In property scam, the fraudster claims ownership of a property and after one or more transactions and negotiations, they abscond with the money; hence, leaving the victim completely broken depending on the amount of money involved – which is usually a lot.
One of the banes of this type of scam is the length of time it takes to discover there has been a fraud and the suddenness that comes with the fraudster’s disappearance immediately transaction is complete.
The most intriguing part is that most victims suspect foul play but go on with the transactions anyway, like they are under some form of spell.
The prevalence and effectiveness of property scam in Nigeria makes it a worthy venture for some unscrupulous Nigerians. They see it as a good medium to easily engage in their criminal activities – a ‘get rich quick’ scheme.
Real estate scam in Nigeria is commonplace and is one of the most potent scam you can fall for because of the many evils tenants’ suffer in the hands of landlords.
On the other hand, online real estate scam is fast becoming a free scam zone for online scam artists. The property listing is usually of high taste, and mouth- watering photos that puts you in a day dream mode and mostly something you can afford especially when you are on the verge of owning a house; they box their victims in a tight corner so that they find it difficult to resist.
It really can be hard to know a legitimate opportunity when it comes along, especially if that opportunity seems too good to be true. Working with a reputable real estate agent can be a great way to avoid the most common types of real estate scams. Spot on enquiries, spot on responses, landlord seems to go AWOL – ‘almost genuine’ reasons are given for his absence and why he can’t take a tour with you around the property. You are told to send in a deposit as soon as possible to lay claim to the property. This seems so easy and highly suspect yet a lot of people have fallen for it. The online real estate scam hub is open to both buyers and renters alike; they are the sure targets of fraudsters
There are some risky and highly disputed no go areas in Lagos state that you shouldn’t buy properties. Places where properties are offered for sale at the buyer’s peril. Land that can never go up for sale without the supervision of the Lagos state government; that is, they are usually under the auspices of the Lagos state government. Such properties are the targets of real estate fraudsters and buying such properties only leaves you at the mercy of the government. A lot of verification should go with acquiring properties especially when you are dealing with ‘OMONILES’, the worst type of con artist because they have little or nothing at stake.
‘Omoniles’ are arguably the ring leaders in real estate scam; they forge a deed, survey plan and claim ancestral ownership to a land they have no inkling about. The high-handed mischief and misleading of Omoniles,who don’t have any bearing on the supposed properties that are put up for sale is second to none. Some would even dare you to do a research on the land in question just to effect the scam.
Also, land that has been designated for agricultural purposes also come under the radar of con artists, another variation to their scams which ensures that unsuspecting victims lose all cash invested in the wild goose chase
In summary, there is no legitimacy and a lot of risk is involved when you pay upfront for a property and make contractual agreements without first inspecting the property you are acquiring or having a proper meeting with the agents involved because you fear the opportunity may slip off you especially when the property is discounted and the documents involved look official. Yet a lot of people don’t put this into cognizance in transactions involving ownership of properties.
In some cases a few seconds of online search about the person or agents you are dealing with is all that will legitimate your dealings. This search should include names, addresses, references, e-mail and other contacts
One of the most basic rules in real estate is that if a deal sounds too good to be true, it most likely is. Be wary of online listings of well affordable luxury properties that could even come with discounts. This is one of the most enticing tools scammers deploy to rob property seekers of their hard-earned money and in some cases life savings are lost to these fraudsters.
To be forewarned is to be forearmed!