Matthew Slutsky
September 12, 2010

Real estate scams have been around for a long time. Mostly I have seen rental scams involving Craigslist, but I rarely – if ever – hear of scams involving selling a house without the knowledge of the owner!

Brian Persaud, recently posted on Twitter an interesting link to fraud in real estate transactions, which got me doing some interesting weekend real-estate research, which came up with this story.

The latest story is out of Australia, where a house was sold for almost half-a-million dollars, leaving the owner with a bill for capital gains!

Agents beware! If something seems a little fishy, and the seller isn’t very involved, then watch out!

From the newswire…

“Police have told Roger Mildenhall, 64, the money is gone and he may not see a cent of it, Australia’s Sunday Times reported in its Sept. 12 edition. In a bitter twist, the building contractor may still have to pay thousands of dollars in capital gains tax, the newspaper said.

The investment property was sold in June but Mildenhall, who now lives in South Africa, was not aware of the fraud until a former neighbour contacted him last week.

Mildenhall told the Sunday Times it appears his house was put on the market after a series of emails were sent to a real estate agent asking for the home to be sold due to financial hardship.

Mildenhall said fraud squad police officers told him their initial investigations indicated the scammers were originally from Nigeria.”

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