REALTOR® Alert: Fraudulent Sellers
We’ve received recent reports that vacant land scams are becoming more rampant in our area.
This is a breakdown of what we hear is happening:
- A person has a parcel or multiple parcels deeded to them in their name.
- Potential fraudulent sellers are acquiring/providing false identification (passports, visas, ID Cards, etc) as evidence of their ownership, most of the time the identification is not from the United States.
- The potential scammers then contact REALTOR® members or other Real Estate Professionals to list the property.
- In some instances, the property gets to the title company, gets flagged, and has had the closing stopped.
From what we hear these likely fraudulent sellers will say they are out of the country or live in one country and provide identification for another country and then provide a PO box in the United States, in essence providing three-plus addresses. Or make excuses for delaying providing identification.
While the fraudulent seller scam is more frequent in vacant land, there have been reports of this happening in the State with residential and commercial properties as well. There is also a similar scam that has been around for quite some time, which is the landlord scam on rentals.
To learn more about potential situations view this article from Florida Realtors® Legal Hotline Attorney Joel Maxson. View the article by clicking here. Florida Realtors® Legal Hotline is a benefit provided with your REALTOR® membership, you can reach the hotline Monday through Friday, from 9:00 am – 4:45 pm at 407-438-1409.
We encourage our members to exercise caution and be alert and safe while in the field.