Companies in all industries have had trouble adapting to the changes triggered by the Covid-19 pandemic. But one group that has taken the pandemic to advantage is scammers, and the property industry is sadly a primary goal. Hence, the chances of fraud in the property industry following Covid-19 has increased.
The industry provides fraudsters with a wide variety of resources from safeguard mafias, financial fraud, and high-profit, one-off crimes.
The landlords in Pakistan are also facing such scenarios. Some scammers are approaching property in Islamabad and targeting the owners in this COVID-19 pandemic.
Chances Of Fraud In The Property Industry
Focusing and Targeting Landlords
A lot of landlords and property owners are in a difficult situation at present because tenants do not pay, but yet face overheads and property tax. This makes them more vulnerable to violence and reminds landlords that they have to consider who they are working with, whom they are selling to, and that proper background checks are more critical than ever, particularly during a crisis.
One common strategy allegedly used by fraudsters includes simply getting closer to landlords. The discussion could be something like: “It’s not unlikely you could sell your property in the present environment while you were worth Rs. 1 million last year, so I’m prepared to buy, but at a cheaper price.”
The buyer may then bid Rs. 700,000 if the owner is interested in selling, for example, but may ask to pay for the property on a different method than normal. This can legally include deciding that the property is worth just Rs. 400,000, which ensures that the host may stop paying higher than usual sales taxes.
The purchaser will then give the remaining Rs. 300,000 in cash. This offers the landlord a tax-free lump sum and has done nothing ‘wrong’ legally.
The Simple Approach
This simplistic approach illustrates how a thief can make a great deal of money for a property and now use it for the lawful purpose of laundering large amounts of illicit money.
Quite possibly the scammers are going to have picked up their property, in which large numbers of people that want to make payments in cash, such as foreign workers or low-income workers.
They would also possibly find a variety of other operating and maintenance costs to pay, variable pay, and other imaginary costs for any workers.
This owner is a good client in the view of the bank and the utility companies. He always pays on time and keeps his finances safe so he doesn’t have to worry about his income.
A Mutual Tactic of Scammers
This above scenario is only one way in which fraudsters are presently approaching the property market, but their tactics are becoming highly complicated. When one way does not succeed, they will actively seek another.
Vacant properties are currently a primary goal, particularly when regular residents have not been able to visit the site due to restrictions on travel. Some societies in Pakistan have been set up for illegal activity by lawbreakers to create support groups.
When travel rules will change, however, fraudsters follow a new strategy and continue to threaten another community.
As a buyer or seller, we have to use basic logic and proper research to successfully identify fraud and investigate any irregularities as they occur. For instance, if a change of ownership occurs, ask several questions are to decide who owns it. We have to utilize the technology, go online, and search via Government approved portals. Which are their other companies? How do they meet and with whom do they have a business? Are they any negative media? Are the guys who they think they are? How do they have large amounts of cash to purchase property – from which funds?