We continue to receive several calls regarding fake seller/buyer scams, especially those involving the sale of vacant land. The scams seem to be getting more and more sophisticated, and even include realistic but fake photo IDs, driver licenses, and passports.
I’m re-linking an excellent article the Real Estate Commission put out on common scenarios to be wary of, red flags indicative of likely fraudulent activity, and steps to take to protect yourself and your clients: https://bulletins.ncrec.gov/fake-seller-fake-buyer-scam-alerts/#:~:text=You%20can%20also%20ask%20the,may%20be%20in%20the%20making.
In addition to the Real Estate Commission, I recommend contacting AG Stein’s office about these scams ((the more they hear about them, the more likely they’ll make investigating and shutting them down a priority). You may also consider contacting the regional office of the Federal Trade Commission (link to their landing page, where you can find the complaint form, here: https://www.ftc.gov/about-ftc/bureaus-offices/regional-offices/southeast-region
Lastly, below are some recent Legal Q&As from NC REALTORS on the topic, and also remember that Canopy MLS now has a feature called ForeWarn where you can run background checks on prospective clients.
Thank you, all, and please continue to stay vigilant and safe out there!