Warning: your property could be sold by scammers

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Picture the scene: you’ve secured an investment property, left its upkeep in the hands of a local real estate agency... and the next time you visit you find out it’s been sold by Nigerian scammers without your consent.

This is exactly what happened to the owners of a property in Perth, whose house was sold for $400,000 before the proceeds were swiftly transferred into a bank account in China.

The real estate agent in Mirrabooka has been taken to task by the Commissioner for Consumer Protection in Western Australia, with disciplinary action being sought for alleged breaches of the real estate agents’ code of conduct

The Commissioner will allege that the agency and the selling agent failed to exercise due skill, care and diligence by failing to properly verify the identities of the vendors – allowing the Nigerian identity fraudsters to make the sale and pocket the proceeds.

It will also be alleged that the agent failed to act in accordance with the genuine owner’s instructions by not contacting them using the contact details in the "authority to act as managing agent" agreement.

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