It's hard to believe, for some of us that people are still being scammed by people on the internet giving away something too good to be true. 'Nigerian Scams' are the most notorious, duping people into believing that they'll walk away with a ton of cash if they pay for a bank transfer. And yet, people ARE still being played by these scammers.
Take the recent talks about property scammers; a 'Nigerian Scammer' (So called, because of the process, not their nationality in some cases!) sold two houses in Perth, that they didn't own and had no connection with.
These crooks fooled the agent, the settlement agent, and the buyer not to mention the state's official land register, Landgate that they owned these properties legitimately.
How on earth did they do it?
Well, this all happened a few years ago, and in many cases a 100 point ID check wasn't necessary for some stages of the sale of a property. In these little loopholes, getting to the next level was relatively easy once each person or company was behind you. It could have been as simple as the agent listing property before checking ID, wanting to get the listing and by the time offers and settlement agents get involved, it's a run-away train.
These days, with technology advancing at a million miles an hour, it's become both harder, and easier for these scammers to get what they want out of you.
On one hand, the crooks themselves are often well versed in the industry and the technology needed to circumvent it. They have the motivation to get something for nothing, and instead of using their motivation to acquire it legally, they put all that knowledge and training into crime. This will continue, as long as crime pays in one way or another. On the other hand, we can use technology such as electronic signatures and firewalls and passwords to protect ourselves; not all of it will or can easily be compromised, so for generalities sake, most of you will be safe from Nigerian scammers.
Suprisingly, a low tech solution has ensured that home owners in Perth will not be scammed out of their homes in this manner again, is the implementation of the compulsory 100 point ID check when selling a home. Having to provide these documents really does make it hard for someone wanting to steal your identity for this purpose. We implemented a standard 100 point ID check at Limnios Property Group way before it became mandatory, to protect the safety of both the buyer and seller, as well as our agency - you can never be too careful.
It might be viewed as a bit of an inconvenience to sellers, and agents as well; but if it prevents such a crime in the future, then it's a small price to pay. Fraudsters should be aware that the WA state government and the people of Perth won't be fooled again.