real estate scams - Articles

Realty Agent Scammed Friends and Family of Millions, Gets 15 Years

A Silicon Valley real estate agent received a 15-year prison sentence this week for using a home-loan Ponzi scheme to scam friends and family out of more than $2 million, which she spent on luxuries such as fancy cars, expensive furniture and designer clothes, reported the San Jose Mercury News. Jill Marie Silvey, of San... Continue Reading »

Homeless Man Allegedly Rents Out Vacant Home to Tenants

Is being a thief better than being a squatter? A homeless man allegedly stole $1,375 in cash by renting out a vacant home in Ormond Beach, Fla., so that he could afford a place to live, reported. Eric Sisson, 27, (pictured at left) listed the foreclosed home on Craigslist, claiming that he recently... Continue Reading »

Former NYPD Officer Accused in $4.7 Million Real Estate Scam

A former police sergeant and a New York attorney are being charged with stealing $4.7 million from investors using an elaborate real estate scam. James Monahan, who worked for the New York Police Department from 1994 to 2005, and Edward Adams of Obermayer & Adams in Manhattan, claimed to be building a condominium... Continue Reading »

Renters Beware: Fraudsters Still Lurking on Craigslist

With a burgeoning "sharing economy" and the growing amount of trust in peer-to-peer marketplaces like Craigslist, consumers have become increasingly comfortable with online transactions. These days, it's no exaggeration to say that people are willing to look for almost anything online. Whether it's finding a roommate, a... Continue Reading »

Scammer Tried to Sell Home He Didn't Own, Police Say

Suburban Chicago police are hunting for a man they say tried to sell a home that wasn't his. The case is hardly an isolated one, with reports coming from hard-hit foreclosure states of similar acts. Empty or rented homes are the easiest targets, says the FBI. Police in Campton Hills, Ill., have issued an arrest warrant... Continue Reading »

Mortgage Salvation -- or New Twist on an Old Scam?

A lawyer in Tallahassee, Fla., is at the center of what some experts are calling a new take on mortgage relief scams, according to the St. Petersburg Times. Nearly 6,000 struggling homeowners seeking mortgage modifications have agreed to work with a Florida-based law firm in the hope of settling their outstanding debts.... Continue Reading »

Foreclosure Rescue Scam Victims Get Their Day in Court

Who kicks a guy when he's down? During these hard financial times, unfortunately, lots of people. But today, one of the most frequently targeted groups, foreclosure victims, is getting a fair shake in civil court. Thanks to a Federal Trade Commission investigation, nearly 1,500 victims of foreclosure rescue scam fraud will... Continue Reading »

Minneapolis Woman Jailed for Mortgage Fraud

A 50-year-old woman in Lakeville, Minn., was sentenced Wednesday to three years and three months in prison for embezzling more than $220,000 from a title and real estate company where she worked, not including the $10,000 of stolen funds she repaid. Kuntee Shamo Singramdoo (pictured left) pleaded guilty to three counts of... Continue Reading »

Veterans Day Special on AOL Real Estate

In celebration of Veterans Day, HousingWatch is featuring stories about veterans and active military personnel and their real estate experiences. Here are the top posts: 1. Volunteers Build Homes for Wounded Vet Operation: Coming Home, a team of veterans, homebuilders and other volunteers, are dedicated to providing free... Continue Reading »

Vet Beats Mortgage Mod Scam

In celebration of Veterans Day, HousingWatch is featuring stories about veterans and active military personnel and their real estate experiences. When Hank Neigel, a 66-year-old disabled veteran, realized in February 2009 that he and his wife, Carol, would no longer be able to afford the monthly $1,300 mortgage payments... Continue Reading »

New Owners Find Home Already Occupied

Zael Zura and fiancee Veronica Botts (pictured left) closed on their little yellow house Friday after an alleged serial squatter delayed their move by about a week. The first-time homebuyers put an offer on a recently renovated bank-owned home in Shoreline, Wash., several weeks ago, on the same day Zura proposed to Botts.... Continue Reading »

Foreclosure Rescue Scams: How to Recognize Bogus Mortgage Help

If you're a cash-strapped homeowner, an offer to modify your mortgage or help you avoid foreclosure no doubt sounds tempting. After all, you may be behind on your home loan. Credit card bills could be past due, as well. And you're likely struggling just to make ends meet. But when someone comes along promising to help you... Continue Reading »

Mortgage Fraud Suspect Is Slasher-Movie Producer

A producer of a low-budget 2009 Hollywood slasher film has been indicted for masterminding a real estate swindle that reaped millions of dollars from shady condominium purchases in California. James D. McConville was aspiring to be the movie industry's next Wes Craven, but instead is starring in his own horror... Continue Reading »

Dallas Hit With New Wave of Real Estate Scams

What if that real estate agent you are working with is a phony baloney? Or an impostor tried to lease your house right out from under you? From the annals of believe it or not real estate news, this is happening all over the Dallas/ Fort Worth area, warns the Texas Real Estate Commission (TREC) in this pdf. The Internet,... Continue Reading »

AOL RealEstate on Facebook