How to avoid housing scams in Jacksonville
Housing scams in Jacksonville are all too common.
There are a lot of different housing scams out there, and unfortunately, they’re becoming a common occurrence. Different types of scams can arise at various stages of selling a house in Jacksonville, and sometimes real estate scams can happen when you haven’t even put your house on the open market. It’s important to know what types of scams are prevalent, how you can easily spot them, and what you can do to avoid them.
Real estate scams in Jacksonville
Wire fraud scams
Wire fraud scams are particularly devastating because you can lose your down payment, closing costs, or life savings in minutes. If you wire funds to an incorrect account, there’s no getting that money back. In this scam, the perpetrator either hacks into the real estate agent’s or title company’s email, or they create an email almost identical to one from the agent or title company. Then they email the buyer or seller and send them information on where to transfer funds.
To protect yourself from this kind of real estate fraud in Jacksonville, be sure to call the party requesting the funds with a phone number that was provided directly by the legitimate agent or company, and ask about any emails that are requesting funds. You should also verify the wire instructions with the correct person before transferring any money.
Foreclosure relief scams in Jacksonville
Another type of scam is when people claim to be able to help you stop your foreclosure by assisting with complicated paperwork for government programs or negotiating new terms with your lender. The scammers ask for an upfront fee, sometimes a significant one, for their services and then don’t actually provide any help. What’s worse is that the homeowner may actually go into foreclosure faster if they are a victim of this type of scam because they’ve lost a large amount of money and may have been told not to contact their lender themselves.
It's important to do thorough research on any company or individual claiming they can help you stop your foreclosure. Look into the company’s reputation and see if they’re in good standing with the Better Business Bureau.
“We buy houses” scams
When it comes time to sell your house in Jacksonville, there are many options available to you. You could sell on the traditional market with an agent, sell it yourself, or sell it to a cash home buyer. We’ve all seen the signs on the side of the road saying “We buy houses” or a version of that. It’s possible that legitimate investors are using those signs to gain sellers’ attention, or it could be a “we buy houses” scam in Jacksonville.
Do your research. That is the best way to protect yourself from this type of scam. Look into the company or person you’re considering doing business with and see if they have a website, customer reviews, and a physical address. Don’t hesitate to ask questions about how many houses they’ve purchased or how long they’ve been in business.
Another thing to keep in mind when determining if you could be involved in a “cash for houses” scam in Jacksonville is if they’re offering a lot more for your house than market value. That can be a sign that they’re trying to get you roped into their scam.
Property fraud in Jacksonville
A type of property fraud that is becoming all too common is deed scams. This is when someone falsifies a deed for a property that they don’t actually own and then registers new ownership with the Duval County Clerk’s Office in Jacksonville. These types of scams are easy to do for a criminal and extremely difficult to reverse for the rightful property owner.
Jacksonville is working to prevent this type of scam by creating a property fraud alert. You can sign up to be notified if any paperwork is filed about a property that you own.
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With a 96.1% customer satisfaction rating and stellar reviews, you can be sure we know how to treat our customers. Our process is simple. It starts with a free, no-obligation consultation where we visit your property and answer all of your questions. Sometimes we can even make you a fair cash offer on the day of our tour. We close quickly, often in as little as three weeks. If you need more time, we’re happy to find a closing date that works with your schedule. Avoid getting scammed by working with a reputable company like We Buy Ugly Houses today.