A Bermuda Sun news ticker alert on the CableVision channel caught my eye recently.

It mentioned how a young mother was recently nearly scammed of more than $2,000 for a real estate transaction.

My real estate antenna stood up and my PR brain kicked into gear as I sought to investigate this information further.
Here’s the link to the story – click here

Using this story, please find below a few Platinum Realty tips to help you avoid such fraudulent tactics in the future.

TIP #1 – Beware of any heavily under-priced (discounted) rentals.  The property in question was a 2-bedroom priced at $1,200/mth.  That in and of itself should have raised an antenna.  Yes, we are in a season where much is negotiable, and rightly so; but, one should not move with haste when the price appears to be a great deal.

TIP #2 – No address, no apartment.  It is not uncommon for ads not to include the street address of a rental unit due to various reasons including but not limited to protecting the privacy and security of current occupants.  However, upon enquiry to schedule a viewing of a unit, if an address is not supplied, that should be a good indicator that something is up and not right with this picture.

TIP #3 – Don’t pay for what you haven’t seen.  DO NOT provide any banking/CC details nor transfer any funds until you have satisfied yourself of the unit you intend to rent and its conditions by viewing it at least once (I recommend at least two viewings, if able).  Period.

TIP #4 – Real estate agents in Bermuda have to be licenced in Bermuda in order to conduct any real estate transaction.  An agent from another jurisdiction cannot conduct business in Bermuda without such.  Not sure if they’re licenced and they reside here in Bermuda?  Contact the Registrar of Companies Real Estate Division to check.

TIP #5 – If it looks like a duck, it’s probably a duck.  According to the article, the photographs of the unit did not reflect common Bermudian architecture.  Be mindful of false promotion.  Look for familiar features.  No white roof?  Views of mountains in the background?  Then, perhaps it’s not in Bermuda.

TIP #6 – Contact the police to report any suspicious activity.  Email them at fraud2@bps.bm or call them at 247.1757.  Pass this information on to your loved ones, particularly to any seniors.

I can go on but I think you get the message.
During this rental market that appears to be in the tenant’s favour, I would encourage you to use wisdom during your rental search.  Do your homework.  Ask questions.  If you have any uneasiness after you’ve gathered information and received answers, keep looking.


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