As the housing market remains tight, experts say real estate fraud has spiked in the US

Real estate professionals say they’ve seen a surge in housing fraud over the past year. It’s a consequence of tight conditions sparking desperation from both buyers and sellers. Some experts say they expect the situation to get worse as market dynamics continue to shift. Loading Something is loading.

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When fraud victims contact Mark Berman, an attorney at Ganfer Shore that frequently deals with cases of real estate fraud, they’re often distraught. Many of them were close to closing on a property when they received a legitimate-looking email or text asking them to wire a chunk of money to wrap up the deal.

It becomes clear later that the request was sent by a fraudster, part of a wave of similar scams looking to take advantage of frustrated homebuyers and sellers clamoring to transact in a tough market. 

Berman and other industry professionals told Insider that real estate fraud has surged, a trend that’s being driven by tight market conditions. With high interest rates and anemic transaction volume, homebuyers, sellers, and brokers are often trying to close deals as fast as possible, experts say, and this can make it easy to miss a scammer. 

Analytics firm CoreLogic found that the risk for property fraud in which a seller misrepresents information about a house on the market, increased 23% in the second quarter of 2022 from the prior year.

Wire fraud — when a fraudster siphons money from the buyer at some point in the transaction — and title fraud — in which a scammer transfers a the title of a property to an illicit third party — have also spiked.


The original article can be found here