Absent Homeowners Warned Of Scams
Imagine going overseas only to have your home sold and scammers pocketing the proceeds.
Home-owners and potential buyers are being warned to look out for property scams after a spate of fraudulent sales.
In Western Australia, authorities are aware of two successful and six attempted real estate frauds, while a Canberra home owner recently discovered her property had been sold four months earlier without her consent.
All involved owners of Australian property who now live in either South Africa or Nigeria.
Earlier in July, South African police charged three people with fraud, forgery and uttering related to the sale of a house in Mandurah (WA).
ACT Policing said they were investigating the most recent scam.
The owner of a Macgregor house only found out it had been sold when she asked her property manager why rent payments had stopped, Fairfax reported.
Police say home owners who live overseas should set up robust protocols to protect and confirm their bona fides in dealing with real estate agents.
For example, home owners could have a security question only they and their property manager know the answer to.
ACT Attorney-General Simon Corbell says all professionals involved in property sales need to be vigilant and exercise due diligence.
"Particularly when dealing with overseas transactions, check if you are in any doubt," he said. AAP