The rate of urbanisation in India is rapidly increasing. India’s growth and industrialization evolution rates have been changing drastically since the beginning of the 21st century. In India, people are moving from place to place in search of capital, leading to a shortage of land shortly; as a result, the real estate market is booming rapidly. Henceforth, investing in real estate can be profitable. But as the demographic rate is increasing, the crime rate is thriving. Real-estate business is contributing to the economic growth of the country on a large margin; real estate does have a lot of opportunity and capital because of the presence of an abundance of money, making the real estate market vulnerable to scammers and opportunity seekers, inadequate amount of research and mindfulness can be fatal.
As the need for housing is growing, scams are also on the rise. There are many housing projects mushrooming in cities, and people are falling prey to them. Builders grab money and just abscond, or most of the time they give blank checks and fool the gullible buyers. Catching these goons becomes difficult as the buyers sign various papers while purchasing the property. As the real estate market grows, the numbers of scammers and fraudsters are increasing simultaneously. Investors invest in real estate for a better, more secure future, as real estate is considered the most valuable asset.
When an investor makes an investment in the wrong places, their investment is vulnerable to theft and is prone to scams. Swindles occur as a result of investors’ ignorance prior to investing and their gullible faith in scammers. The real estate market is characterised by excessive risk, expensive prices, and inadequate security. It is insecure and an easy target for scammers because of its lack of security. Fraudulent mortgages and falsified documents are the two most typical scams. The largest issue in real estate transactions is typically a purposeful presentation of incorrect facts. Investors that make hasty decisions, easily fall for the seller’s falsified claims, or are duped by the scammers’ phoney profiles are most likely to be taken advantage of.
Scams are also caused by a lack of research; investing without first inspecting increases the likelihood of being duped. Scammers use fake advertisements, phishing emails, and phone calls to spoof investors. Even if a consumer commission grants relief to flat buyers by ordering a builder to refund money with interest after he fails to hand over possession, the builder can still be made to repay double the amount in a separate cheque-bouncing case before a criminal court. In two recent orders by a magistrate’s court, three directors of a construction company were directed to pay Rs 82 lakh to two brothers who had paid Rs 41 lakh for two Dahisar flats in 2014 but failed to get possession, and the refund cheques bounced. The directors of Prisha Developers Pvt. Ltd., Sonali Ugle, Rajaram Bandekar, and Kiran Gupte were also sentenced to six months’ imprisonment each in both cases.
The brothers had moved the magistrate’s court in 2016 by filing separate complaints. While Anuj Kumar Jha (46) had booked a 503 sq ft flat for Rs 54 lakh and paid around Rs 16 lakh, his brother Pankaj (49) paid around Rs 25 lakh for a 665 sq ft flat that he had booked for Rs 80 lakh. The Vile Parle siblings were to get possession in 2016. When the flats were not delivered by March 2016, the construction company signed a memorandum of understanding to cancel the booking. The cheques handed over bounced. They said that they issued demand notices to the accused on May 2, 2016, calling upon them to pay the cheque amount, within the stipulated time. The notices to the directors were returned with the remark “shifted,” but a notice sent to their office address was returned with the remark “intimation posted,”, which the brothers said amounted to service on the accused. As the amount claimed in the notice was not paid by the accused, the brothers said that they were left with no option but to knock on the court’s doors. They filed the complaint on May 24, 2016.
Apartments are listed on websites such as booking.com with few photos of the lodging. As it is new, there is no review information whatsoever; furthermore, it is not searchable on Tripadvisor or even Google. Choose an apartment that is usually listed as pay on arrival with free cancellation. Payment: “Booking.com takes your payment on behalf of the property for this stay.” Aside from making no sense if the listing states pay on arrival, the scam appears when / if you contact the landlord to enquire about the place, where it will be revealed that he/she/they have no bank account on file with Booking.com and will ask you to transfer the entire amount up front via bank transfer to a personal bank account. Property scams and cheating are not new in India; hundreds of Indians are cheated every hour, but there is no concrete remedy to bring them to justice. The lengthy judicial procedure takes a hell of a lot of time, and the complainant not only loses his hard-earned money but also his hopes.