Scams for 2009

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This topic contains 18 replies, has 10 voices, and was last updated by Profile photo of Chris McCarthy Chris McCarthy 7 years, 11 months ago.

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  • #54579
    Profile photo of katy
    katy
    Spectator

    What does the forum think the latest scams will be for next year. I think they will all be ones where money has to be paid upfront such as:

    Property exchange websites or cheap bank reposession/Auction sites where info needs to be paid for. Questionable re-mortgage brokers.
    Any other ideas?

  • #88614
    Profile photo of Anonymous
    Anonymous
    Participant

    Fake discounts are still a good one, I see this a lot of and expect too for a good while yet.

    I’m guess that a lot of naive buyers get caught with this. Not just on real estate either, I was in a car dealership today and they tried this one on 😆

  • #88617
    Profile photo of Anonymous
    Anonymous
    Participant

    Make money fast – lotteries and quick deals.

  • #88621
    Profile photo of Anonymous
    Anonymous
    Participant

    I hope no scammers are reading this thread – you’re giving them ideas! 😆

  • #88623
    Profile photo of Anonymous
    Anonymous
    Participant

    Offering solutions to people in distress – get your money back, get a mortgage – that sort of thing, and charging a fee upfront, then not providing any solution. It’s already going on, but will get much more common as the distress increases.

    Mark

  • #88681
    Profile photo of Chris McCarthy
    Chris McCarthy
    Participant

    Well Katy…

    You have got me hooked on this one.

    Scams for 2009 what an excellent incisive and fascinating thread that was to put out there, the last time I got hooked by one of your one line comments was back in autumn 2006 when you asked about the 2% commission campaign by VIVA Estates.

    Do you remember?

    I just did a search on that thread and see that we created some 68,000 views which looks like it might have been a record no?

    I doubt today that anyone will give our dialogue or certainly me, the same level of importance as back in the day, but here I am Katy well and truly hooked, I think it is an excellent question: What Scams for 2009 will indeed come along?

    We have both been on the coast for some time I think. I have always visited the forum monthly or so to catch up on what is going on, so I know from your many posts that you have long experience of living here on the coast and have pretty much seen it all.

    Me, well from a somewhat infamous position due to the quite often prominent presence of VIVA Estates across the past decade, I have (I would hope incorrectly) been accused on the odd occasion of coming up with the odd scam, so perhaps like you, I too can now help spot one a mile off.

    And I am worried that there are indeed some more incoming, so perhaps more on that if we do get to talking, but I would also like to ask:

    Is there a counter side to: Scams for 2009?

    I am also interested in: Ideas for 2009.

    I have, as some on the forum will know, run a few promotional campaigns and sold a number of properties in my time on the Costa del Sol, and even now after 20 years I would still like to be involved going forward. Yet in the current climate everyone tells me it is so difficult to see a positive vista or put down a marker on the horizon to work towards.

    So, alongside watching out for the Scams for 2009, what would be the good Ideas for 2009?

    We have to start somewhere so might I suggest we take the subject of Estate Agents?

    I know that’s a whole can of worms right there, and for sure it puts my own head right on the chopping block, but let’s ask it anyway.

    Perhaps if we could see what the future should or could be; we can stop a few scams before they get started hey?

    Firstly we would have to know from everyone:

    Is there really a place for agents in the future?
    If so, what kind of agents?
    How should they practice and promote?
    What charter should they provide and deliver upon to their clients in terms of service?
    What commission should they charge?

    Would there be a forum consensus on what would make the perfect agent in 2009 I wonder? Or is there an alternative or a new hybrid waiting to be born?

    I do apologise for such a lengthy opening contribution; however, I think that I do have some perspectives which may put a stop to the threat of certain Scams for 2009.

    It would be my basic premise that to stop a virus, the best thing to use is an antivirus.

    So if the forum could put us Agents in the right place, you may well stop the threat from Scams appearing in the first place.

    And if there is a dialogue to be had from here, I promise to try to brief and concise, and not make such lengthy posts in the future, as I have often been told that I could bore for England!

    Finally, and if it is not too crawly or overly pretentious, I hope my return to the forum is not unwelcome, I had hoped to be invited back in the past to follow up on our 2006 issue yet it never happened, but lets see if this may be of interest to some now.

    In my opinion it is the best thread title I have seen in a long while.

    Chris

  • #88685
    Profile photo of Anonymous
    Anonymous
    Participant

    @Chris McCarthy wrote:

    Firstly we would have to know from everyone:

    Is there really a place for agents in the future?
    If so, what kind of agents?
    How should they practice and promote?
    What charter should they provide and deliver upon to their clients in terms of service?
    What commission should they charge?

    This really requires a thread of it’s own, unless EA’s come under the alternative title of ‘scammers’ as per thread title. 👿

    My top three are:

    1. EA’s should be totally regulated/bonded with a disciplinary body for when there is malpractice.
    (And not just like the pathetic organisation of the Colegio de Abogados for lawyers which is just a boys club)

    2. Commissions should be transparent and in my view legally capped.

    3. Be made totally responsible for ensuring all their properties marketed have a legal standing.
    (And yes Chris, Viva were culprits of this in the past, marketing at least one development I know of with a suspended building licence. However I’ll give you your due – you did withdraw when I pointed this out, but it should have been Viva’s responsibility in the first place).

    Suggest you make a new thread – I can see this one going totally off Katy’s topic.

  • #88686
    Profile photo of Anonymous
    Anonymous
    Participant

    @katy wrote:

    What does the forum think the latest scams will be for next year?

    Estate Agents getting even better at making out they are your best friend. 8)

  • #88687
    Profile photo of Anonymous
    Anonymous
    Participant

    😆 😆 😆 😆

  • #88693
    Profile photo of Inez
    Inez
    Participant

    Shame there has to be a charter – would be nice to think people would be respectful to each other anyway! Sadly we have seen this is not the case and certainly here in the property market over the last number of years.

    Strange though, now the market is not harder but back to a more normal market, how courteous agents are now!

    The industry ought to bring back the examinations they used to have in the old days and agents should be licensed to trade, that way the wide boys would actually have to have some knowledge of their business, maybe do a few months in the field training and only then could they trade.

  • #88697
    Profile photo of Chris McCarthy
    Chris McCarthy
    Participant

    Re your comments on the EA’s Charlie.

    I was on another thread just now where I also posted last night.

    Gosh, it takes a time doesn’t it to look at the posts, give it a bit of thought and then try and compose an answer that makes sense.

    And all this whilst my wife is now shouting up to the attic that I have go Christmas shopping, arrgh, I don’t want to go.

    I want to take up your suggestion Charlie and perhaps put the EA thing under a new thread to keep the Scam 09 relevant. I would like to expand upon Inez’s thoughts too as if we can do anything it is going to start with us listening or changing, and to be very fair to Inez she has been on here doing just that for quite some time already.

    But I gotta go Christmas shopping and right blooming now apparently, bah humbug.

    Hope to escape back later.

  • #88698
    Profile photo of Anonymous
    Anonymous
    Participant

    @katy wrote:

    What does the forum think the latest scams will be for next year. I think they will all be ones where money has to be paid upfront such as:

    Property exchange websites or cheap bank reposession/Auction sites where info needs to be paid for. Questionable re-mortgage brokers.
    Any other ideas?

    I suppose the difference between a scam and a good business idea is dependant upon the ethics of the person operating it.

    Let’s say a website taking €200 up-front for a piece of good marketing exposure is better value than an agent taking 5-10% should it result in a sale.

    I doubt there will be many new scams for 2009 in Spanish real estate. If any do surface, the will almost certainly be targeted at desperate vendors, as, there are no desperate buyers at present.

  • #88702
    Profile photo of Anonymous
    Anonymous
    Participant

    Chris

    i would like to see a ‘name n shame’ site that agents have to be on, with Ebay style positive and negative feedback. (that would also go for lawyers and developers!) Also the ‘recomended by agent’ lawyer situation should be banned!

  • #88705
    Profile photo of Paul
    Paul
    Participant

    I believe there are also several tykes on the Coast who are offering equity release schemes to mainly pensioners who can’t sell, who then get into difficulty and end up losing their homes to the scammers so watch out for these.

  • #88715
    Profile photo of Chris McCarthy
    Chris McCarthy
    Participant

    @charlie wrote:

    @katy wrote:
    What does the forum think the latest scams will be for next year?

    Estate Agents getting even better at making out they are your best friend. 8)

    Yep, well if that apllies to me, I can see how it might look that way, but not the kind of scam I think I will get away with for long you guys are way to smart and forum savvy for me to get that clever!

  • #88716
    Profile photo of Anonymous
    Anonymous
    Participant

    Chris

    hey c’mon, ‘soft soaping’s not going to work either. Just want to see agents not taking advantage of Spain’s crap regulation/justice system, by screwing people because they can get away with it!

  • #88718
    Profile photo of Anonymous
    Anonymous
    Participant

    Well, most of my best friends here in Spain are/were clients.

  • #88726
    Profile photo of Chris McCarthy
    Chris McCarthy
    Participant

    I suppose the difference between a scam and a good business idea is dependant upon the ethics of the person operating it.

    Exactly right Peter on the ethics, but given the state of play in the market today and its recent history, it is obviously very hard for anyone to trust me or any agent tomorrow, if I actually do now have a good business idea today?

    Ethics is totally key, and trust is absolutely everything. And by goodness any idea had better be wholly transparent, very simple to present, easily affordable, then quickly and clearly able to show a provable result.

    Let’s say a website taking €200 up-front for a piece of good marketing exposure is better value than an agent taking 5-10% should it result in a sale.

    I have recently consulted with former colleagues on a proposal they have to explore co funding their marketing with their vendors; however, in my opinion I feel simply doing something on a website alone is not enough at any level .

    You have to go much, much further and present something that all logic tells the client that any investment or contribution they do make is genuinely of real value, and I feel that means demonstrating you do something far more than simply present say a web solution.

    But I think you are right again in that €200 – €400 (if the previously mentioned criteria could certainly be proven) would be money well spent to get in front of the current marketplace.

    I doubt there will be many new scams for 2009 in Spanish real estate. If any do surface, the will almost certainly be targeted at desperate vendors, as, there are no desperate buyers at present.

    I fear you might be mistaken here, which is why I am so interested in Katy’s thread.

    If someone does come up with a good idea, if someone shows they can take money from others; then trust me, there will be someone looking to bend, twist and turn that good idea to the dark side and hence a new scam may be born.

    I think I would have to say, I was involved in introducing a number of things over the years, which were eventually turned inside and out, ultimately to be used to scam the hell out of people, not least of which was our simple introduction of a credit card machine to the real estate buying process.

    I wish I never had, but you know the boom would have happened anyway, along with the greed and the collapse. But that credit card has made things all too easy for the ne’er do well to fleece so many gullible people in the past half dozen years.

    How to build a good idea and make sure it doesn’t get used to scam? I suppose that is the question. One way to do that is, to raise the barrier in terms of cost, if the practice or delivery of your idea evidently costs a great deal of time, talent and money then; you terrify the scam merchants because that’s certainly not part of their bag.

    However, if the market turns against you which inevitably it will, as good ideas only last so long, that presents its own set of problems and I have some experience in that too!

    Sounds to me you now your stuff though Peter.

  • #88727
    Profile photo of Chris McCarthy
    Chris McCarthy
    Participant

    @goodstich44 wrote:

    Chris

    i would like to see a ‘name n shame’ site that agents have to be on, with Ebay style positive and negative feedback. (that would also go for lawyers and developers!) Also the ‘recomended by agent’ lawyer situation should be banned!

    Hi Goodstich,

    I hear that, I really do.

    Having experience of being named on some sites though, it is very difficult.

    To give you an example, our Lettings Manager found a previous client bad mouthing the hell out of us on a forum, for not returning a deposit or some such, and this had gone on ad infinitum, until the manager eventually found by speaking with the poster, that the clients partner had in effect been lying to her for more than a year about the ending of their lease, and we had done absolutely nothing wrong – we never kept anyone’s deposits in Lettings, but we were named and shamed regardless, and once that mud flies my goodness it sticks.

    Who says who is right?

    With regard to feedback I think that Eye on Spain used to do a ranking system, with points for various elements, I came across it yesterday whilst Googling a certain company that seems to have closed overnight, there was a real mixed bag of points awarded, from the horrific to the fantastic, and you just so know that the agent has manipulated the site to gain improved marks.

    This was also the case about 8 years ago when Andaluci.com had something similar, I don’t know if they still have and agents simply false posted to give themselves a good score, so it become utterly irrelevant.

    Frankly, on this forum don’t you guys do a pretty good job already of naming and shaming? I have certainly had a share of being named, and as it has by and large been entirely fair I haven’t had cause to complain.

    In fact for us it has always been a wake up call and a much needed kick in the shin. And the moderator here also knows his stuff better than anyone else in the entire marketplace I think, and that is a fact I think we could all agree on.

    I hear you though, you want to name the names, and shame, I don’t blame you. But I don’t know if it gets better than this forum and I have checked out a few.

    Mind you there is something called the Rip Off blog and another blog called Investment Property Rumours where people are certainly named, and questioned (again me fairly included on the latter blog), so if you have something to say or want to create a list, is it not possible to do so yourself through a blog?

    Me, I kind of think this is the perfect place still to do so.

    As to recommended lawyers, I can’t argue with that, I simply can’t you are absolutley right. Though I still think that I could save people many thousands by recommending or doing their sale conveyance for them, but right now lets steer clear of that worm can hey!

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