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Watch out for property scams and swindles on internet

If you put an ad on the internet, selling a house, or a boat or a car, you might be contacted by persons with less than honorable goals. At Immogo we’ve seen quite a lot of them passing by. So please allow us to give you some tips about how to avoid being foiled by these people.

To good to be true
For starters, be wary about people who appear very interested without having seen your house. Normal buyers will want to visit your house before making an offer. If someone makes you a firm offer before even visiting your house, you can be certain something is awry. Especially if they come out with a very interesting offer. They are trying to lure you. Don’t bite!

Rip deal in some foreign city
There are those that will pose as international investors that want to buy your real estate with a lot of cash. They want to make you believe you are entering into and profiting from a money laundering operation. But in reality, they just want you to come to some foreign city – Milan, Amsterdam, Paris – where they will propose to make an exchange. They will offer you a substantial amount of foreign currency very cheap. You night believe you are going to make some easy (albeit illegal) money fast. But in reality you are going to enter a rip deal. Where the crooks are gone with your cash. And leave you with a bag full of worthless paper. Or even just put a gun in your face and take your money without entering into anything as fancy as a scam.

The bouncing check of money wire
Another popular trick is where a prospective buyer – often from some African country (country code 22 or 39) – sends you a hefty down payment of say 50.000 Europe’s with a very official bank check. Usually from Western Union. Next, the buyer will ask you to wire him a small sum of about 2000 euros, to cover expenses or to grease some palms. You think it is okay, since you have a guarantee. As soon as you send the money, the bank account will be closed, the check worthless and the buyer gone. Even if the money from the check is already in your bank account, it may still disappear. The check will be reported stolen in the country of origin and the money taken back out of your account.

How to recognize scams
E-mails of scam artists like this are often very particular. The writing is stilted and sometime full of mistakes. They will speak of the firm intention of buying your house even though they’ve never seen it. And the sender is often a reverend, a doctor of a government official. Sometimes they’ll just send a very short mail asking for your telephone number, so they can call you. Some examples:

Bonjour Mr je suis un particulier qui très intéresser par l achat de votre bien pourriez-vous me contacter au numéro suivent pour fixé un rendez-vous très rapidement
Cordialement S.b. tel:0039331750xxxx

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Hello mr, I just see your ad on the Internet real estate and it turns out that I am interésser contact me for more information +3361345xxxx

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Hello,
I want to use this opportunity to inform you that I am interested in your property. If the property is available do contact me urgently and send me your phone contact so I can call you for the transaction. Here is my direct phone
+ 33 613 84x xxx.

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Bonjour
je suis un entrepreneur international,concernant votre maison j’ai actuelement un client intérréssé alors je voudrai savoir le dernier prix et aussi des photos supplementaires.

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Hi Seller,
I’m Rev.Oxxxxx who reside in usa, but presently not in the state.I’m interested in purchasing your House which you place on netcouple of days ago for my family,so i’ll like you to email me the last offer price and it’s present condition inluding the picture.

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Je suis tres interessé par votre annonce  et pour l’interet que je porte pour celle-ci ,j’aimerais que vous m’en disiez un peu plus sur son prix et sur son etat actuel ,si possible me faire parvenir quelque photos, je suis un cadre et je vie actuellement en (AFRIQUE) Côte d’ivoire, Je compte l’acheter pour en faire cadeau à mon fils.
Sincerement salutation,
Mr L. P.

—–
Je me Nomme Mr Vxxxxxxx PROPRIETAIRE DE DEUX ECOLES et PROPRITAIRE D’UN PARC AUTO et je reside en cote d’ivoire.En effet je voudrais porter à votre connaissance que je suis bel et bien intéressé pour lachat de votre Appartement ou Maison . Cependant faites moi parvenir les photos ainsi que le plan de la maison ,le prix exacte et quelques informations supplementaires. Pour plus d’information consernent ma demande vous pouvez me joindre a mon numero qui figure.

As you can see, sometimes they are quite convincing. And they are getting better at it, too! In any case, as long as you never do business with someone who has not actually seen your house and never (NEVER) send any money abroad, there is no risk of being swindled.