Consumer Alert - Fraud

Verification of Identity – Why It Matters

Posted on August 22, 2016 by | 0 Comments
A woman whose house and identity was stolen by overseas scammers has been forced to sue the government to retrieve her money. International fraudsters, who are still at large, pocketed $430,000 when they sold the four-bedroom Canberra house in 2014 in a sophisticated scam spanning several months and countries, including South Africa, Australia and Indonesia. Fresh details of the crime were aired in the ACT Supreme Court last week, as court documents reveal the thieves...

Continue Reading »

Victorian election real estate dramas: Underquoting and “election stunts”

Posted on November 26, 2014 by | 0 Comments
An article by Jennifer Duke “In Victoria underquoting is endemic, rampant, it’s grubby, it’s misleading and deceptive and it’s a fraud on home buyers,” explained Rowe. “Consumer Affairs Victoria lacks the necessary laws and resources to police underquoting. Real estate agents enjoy the luxury of loop holes in the rules to bait home buyers into attending auctions which are outside their budget.  This frustrates buyers. Underquoting causes home buyers to waste their time, money and...

Continue Reading »

Couple charged for alleged $1.5 million “Ponzi” property development fraud

Posted on November 11, 2014 by | 0 Comments
An article by JENNIFER DUKE Carrum Downs couple Maureen Gael Johnson, 58, and Douglas Gordon Johnston, 71, have been charged with more than 70 offences relating to an alleged $1.5 million property development fraud, following an investigation by the Australian Securities and Investments Commission (ASIC). ASIC investigated two companies: Investman Nominees (USA) Pty Ltd and Small Business Management Pty Ltd, of which Maureen Johnston was a former director and current director respectively. Douglas Johnston was the...

Continue Reading »

Woman sues real estate agent over sale price

Posted on November 3, 2013 by | 2 Comments
A newspaper report brings to light one of the perennial problems in real estate – the real estate agent valuation or “appraisal”. It is common practice for real estate agents to overstate the value of real estate in order to win a listing, and then “condition” the vendor into accepting a lower price. Few consumers ever complain about the practice, and the real estate agent is usually able to brush away a complaint with the...

Continue Reading »

Trio arrested over $6M property fraud

Posted on October 14, 2013 by | 0 Comments
Three men have been charged over a property fraud in Western Australia that saw them allegedly steal over $6 million. The Major Fraud Squad has reported that a 70 year-old York man and a 43 year-old south Perth man have each been arrested for six counts of causing detriment to a person by fraud. Another 45 year-old York man has also been charged with four counts. The charges relate to the sale of six rural...

Continue Reading »