We’ve all heard the saying: "If it sounds too good to be true, it probably is."
As reported in The Regina Leader Post, a Saskatchewan couple recently learned the lesson first hand when they almost became the victim of an online scam.
The couple had listed their home for sale on various websites and thought they had sold their home online to a British doctor. Unfortunately, after emails back and forth and further investigation, they found out the doctor did not exist. It was a scam.
Scams like this occur when con artists offer to buy a home. They send the seller a bogus cheque for more than the amount agreed upon and contact the seller (before the cheque clears) claiming an error has been made. The scam artist then asks for reimbursement of the overpayment and this is how he makes his money.
Fortunately for the Saskatchewan couple involved in this story, they found out before it was too late. Many sellers are not so lucky.
Real estate transactions are one of the biggest financial investments people will experience in their lifetime. It pays to be informed about scams.
Under federal regulations, all real estate companies must have their clients complete an “Individual Identification Information Record” when purchasing or selling real estate. (FINTRAC) This is required by the “Proceed of Crime (Money Laundering) and Terrorist Financing Act”.
Dave Markus is with Century 21 Conexus Realty in Regina, Saskatchewan.