Think you’re immune to online schemes? Don’t answer too quickly. You could find that more than once you’d been so close to being the next online-scandal victim. When it comes to purchasing a house based on an advertisement from the not-always-so-honest web, it’s imperative that you check things out.
1. Try trusting your instincts
If something sounds off, it probably is! You might have a feeling that a situation is just not measuring correctly. Don’t just assume that it’s fake, though, or even vice versa. Find factual reasoning behind that feeling, and then take action accordingly.
2. Be sure to check the advertiser’s sources
Numbers or any other contact information listed should be available to you. No contact information? That could be hint. When you do come in contact with the owner, ask detailed questions and expect to get answers. Also, when you go to view a home, it’s usually important to eventually see the inside. If that’s not allowed, it could be a red flag.
3. Make sure it all adds up
Found a home that’s perfect you AND has the perfect price? Feeling it’s too good to be true? Well, possibly. Check the worth of neighboring homes to find if your jewel is being under-priced. This could easily be a sign of false play.
Getting scammed isn’t hard, but neither is trying to avoid it. It’s the little things that are often forgotten (checking numbers, verifying stories) that could make or break your online-buying experience. Validate the information you’ve got, and you’ve just avoided being someone else’s free paycheck.
For more information, please view this Consumer Alert issued in 2009. Online Rental Ads Could Be Phony