As some of you may have already heard, it looks like the Nigerians scammers have learnt a new trick.
A South African who had two investment properties in Western Australia had his email broken in to, and they managed to capture documents relating to the properties. Then using a combination of email, telephone and fax they sold one property and nearly sold the other and funnelled the money to Chinese bank accounts.
The unfortunate landlord only found out when he was contacted by a neighbour. To stop the second sale, he had to fly to Australia to block the transaction, whilst the first house was sold in June.
REIWA’s Brian Greig has said that the real estate agents involved in the sale did not do anything wrong and followed the correct process. “If they are sophisticated as they seem to be, identity checks will not be enough — they can forge them.”
Since the number of property transactions without any face to face contact is increasing, its very difficult to clamp down on this type of fraud. No one seems to be sure how to stop it which could cause serious problems if this becomes more popular with fraudsters.