(Source: Rozanna M. Martinez Albuquerque Journal, N.M.) – Realtor Mike Lizzi and Rio Rancho police have some suggestions on how potential homeowners or renters can avoid being duped by scammers looking to take their money.
Lizzi said consumers should always be aware of red flags.
For instance, beware if someone conducting a transaction claims to be out of the country. “They say how they went overseas on some type of work contract and have documents and tried to look for a management company before they left but could not find one,” Lizzi said.
Rio Rancho police Sgt. Nicholas Onken said potential home buyers or tenants should meet with the person selling or renting the property. He also suggests buyers and renters do some comparison shopping to make sure the asking price or rent is in the same range of other surrounding properties.
“If it sounds too good to be true, it probably is,” Onken said.
Lizzi agreed, and added people need to trust their gut. “Go drive by the home,” he suggested. “See if someone is living there. See if there is a sign in the yard. … Never, ever wire money or send documents.”
According to Lizzi, scam artists also use personal catastrophes to distract potential buyers and say they are offering the home at a lower asking price because they are in some type of dire straits.
Onken said people with bad credit, financial issues or under other stress might allow their personal pressures to cloud their decision making. He suggests potential buyers and renters do their research before agreeing to rent or buy a home.
Lizzi said scam artists “will also say money is not important and they just want someone to take care of the house.”
If you can rent a house for less than an apartment, it’s probably a scam, Lizzi said.
©2012 the Albuquerque Journal (Albuquerque, N.M.)
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Source: Rozanna M. Martinez Albuquerque Journal, N.M.