It is hard to believe it has been about a month since my name was used in a Saskatoon real estate fraud. I am glad that REM Online has posted an article to bring further awareness to Canadian REALTORS about the frauds taking place right under our noses.
About 2 weeks ago I had a call from another Saskatoon real estate agent to report that he just had a similar scam happening with his name and email address and one of his houses for sale in Saskatoon and he wondered what he could do. Thankfully the public and many local Saskatoon REALTORS were already aware of this ridiculous attempt to defraud innocent people so I am hoping no one fell for the scam attempt using his name.
The biggest thing to do is to keep aware of scams and to prevent them from working. If people are sending money to these fraudsters they will keep on doing what they are doing…because it works! The more awareness we can bring to the public and to REALTORS across Canada and the US the less likely it should be that anyone falls for these scams. Similar to the letters all of us have received in the mail about a rich relative passing away in some faroff land and needing money sent to pay lawyers so that you will receive your inheritance, these scams take fresh twists and turns so educating yourself and those around you is important and you shouldn’t get complacent. I recently received a letter in the mail, so not just email, that someone bothered to spend the money to post from Malasyia, to try to get money from me for an inheritance. Why are they spending money on this? Because it works so they cast the net wide and see which suckers they can find. The same goes on any of these real estate scams.
Many people still continue to ask me why someone would send money? Who would be that stupid they ask? As a Saskatoon REALTOR I have actually rented out my own personal townhouse in Saskatoon more than once to people who have not seen it as they were renting from a distance. They sent me a personal cheque for the deposit and to hold to townhouse. It is not unlike what the scam artists are asking people to do…except sending money by wire transfer to someone out of country should be a massive red flag. If you aren’t from Canada though and don’t know how the system works this may not sound that unusual or as a red flag.
Keep reminding people to be vigilent. REALTORS across Canada, be aware of any suspicious calls or emails that ask about renting one of your listing and be sure to do some digging about the source and report the activity to police and the website providers where the ads are occuring. The best thing we can all do is keep reporting these types of fraud so they don’t work and these criminals move on. People’s money, homes, reputations and safety are all at risk with this scam so help spread the word. Saskatoon REALTORS, keep spreading the word and being aware as others here are starting to get used despite the media coverage.
Saskatoon Real Estate Agent
Century 21 Fusion