Ayo Olamoju Consulting

Lagos Office

Adeshina Street via Oluwole Phillips Avenue off Obafemi Awolowo Way, Ikeja, Lagos

Abuja Office

Suite B, 13b second floor, Fasty Plaza No. 20 Ebitu Ukiwe Street, Jabi, Abuja FCT

How to Spot and Avoid Real Estate Scams

Real estate has unfortunately become a breeding ground for hackers and scammers looking to exploit unsuspecting individuals and steal substantial sums of money. These fraudsters often target real estate agents, hacking into their email accounts and posing as legitimate parties in real estate transactions. They use various tactics to deceive clients, such as providing fake wire transfer instructions or claiming ownership of properties that don’t actually exist. As a result, it is crucial for both real estate agents and clients to be vigilant and informed about these scams to protect themselves from falling victim to these fraudulent activities.

Here are some red flags that may indicate the presence of scammers in real estate transactions:

  • Request for a deposit or down payment: Hackers frequently ask for deposits or down payments before the client has even viewed the property. This is a major warning sign. Never make any payments until you have personally inspected the property and verified its legitimacy. If the scammers keep coming up with excuses or pressure you to act quickly, it’s likely a fake listing designed to deceive you.
  • Pressure to act immediately: Scammers thrive on creating a sense of urgency. They may push you to make quick decisions or rush into transactions without giving you enough time to conduct due diligence. Be cautious of anyone who urges you to act hastily, as it’s often a tactic to exploit your vulnerability.
  • Lack of paperwork or documentation: Legitimate real estate transactions require proper documentation and paperwork. If a scammer avoids providing written offers or promises that necessary documents will be provided later, exercise caution. This is a significant red flag that should prompt you to question the authenticity of the deal.
  • The bait-and-switch scheme: Scammers are known to entice victims with exceptionally low prices for properties that don’t exist (the bait). Once you express interest, they inform you that the property is no longer available but offer alternatives at higher prices (the switch). Be wary of any offer that seems too good to be true, as it’s likely an attempt to deceive you.
  • Fake rental agents: Some scammers pose as rental agents and avoid meeting clients in person. They might show you a property that is already attracting multiple interested parties. When you negotiate an offer and make a payment to secure the place, you later discover that the agent was never legitimate. Be cautious when dealing with rental agents who make excuses to avoid physical meetings.


Here are some essential steps you can take to protect yourself from falling victim to real estate scams:

  • Verify the agent: Before making any payments or commitments, conduct thorough research to ensure the agent and the property are legitimate. Check the agent’s background online, seek referrals from trusted sources, and read reviews. Visit the property in person or send a trusted representative to verify its existence and condition. Only work with licensed real estate agents like Ayo Olamoju Consulting, whom you can trust.
  • Safeguard personal information: Never provide personal or financial information through emails or websites to individuals you don’t trust. Always verify the authenticity of the recipient before sharing any sensitive details.
  • Stay informed about market prices: Familiarize yourself with current market prices for properties in your desired area. If an offer appears too good to be true, question its validity and investigate further before proceeding.
  • Ask questions: Don’t hesitate to ask questions throughout the real estate transaction process. It’s essential to clarify any doubts or inconsistencies. A reputable agent will appreciate your diligence and be transparent in providing the necessary information.
  • Consult a licensed professional: When approached by someone you don’t know or trust, consult a licensed real estate professional for guidance and support. Companies like Ismail and Partners have extensive experience in the industry and can help you navigate the process safely and securely.

By following these tips, you can help protect yourself from real estate scams and ensure a safe and successful transaction.

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