Desperate consumers easy prey for scammers

MANY consumers readily sign contracts without reading the contents. Later they regret their decision when they discover they have signed their rights away.

MANY consumers readily sign contracts without reading the contents. Later they regret their decision when they discover they have signed their rights away.

Buyers are so desperate for homes that they don't even ask if they will get a title deed, if they have to evict illegal occupants, if the land's ownership is in dispute or if they are victims of yet another scam.

Examples of land scams:

lSelling land that is unsuitable for building and claiming it has great value;

lVague descriptions on deeds that allow a promoter to sell the same land to several buyers;

lIllegal or unapproved subdivisions, especially where land has not been properly plotted and permits granted;

lSelling land where title deeds cannot be transferred, for example, land the seller does not own but pretends to be the real owner with the use of forged documents and fake IDs;

lHigh-pressure and unscrupulous tactics, especially misrepresenting a buyer's legal rights to cancel an agreed-on sale.

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