One of the main forms of fraud in the real estate market is the upfront scheme. Grigory Skripilev, head of practice at the Intercession law firm, told Izvestia about this on Wednesday, June 9th.
The essence of the scheme is that the scammers show a potential victim a property with which, at first glance, everything is fine. A preliminary contract of sale is concluded, which provides for the condition of the deposit, and the victim’s refusal to return the deposit is recorded.
Then the scammers “create all the conditions” so that the victim doubts the advisability of the transaction and abandons it.
“For example, it turns out that a real estate object is in need of major repairs, asocial elements live in the neighborhood, or the object is erected on land, the purpose of which did not provide for the construction of residential buildings, etc.,” Skripilev noted.
As a result, the victim refuses to enter into a contract, but the deposit paid is not returned to her.
In April, the Federal Notary Chamber reported that in 2019-2020, notaries prevented only 45 regions of Russia from committing illegal actions in relation to property worth more than 639 million rubles.
For two years, notaries in the course of certifying transactions in these regions revealed 680 facts of fraudulent activities. Swindlers tried to notarize transactions, for example, to take possession of someone else’s residential property.
They also revealed fake notarial documents: real estate purchase and sale agreements, spouses ‘consent to transactions, powers of attorney, agreements on the division of the spouses’ common property, statements of the insured person to the tax authorities for an early transfer from the Pension Fund of Russia to a non-state pension fund, executive notices.