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According to research, the need for
cyber attentiveness is now important, more so where it involves money and
Since the onset of the Corona virus pandemic
the switch to digital and Proptech has accelerated and while it has made it
easier to search and shop for properties, it matches with a reported increase
in cybercrime, fraudsters and fake information.
Tenants, landlords, sellers, buyers
and property agents all have to step up their alertness because fraudsters and
scammers are improving their game day by day. The cost of clicking on a link
and accidentally changing your banking passwords or transferring a house
deposit to a fake account can be devastating.
As fast as the loopholes close, the
fraudsters and scammers produce new ways to scam innocent people.
asking you directly or with upfront cash or mortgage approved offers should
always first be verified. Letting such a tenant into your property might be the
last time you see any cash and you could end up with property damage and a
costly and onerous eviction process.
especially those claiming they can get you a higher price or offering a low
commission should be verified first. Always check that they are in fact
registered with the PPRA (Property Practitioners Regulatory Authority).
property news such as dramatic claims or wild statements about how well or bad the
market is doing which is often second-hand and distorted could be used to trick
you. Rather speak to a well-established real estate agent if you want to know
about the market or properties for sale or rent.
and landlords, especially those pretending to be living or travelling overseas while
they are selling or renting a property should always be guarded against. Be
sure to first verify their identity and the existence of the property before
paying anything or avoid it at all costs. There are plenty of genuine options
available on the property market.
property adverts only ever aim to trick you into handing over money. These adverts
usually have copied photos and information from other listings and might come
with low prices. Only respond to adverts placed on legitimate websites and property
portals. If it looks undervalued, it is probably a fraud.
WhatsApp and SMS are now a daily occurrence. Never click on attachments unless you are
certain of the origin. Legitimate agents will have a credible email address.
Always verify the sender’s identity and address.
there are no physical meet-ups. A credible agent will first introduce themselves to
you and not just send a random email or message claiming to have a buyer or
tenant. Always verify the identity of the agent and existence of the property
before taking any action.
handing out your bank details and paying over deposits or other money unless you
have met the agent, seen the property and verified the validity of the request.
Be especially careful when you are involved in a property transaction and
receive requests from agents or conveyancers. First verify the request before
taking any action.
letting strangers into your property for viewings. There are plenty of stories of
criminals posing as tenants or buyers. Rather work with a credible property
practitioner who will manage the viewings and vet the visitors to minimize