Property scam hits Algarve


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AS THE internet promotes the globalisation and exchange of ideas and communication, the dark side of this new media continues to expand. Scams using the internet and emails are becoming more frequent and several readers have expressed concern over a suspected property scam on the internet that has reached them.

It is becoming a well-known scam, where fraudsters search the internet for properties advertised for sale online. Once they have found one, they email the seller to express their interest in purchasing the property. The scam artists tend to say they are professionals, like doctors or teachers, in order to lull people into a false sense of security. They also email the seller regularly to illustrate their eagerness in the property.

Over time, their web of lies and power of persuasion become more intricate and believable. Many are even willing to offer the seller a contact telephone number, which only serves to increase the authenticity of the scam artists’ interest with the hope that it will appease the seller.

However, these scam artists will always be caught out by one thing, time and again. Their ultimate goal is to acquire money and, without fail, they will ask the seller for their bank account details, in order to make the money transfer for the property.

In one particular online property purchase scam, a “doctor” says he is unable to view the property as he does not have time as he is preparing for the new job in Portugal and readying his family.

Readers are advised that they should never give out their personal details to anyone over the phone or in an email. Thousands of people have lost money as a result of these scams and it is becoming increasingly more difficult to trace the fraudsters, as their scams become more sophisticated.

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