed to real estate fraud. For example, if you do not work with reliable real estate companies that have recently been selling real estate online due to travel restrictions, you should see the real estate for yourself and meet the seller in person. If possible, try to visit the real estate of your choice and research it well. Think twice before making your payment.
- Pay Attention to Online Real Estate Ads: Some people in the real estate sector describe themselves as authorized real estate agents and post real estate sales on the internet. However, to carry out such transactions, it is necessary to have a transaction authorization document on real estate. For this reason, if you are looking for real estate in online real estate listings, you need to find out if the real estate company that posted the ad has a trade permit form, chamber registry, and financial registry. Frauds carried out by such unauthorized agents are a common form of real estate fraud, which we refer to as “walking agents”.
- Be Wary of Illegal Real Estate: Illegal properties, in other words, buildings constructed without permission, may face the risk of demolition by the government in the future, which means that the money you spend on purchasing the real estate is wasted. Real estate scammers can trick you into buying unbuilt real estate legally. The concept of unauthorized construction is the constructions that are built in areas that are prohibited by the state or that are contrary to the implementation of the zoning plan and put public health at risk.
- Real Estate That Violates Public Service: The area is also considered illegal. It is obligatory to obtain permission from the municipality and governorships for all buildings to be constructed within the scope of official conditions. If this situation does not occur, the mentioned buildings are deemed unauthorized. After the construction process is over, obtaining a residential use license before starting to use the real estate is another important detail. In this way, you can also benefit from city infrastructure services such as electricity or water with your transaction. Otherwise, you may be deprived of these services.
- License: Before attempting to purchase the real estate you are considering buying, make sure that the real estate is a licensed structure. The subject of illegal transactions, which are the subject of implementation of the zoning plan, is also very important. The existence of such situations may expose you to the risk of demolition of the real estate you bought. For example, in some regions, physical properties such as the number of floors of a building may be legally included in the limitation. This has been formalized by the regulated rules. In this case, three-story buildings are allowed in some regions, while four-story buildings are not.
- Earthquake: In addition, earthquake regulations are among the issues that you should pay attention to. Houses that do not comply with earthquake regulations are demolished. This is especially important for your safety. While some real estates are built within this scope, some real estates are not in compliance with this regulation. Before investing in real estate, research thoroughly whether the real estate is legally compliant to avoid exposure to real estate fraud.
- Work with Reliable People and Institutions: It will be beneficial for you to work with a professional lawyer during real estate buying and selling transactions. Getting legal guidance may seem expensive at first glance, but it will protect you from potential further losses.
- Error-free Paperwork Process: All real estate in Turkey is registered with a title deed, a document on which the owner’s name is written. Before hiring a seller, make sure that the seller is the legal owner of the property. For this purpose, you may want to see the deed of the property, in this way you will avoid paying the wrong people. To avoid such scams, you can also check the title deed in the municipality to make sure it is correct. In addition, another important document to be checked is the document related to the residence permit of the house. This document is certified whether the real estate in question was built legally and at the same time, it was progressed by the regulations during the construction.
Work with Trusted Real Estate Agencies
Deciding which real estate agent you will work with is almost half of the real estate buying process. A reliable company will help ensure that you always make the best decisions. However, a good real estate consultancy service will minimize your risk of exposure to fraud. Realty Group, with its successful history in the real estate sector, will support you from the beginning to the end on the way to owning a house and will guide you from the beginning to the end of this process with its experienced and reliable consultant staff and its wide product range. Most of all, they will protect you against real estate scams available in the market. Realty Group is a reputable real estate company that has been making a name for itself recently and directing the sector, and it aims to provide you with the best service in this process.