Wednesday, April 04, 2007

Beware Of Fraud

Fraud is on the rise and yes it could happen to you. The Alberta police force gave some tips on how to avoid internet fraud.

They are as follows:

* Be cautious when you go on the Internet - if an offer sounds too good to be true it probably is.
* Keep your online bank password secret and change it often.
* Look for the 'lock' icon in your browser. This means that you are conducting a secure transaction.
* Be wary of e-mails requesting your personal information.
* Use good anti-virus, anti-spyware and anti-spam software. Use a firewall.
* Read the privacy policy of web sites you visit to see what kind of information they collect about you.

Since the real estate market is so hot right now, mortgage fraud is also on the rise;

"Many Alberta residents have been lured by promises of big returns and have become victims of mortgage fraud. Many bought properties that had overinflated values as a result of a series of fraudulent transactions, which resulted in victims facing huge financial losses and compromised credit ratings."read article

Here are some ways to protect yourself against mortgage fraud:

* Contact your local real estate board to ensure your representative is a licensed real estate agent.
* Ask for a comparative market analysis of the property.
* Ask for a copy of the land title.
* Insist on a home inspection of any property you are planning to purchase.
* When you make a deposit, ensure your money is protected by being held in trust.

In all cases just do your due diligence. Our company offers referrals from past clients, insists our partners get independant legal advice and operates with a high level of transparency in our business dealings. As REIN members we sign a pledge to never operate in the "GREY AREA" that boils down to working with integrity.