Top 4 Real Estate Scams That Run Rampant In Pakistan

Do you want to leap into the real estate market? Did you find a perfect property and are about to make a move? Is it a good idea to join the exciting real estate world?

Stepping into real estate Pakistan can be both profitable and lucrative. So, our heap of questions might confuse you. But, there are certain red flags which you must avoid to play the cards right.  Investment frauds and scams are everywhere, and the real estate industry is no exception. Whether its real estate agents, looting hundreds of thousands of money or contractors charging heaps of money for construction.

In this article, we identified major ways to avoid real estate Pakistan scammers that are ever-ready to pounce upon your hard-earned cash.

Forged Documents

So, the other party showed you the property documents? That’s great. But before you jump with joy, you should verify their authenticity. 

Getting your hands on fraudulent documents for property in Pakistan is a piece of cake. According to the Centre for Peace and Development, forged real estate documents are commonly and easily obtained in Pakistan. At times, these are purchased from the black market. Another cause is the current, obsolete system, initiated in the British-era, called patwari culture. Patwari refers to a land recorder officer who is directly involved in land-related matters.

In 2017, a patwari illegally transferred 8 kanals, which was later sold for million rupees. Recently, a patwari was arrested for being involved in land fraud. There are tons of such cases. But, how to exercise skepticism?

  1. Consult your local land records authority for property verification in Pakistan. For example, if you want to clarify a property deal in Punjab, then ROD( Punjab Land Records Authority) is exactly what you need. 
  2. Verify property in Pakistan online. Land records in Punjab and Sindh are now digitized. All you need to do is enter the owner’s name, property number, or CNIC number on the portal to get all the required details.  
  3. Never pay your real estate agent until you have cross-checked every legality in the document. 
  4. Seek advice from an experienced lawyer.
  5. Don’t ever sign a suspicious document before passing it through a legitimate verification process. 

Lottery Fraud

Did you ever receive a phone call, announcing that you won a plot in a lottery?

If you didn’t, you probably will someday. This is quite a common property scam in Pakistan. Out of nowhere, you receive a notification about winning a plot via an imaginary competition, lucky draw, or lottery that you don’t even remember participating in. The pitch may come by mail, telephone, or text message. The deceiver will tell you that you took part in a contest while shopping or on the Internet, and to register the plot in your name, you will have to pay taxes, and other miscellaneous fees. Don’t fall for this trap because even with several payments, usually in lakhs, you will never get possession of the promised property in Pakistan. Here is a list of ways to spot a fake lottery scam:

  1. Ask for plot number, property number, and location. If the person is hesitant to give out the information, it is a scam.
  2. Ask for their National Tax Number(NTN) or Sales Tax Registration Number(STRN). 
  3. Legitimate lottery schemes never ask you to pay huge lumps of money for claiming the prize. 
  4. Don’t give out your contact details like phone number, email address to strangers.  
  5. Scammers might impersonate themselves as officials from real game shows and lotteries, in order to convince you that the prize is real.
  6.  They might ask you for your bank details.

Real Estate Fraud in pakistan

Purchasing Fictional Property in Pakistan

Most buyers, especially foreigners, foul-up by buying a property without inspecting it themselves. They trust the compelling and convincing pictures online to avoid the hassle of traveling. Mostly, the dealing is through phone or email as the imaginary seller is an out-of-stater. Always visit the site yourself and carefully evaluate the property before making your final decision. Sometimes, when buying a house, the con artist will take you to view the real estate. But will make lame excuses when it comes to showing the inside. Once you will make the payment, you will discover that the house belongs to someone. Listed below are ways to avoid getting ripped off in a deal:

  1. Double-check the owner’s name. Make sure he is the same person that they tell you he is. 
  2. Ask neighbors about the information on the house.
  3. Verify the originality of leasing/ purchasing documents. 
  4. Research the property

Unauthorized Real Estate Agents

Trusting any agent to get you the best real estate deals is an act of naiveness. Always confirm that the real estate agent is a part of an authentic and listed agency. Visit their office to check if the agency exists. Also, don’t blindly trust the price quote your agent gives you for a property. Research on its market value, before making the final decision. Mostly, real estate agents triple the actual price to deceive the customers. If you’re looking for a reputable real estate agency, contact Green Earth. Green earth helps you get the best property deals, tailored to your needs. Moreover, it introduces you to beneficial investment opportunities that safely park your money for long-term perks. 

Conclusion

The biggest blunder someone can make is to believe that a scam can never happen to him. People believe that fraudulent wind up overnight and run away. However, several unusual scams happened openly, under the regulator’s nose. For instance, Bernard L. Madoff Investment Securities operated a Ponzi scheme, under U.S. securities supervision but managed to fool the most brilliant and brightest minds. Therefore, be extra careful before buying a property in Pakistan. Scammers are lurking around every corner, in the real estate industry. They will go the extra mile to trap you in their plot. Therefore, it’s essential to take extra precautionary measures when buying a property in Pakistan. Moreover, always remember to inform legal authorities, if someone tries to scam you.