Fraudsters sell Canberra house while owner lives in SA

FRAUDSTERS sold an Australian woman’s house without her knowledge while she was living in South Africa.

The home in Macgregor, Canberra, was sold four months ago, but its owner only found out after asking her estate agent why rental payments were late. It is just the latest in a spate of fraudulent sales and now authorities in Australia are warning homeowners and potential buyers to be on the lookout for property scams.

As well as the recent case in the Australian Capital Territory, authorities in Western Australia are aware of two successful and six attempted real estate frauds.

All have involved owners of Australian property who now live in either South Africa or Nigeria.

Canberra police are understood to have consulted with the SAPS as they investigate the fraudulent sale in Macgregor.

The Telegraph quoted a police spokesman as saying: “Police will investigate a series of exchanges that led to the sale of the property without the owner’s knowledge, and the disbursement of the funds generated by the deception.”

Police say homeowners who live overseas should set up robust protocols to protect and confirm their bona fides in dealing with property agents.

Australian Capital Territory attorney-general Simon Corbell said all professionals involved in property sales needed to be vigilant and exercise due diligence, particularly on overseas transactions. – Daily Mail