March – Fraud Prevention Month
March 1st marks Fraud Prevention Month across Canada. The Real Estate Council of Alberta (RECA) is taking action to raise awareness about common fraud scenarios in the real estate and mortgage sectors.
“During Alberta’s economic downturn we’ve seen an increase in certain types of fraud schemes and misleading behaviour,” said Bob Myroniuk, RECA Executive Director. “For example, earlier this year we issued a consumer alert about fraudulent seller financing.”
Seller financing is a type of mortgage where the seller lends funds to the buyer to facilitate the purchase of a property.
While this type of financing arrangement can be perfectly legal, RECA recommends consumers do their research, especially if a deal seems too good to be true.
“This year we are partnering with other organizations, such as local police services, the RCMP, and the Better Business Bureau, to connect with the Alberta public and raise awareness about fraud,” said Mr. Myroniuk.
“Really it’s about stepping up and raising awareness about what we’re seeing as a regulator, and making sure that consumers are aware and informed in their dealings with industry professionals.”
Posters, infographics, and articles about the various types of real estate and mortgage fraud are available on RECA’s website, and consumers can follow us on social media for fraud prevention tips throughout the month of March.