BIRMINGHAM, Ala. (WBRC) - A competitive housing market is giving dishonest people looking to take advantage of others more opportunities to trick you out of your money.
Experts said it’s a seller’s market and once you find a good home, it’s important to move quickly, but it’s that rush, a local scam expert said is causing people to fall victim to schemes.
A viewer claimed people were being asked to pay hundreds of dollars to hold or secure a property before they filled out an application.
Garrett Smitherman with the Better Business Bureau said scammers could be using the pandemic as an excuse not to meet in person, but he said that’s a red flag.
“They’ll make it seem normal, ‘I’m being deployed, or I’m relocated with my company, and I’m already in Portland or in upstate New York. It’s okay, you send me the money, I’ll send you the key’. I would not get involved with any of that,” Smitherman explained.
Smitherman said to do your research on the property representative or company.
“If there’s nothing out there about them that could potentially be a red flag just as much as finding bad stuff. If you can’t find a thing about these companies in digital format that may be a sign that these people aren’t necessarily legit,” said Smitherman.