Texas is one of the fastest growing states in the nation, and land in many parts of the state is in high demand. Texans, or newly arrived Texans, who buy land to build their dream homes sometimes unknowingly purchase property that has not been properly and legally subdivided. These neighborhoods may lack access to water, wastewater, and emergency services. Before purchasing undeveloped land, you may want to check with the local municipality or county to ask if the land has been platted properly, and if the land developer has otherwise followed the relevant rules, regulations, and ordinances. If you believe you have been misled by a land developer, you may file a complaint with our office.
Foreclosure "Rescue" Scams
Be wary of scam artists offering fraudulent "mortgage rescue" services. Many of these services collect fees from consumers at risk of foreclosure and promise to prevent the foreclosure. Instead they often speed the foreclosure process by taking excessive fees and advising the consumer to avoid speaking to their lender.
Travelers and Renters
If you are looking to get a vacation rental or lease a property, be wary of scammers trying to take your money without renting as promised. Be especially cautious if the property owner asks you to provide a deposit before you see the property in person. Scammers often post fake listings in an attempt to collect advance deposits from unknowing consumers. Such scammers then make excuses as to why they are unavailable to show the property, or why you can’t pay them through their online listing. There are several variations of this scam, such as when a scamming lessee pretends to be the property owner. The best defense is good research; always try to verify that the person holding themselves out as a property owner is in fact a legitimate owner or sublessor of the property.
You can help avoid fake-landlord scams by being wary of odd payment requests; scammers will often ask for unusual payment methods such as wire transfers or ask you to pay outside of the listing website.
Sometimes property owners who list their properties online can fall victim to cashier’s check scams, where the owner receives a cashier’s check but it is for too much. Only after the owner returns the difference does he learn that the check was a fake. Learn more about these scams here.
Always do your research when preparing to rent or sublease a property. If you encounter any of the scams mentioned above, you can file a complaint with this office.