Unfortunately, thousands of Australians are being scammed by dodgy, get-rich-quick schemes every year – often investing a significant amount of money that they never see again. The internet has made it extremely easy for property criminals to pose as property or real estate experts. It’s now more important than ever to do your due diligence before proceeding with any investment opportunities, especially if it seems too good to be true.Dream Design Property (DDP) Explains Property Investment Scams and How to Be Aware of Them . Investment scams are one of the most common ways everyday Australians are being conned. In fact, last year alone over $38.4 million in financial losses was reported as a result of people falling victim to dodgy investment schemes.
To help determine if a property investment deal might be a little on the nose, watch out for these potential red flags:
- When the rental yield is advertised too high. Rental yield is a common indicator used to assess a property’s investment potential. It is calculated by the yearly rent/the purchase price x 100. Often, scammers use a fake rental yield to dupe investors into believing the property will generate significantly higher revenue. As a general rule, be wary of any rental yield that is over eight percent.
- Being “free of charge.” All investments have an element of risk, and any scheme that promotes receiving a return from zero charges is definitely suspicious. It’s also important to remember that professionals make a living from their expertise, and therefore anyone offering their skills or services for free is likely not as credible as they appear. If a professional does persist that their service is free, ask the hard questions such as “How are you getting paid?” Don’t be afraid to request disclosure.
- Investment schemes based overseas. International schemes can be quite risky because often the investor doesn’t have any knowledge of that landscape, making them more susceptible to being taken advantage of. Before committing to an overseas investment scheme, its crucial to research and familiarise oneself with the specific market to ensure the information being given is credible.
- Unregistered schemes. No matter how legitimate an investment scheme may seem, checking that it’s registered with ASIC is essential. Unfortunately, many situations for investors losing money to fake initiatives could have been avoided simply by verifying its registration.
- A property more than 15 percent cheaper than the market rate. Scammers may provide fake market quotes, making properties seem significantly cheaper than they actually are. They do this not only to increase the appeal of the property but also so they can make it seem like they are offering a significant discount. Be cautious of any schemes that are selling more than 15 percent cheaper than the market rate.
Zaki Ameer – Founder of Dream Design Property adds, “Although technology is making investment scams more common, it is also making it easier to determine the scheme’s legitimacy. When it comes to investing money into an industry or scheme, always do your research and remember that if something seems too good to be true, it probably is.“
Dream Design Property (DDP) is a unique wealth creation mentoring program that is designed to help Australians gain financial freedom, offering each client an ongoing personalised service catering to their changing circumstances and needs. DDP has helped purchase over 1,000 properties for its clients.