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Housing Scams

Beware of these frauds and scams when buying or foreclosing on a home.

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  • Đang chơi bàiIf you have an issue with a move across state lines, .

  • If you have a complaint about an intrastate move (a move within the boundaries of a state), contact your.

  • File a report using the .

  • How to Hire a Mover and Protect Yourself

    Get tools from to help you protect yourself against moving fraud. Keep these tips in mind to avoid moving scams:

    Do

    • Đang chơi bàiGet a company representative to come to your home for a realistic estimate of the move.

    • Get a written estimate from several movers. In general, estimates are based on time, the number of movers needed, who does the packing, and the number of rooms to be moved.

    • Verify that the company is insured in case your goods are damaged during the move.

    • Ask for the company’s U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT) number and to check if the company is registered.

    • Reach out to your local, county, or state consumer affairs agency or state attorney general to see if there is a complaint record.

    Don’t

    • Đang chơi bàiDon’t accept an estimate over the phone.

    • Đang chơi bàiDon’t sign a blank contract.

    • Don’t pay for the move in advance or in cash.

    • Đang chơi bàiDon’t let movers start packing your goods into the truck without reviewing the contract and estimate again. Do this before the move starts.

    Get Help With International Moves

    Đang chơi bàiGet tips and resources about moving to another country.

    • Đang chơi bàiOverseas moving estimates are based in part on how much space (cubic volume) your household goods occupy in a shipping container.

    • International moving may involve customs and import regulations.  Learn more by contacting you are relocating to. 

    • Before selecting a mover, make sure the company has a number. All legitimate international movers will have an FMC number.

    • You can file a complaint with the FMC’s .

    • .

    .
  • If the scam involves bankruptcy, contact a .
  • How to Protect Yourself from Foreclosure Scams

    Get reliable foreclosure help and counseling through the government's . Or near you.  and find phone numbers to call for help.

    Do

    Learn about your options. Also be aware of these tricks that scammers use:

    • Offering to act as a go-between with your lender or to negotiate with your lender to refinance your loan
    • Advising you that they can stop foreclosure by .
    • Encouraging you to sign fake foreclosure rescue or mortgage documents
    • Claiming that they can perform a to help you hold onto your home
    • Offering you

    Don’t

    • Don’t fall for .
    • Don’t send mortgage payments to any company that is not your loan servicer.
    • Don’t sign any documents without having them reviewed by a lawyer or independent expert.
    • Don’t stop making mortgage payments.
    • Don’t forget that .
    • Don’t give anyone your personal information, Social Security number, or bank information. Only share this information if you've confirmed that the company is legitimate.  

    Predatory Loans

    Đang chơi bàiMortgage professionals can help you buy or refinance your home.  Most are trustworthy and provide a valuable service. But dishonest or "predatory" lenders do exist. They engage in practices that can put you at risk of losing your home to foreclosure. Learn how to protect yourself from and report predatory lending and loan fraud.

    Report Predatory Loans

    Learn how to file a complaint about mortgages and lenders, and who to send your complaint to.  

    How to Protect Yourself from Predatory Loans

    To protect yourself from predatory loans, get counseling or learn about the types of scams that dishonest lenders may use to trick you. 

    The Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) has . These counselors can help you:

    • Đang chơi bàiNavigate mortgage professionals

    • Look out for scams

    • Assist you with choosing the right type of loan

    You can also protect yourself by learning the warning signs of predatory lending practices. Predatory lenders may try to:

    • Đang chơi bàiSell properties for much more than they are worth using false appraisals

    • Encourage borrowers to lie about their income, expenses, or cash available for down payments in order to get a loan

    • Đang chơi bàiKnowingly lend more money than a borrower can afford to repay

    • Charge high interest rates to borrowers based on their race or national origin and not on their credit history

    • Charge fees for unnecessary or nonexistent products and services

    Do

    • Đang chơi bàiBefore you buy a home, attend a homeownership education course. Non-profit counseling agencies offer courses which give advice about mortgages and foreclosures. Find out which are approved by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD).  

    • Before selecting a realtor to help you buy or sell a home, ask for and check their references. 

    • Get information about the current values and recent sale prices of other homes in the neighborhood.

    • Đang chơi bàiHire a qualified and licensed home inspector to carefully inspect the property before you are obligated to buy.

    • Đang chơi bàiDetermine whether you or the seller will be responsible for paying for the repairs.

    • Shop for a lender and compare costs.

    • Đang chơi bàiBe suspicious if anyone tries to steer you to just one lender. Learn more about how to .

    • Đang chơi bàiBecome an educated consumer and .

    Don’t

    • Don’t lie about your income, age, or anything else on a home loan application.

    • Don’t give anyone your personal or financial information through email or messaging. This includes your Social Security number.

    • Don’t use a lender, real estate professional, or contractor who cannot provide you with a license number and recommendations.

    • Don’t fall for loans or offers that seem too good to be true.

    • Don’t take out a loan offered to you by telemarketers, flyers, or door-to-door sales.

    • Don’t feel obligated or pressured to sign up for a loan or service “today.”

    Rental Scams

    Đang chơi bàiRental scams happen when either a property owner or potential tenant misrepresents themselves. Rental scams also misrepresent the terms and availability of a rental property. Fake ads and fake responses to rental ads can hurt both tenants and property owners.

    Scams Targeting Renters

    If you're searching for rental properties, it's important to learn about rental scams. 

    Report Scams Targeting Renters

    Report a rental scam to your state consumer protection or local law enforcement.

    If you found the rental ad online, report the scam to the website where it was posted. Also, file a report with the .

    How to Protect Yourself from Scams Targeting Renters

    Be suspicious that the property or transaction could be a scam if:

    • Đang chơi bàiThe advertised price is much lower than that of similar properties.

    • Ads for the property have grammatical and spelling errors, or overuse capital letters.

    • The ad uses uncommon spellings of words, like "favour" instead of "favor."

    • You can only work with an agent. The agent says that the owner is too busy, out of the country, or otherwise unavailable to handle the rental.

    • The owner or agent requires you to sign the lease before you see the rental property.

    • The owner or agent isn't able to let you enter the home or apartment or charges you a fee to view it.

    • Đang chơi bàiThe owner or agent uses high-pressure sales tactics. They may urge you to rent quickly before someone else gets the property.

    Do

    • Đang chơi bàiLearn the basics of .

    • Get the terms of your rental in writing, including fees, rent, and maintenance.

    • Get a copy of the lease, signed by both you and the property owner/manager.

    • Do a search on the owner, real estate management company, and listing. If you find the same ad listed under a different name, that’s a clue it may be a scam.

    • Đang chơi bàiVisit real estate websites. See if the home you want to rent is also listed in another city.  A scammer could have copied the photo or description of another rental to use in their ad. 

    • .

    Don’t

    • Đang chơi bàiDon’t wire money as a deposit or payment for the first and last month's rent. Wiring money is the same as giving cash; you can't get a refund, even if you find out the offer was a fraud.

    • Don’t give in to high-pressure sales tactics.

    • Đang chơi bàiDon’t pay a security deposit, fee, or first month’s rent before you’ve signed a lease.

    • Đang chơi bàiDon’t rent a property that you are unable to see before signing the agreement.

    • Don’t send money for a rental overseas.

    • Don’t give your personal information or Social Security number to a property owner without verifying their identity.

    Scams Targeting Rental Property Owners

    If you're offering a property for lease, it's important to be aware of renter's scams. 

    Report Scams Targeting Property Owners

    Đang chơi bàiIf you feel that you’re the involving the internet, report it to the .

    Contact your state attorney general’s office. The office may explain your legal rights as a landlord. Also ask how to file a complaint against a renter or potential renter.

    How to Protect Yourself From Scams Targeting Property Owners

    Do

    • Đang chơi bàiSearch your renter’s name and email address to see if others have flagged them as a scammer.

    • Consider using a .

    • Đang chơi bàiLearn more from the Federal Trade Commission about .

    • Before renting your property, meet the prospective tenant or the person who will pay the rent.

    • Conduct an image search of your property. An imposter may use images of your property to create their own listings as part of a scam.

    • Request each renter’s personal references and follow up with those individuals.

    • Carefully verify your renter’s income.

    Don’t

    • Đang chơi bàiDon’t accept overpayment for rental properties.

    • If you receive a check that’s for more than the specified amount, return it. Do not deposit it. 

    • Đang chơi bàiDon’t rent or sell to a would-be tenant or buyer sight unseen.

    • Don’t accept a cashier’s check from your potential tenant if he or she is out of the country.

    • Don’t fall for an unexplained urgency to rent the property. 

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    Do you have a question?

    Đang chơi bài Ask a real person any government-related question for free. They'll get you the answer or let you know where to find it.

    Đang chơi bàiLast Updated: September 8, 2020

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