How I nearly met Dino Livanidis.
Dodgy Dino Livanidis
Aside from the occasional Friday night raffle at the Wowan pub, I never win anything. No lotteries, no horse races, no keno, no nothing.
Learning from the Olympic ticket scam.
Not all crook spellers are crooks but many crooks seem to be crook spellers. So, always be wary of spelling and grammar errors.
A story about one battling family.
Brett Marks of the Noah Group.
According to the Noah Group, this investment was so safe the prospectus was "approved by ASIC".
Kiwi spruiker targets Aussies.
Mark Bryers - Photo: New Zealand Herald
New Zealand's Serious Fraud office is investigating the Blue Chip collapse which has become the biggest property story in the country.
Agent denies knowledge of crime.
The murder house in Hogans Road, Tarneit.
Let's hope all the salespeople at John Kontek Real Estate inform all potential buyers.
Sucking-in thousands of naive investors.
If property doubles every seven years, in 2009, an average Sydney home will be worth $189,530,112.00.
Don't make threats and try not to be rude.
It's like going to a restaurant, eating a three-course meal, wiping your face with the napkin, belching and then saying the food was no good.
New name for an old scam.
Victims of these scams (many of whom do not even realise they are victims until it's too late) are ripped off in three ways.
Why investors lose millions in property.
The value is what some sharp operator has manipulated through dishonesty, corruption or incompetence.
He's behind a bush called Assets to Wealth.
Dudley Quinlivan devours investors, usually the sweet and trusting types. Such juicy morsels have no chance.
Terrifying countdown ultimatum.
Do you think I am as naοve as those people who believed the claims in your prospectus?
A guided tour of how they do it.
Ashwin Sethi, Insight's Finance Manager
I think Trent Richards is dodgy and I urge consumers to be very careful.
Beware of real estate's worst nightmare.
This is not a joke, it's a serious warning about what can happen to almost any property owner in Australia...
That innocent phone call offering to help you.
Their scams usually start with a phone call which will mention something that appeals to the average family.
More mezzanine-style disasters.
Losses have probably exceeded a billion dollars. A lot of people are hurting, most of them in silence.
Get angry about equity robbery.
The business people responsible for the loss of this couple's equity should be treated like criminals.
It's time to shut down this ex-Westpoint ally.
They're using exaggerations, dangerous half-truths and downright lies to create an appearance of respectability.
A review of his latest seminar.
The current 'front' for King Con is reportedly a mob called Quadrant Strategic Solutions which uses the same-old technique of luring unsuspecting consumers...
Thousands of sellers wasting millions of dollars.
To convince sellers that their commission is "good value", many agents feel they have no choice but to create an elaborate charade of hard work.
Legal robbery at the point of a pen.
Peter Francis Thackeray owns Baffle Creek Real Estate. He is an accredited member of the Real Estate Institute of Queensland (REIQ).
It's time to set up a monitoring service.
A stigma almost always lowers the value of a home. The worse the stigma, the worse the effect on the value.
Disgraced Aussie turns up in Canada.
Pennicott set up his own spruiking company with a pitch and an outcome that's so predictable.
Buyers need to be alert and alarmed.
Developers can do what they like when preparing contracts to sell their properties. They call it business, buyers call it a rip-off.
Same pitch, different company, same stitch.
They waited until the heat died down, got their dodgy lawyer mates to figure out how to circumvent the limp laws and then re-invented themselves and came back...
Some get rich and some get ripped.
Land banking has been around for years. Bob Hope made money out of it. Donald Trump is involved in it. Now you, the small investor, can also be in it.
George Mihos and his dodgy ways.
The organisers started hugging everyone and Mr Mihos hugged me. When Chris Quinn hugged me he told me that he was sorry that he had to push me so hard.
The seminar that ends up costing you $495 + $6,995 + $10,995 + much, much more.
Whitton's Property Investor Workshop is designed to achieve two things: prepare you for the hard sell at the end and excite you with the notion that a big property portfolio can be created fast and easy.
Serial bankrupt still claiming "astonishing" success.
A District Court judge described Dale as "a witness of questionable credibility" and said much of Dale's evidence was "inherently implausible" (in a case involving Dale's failure to repay loans totalling $181,000 within the agreed terms).
Hunting for consumer dollars.
At that rate you'll turn a mere thousand dollars into $922 million in just ten years. "Very very simple stuff," brags Brad.
WARNING: Those little ads can spell big losses.
It was a neat stitch by an experienced property dealer. Buy a block of land for $18,000 and sell it for treble the price to a trusting and unsuspecting family.
A few safe rules for property consumers.
Thousands of consumers are hurt in property every year and all because they did not know or did not follow the safety rules of real estate.
Protect yourself from property rogues.
A year later, when he goes to inspect the completed apartment, he is horrified to see that an electricity sub-station has been erected in front of his balcony.
Homesellers urged to be careful.
I also mentioned Brisbane solicitor, Paul Crowley, who lost $4 million dollars of a client's trust money in a Nigerian scam. Crowley went to jail.
Behind that smooth talking caller.
In the stitch-em-stakes, Paris has plenty of experience. He has left a string of victims in his wake over the years, many of whom are still reeling from their dealings with him.
How investors lose thousands with rental guarantees.
Here's how these deadly devices can lose a typical investor $90,000 in two years...
Information regarding class action against AFD.
Slater & Gordon have set up a specific toll free number for those hurt by the Henry Kaye scandal. That number is 1800 672 889.
How investors get conned twice.
Today, Phil Jones and many other property spruikers are still making outrageous claims and no action is being taken against them.
Please take great care!
With returns from property investing at record lows and with paltry returns on fixed deposits, it's getting hard to find a decent return these days.
Inside auction's notorious fraud
The CEO of the Real Estate Institute of Victoria, Enzo Raimondo, in an interview on ABC Radio, said, "I'm not sure what is meant by dummy bids. I haven't heard anyone explain to me what a dummy bid is."
Phil Jones and Brad Sugars
The boom has created an epidemic of predators.
Jones and Hows have been well taught. Their seminars are endorsed by their teacher, the Australian Brad Sugars, described as a "Multi-Millionaire, Entrepreneur, Author, Investor and Legend" (it really says that).
Latest threat to real estate consumers.
It has nothing to do with ASIC. It is neither impartial nor trustworthy. It's run by con artists pretending to be authentic and helpful.
Real estate pawnbrokers can exploit you
Struggling would-be homebuyers are still being preyed upon by those real estate pawnbrokers the wrappers.
Clues to find the true value of apartments
Many buyers of apartments especially those buying for investment have not done much thinking these past couple of years.
The man who inflicts pain
The National Investment Institute is one of more than a hundred companies linked to Henry Kaye.
July Update to Subscribers
Since our last update, here are some of the many topics added to our site
How Typical Real Estate Advertising Gets Lower Prices
Homesellers, be aware of six important points if you allow agents to advertise your home.
How to select a Building Inspector
Some inspectors pay kickbacks to agents.
Seller nearly loses $45,000. Be alert .
I think his system has a flaw which sellers need to know about.
An open invitation for anyone
In January 2001, Seattle real estate agent Michael Emert was murdered in a home he had been showing to buyers. In a 12-year period in the United States, 70 real estate agents were murdered in similar circumstances.
A disgrace to our society
The rogues are raking in millions. Do you want to know who they are?
Leading financial adviser sounds shark alarm on wrapping.
Another respected financial adviser has condemned the practice of real estate 'wrapping'.
The danger of "Internet tours"
Recent robberies of homes that have been featured on the Internet is another stark reminder for all consumers to beware of the dangers when homes are exposed to the world.
Skulduggery sinks to a new low
It's hard not to feel intense anger when skulduggery sinks as low as this. This self-titled "entrepeneur and multi-millionaire" actually appears in an advertisement which brags about ripping off drought stricken farmers.
Real Estate Consumer Association says Mezzanine Lending is no place for consumers.
Consumers are coaxed into becoming lenders by using equity in their homes. These schemes are so easily identifiable it beggars belief that the regulatory authorities have been reluctant to act.
Comment by Neil Jenman
If the battlers pay the investor but the investor does not pay the bank, the battlers lose everything even though they have done nothing wrong. The bank steps in and kicks out the battler.
What are these Investment Scams?
These scams are about selling properties to unsuspecting consumers for tens of thousands of dollars above their true value. The prices of the properties are "loaded", as much as $100,000 above their value.
These stories can make you feel like crying.
They are the stories of elderly folk whose homes are sold for fifty or a hundred thousand dollars (or even more) BELOW their value.
Consumer protection in real estate has inched forward in Victoria.
The new laws which Consumer Affairs Minister, Christine Campbell announced on Friday, October 11 and which may still be amended show that the government is at last doing something to curb the massive deceit in real estate.
They are still preying on people
Most people think it would be nice to be rich. Or, at least to have enough so they don't have to worry about money. The fear of being poor, especially in old age, terrifies people.
These days, with all the headlines about the booming property markets, it is easy to think you are missing out.
It is easy to forget about the debt hangover.
Anyone who has ever borrowed money to buy a car knows the initial excitement. You take delivery and you feel you could drive forever. It's exhilarating, almost intoxicating. But in our drunken desire for possessions it is easy to forget the debt hangover that follows.
Policing the real estate industry must be taken out of the hands of the real estate industry - and placed where it belongs: with government law enforcement agencies.
DUMMY BIDDING - It's ALL LIES
Dummy bidding, the most notorious auction lie, is making news again.
The NSW government is proposing a "bidders' register", similar to that proposed in Queensland earlier this year. But that proposal was quashed by the real estate industry.
IF YOU ARE ABOUT TO SELL YOUR HOME, be careful of a scheme which fleeces millions of dollars from home-sellers. It's the advertising kickback rackets. It is all done through a scheme known as "rebates".
If you want to be safe in today's real estate market
THE REAL ESTATE MARKET WILL CRASH. It always does. And the bigger the boom, the bigger the bust. Anyone who says real estate always goes up and it's the world's best investment does not know much about real estate. If you tell someone that the real estate market will crash, the next question you will get is, "When?". Now that's a more difficult question to answer. But let's look at some ominous signs.
THE "STANDARD" SELLING AGREEMENT
The following story shows just one of the many ways that thousands of sellers place themselves at risk when they sign a 'standard' real estate selling agency agreement. There is now a remedy available to protect sellers from being hurt in this manner.
Real Estate Guarantee increases trust
In The Age (August 4 2001) the CEO of the Real Estate Institute described Neil Jenman's real estate Homesellers Protection Guarantee as a "marketing gimmick".
Neil Jenman rejects this accusation because the Guarantee is available for home-sellers to use with any agent, not just agents approved by The Jenman Group.
When you sign on the dotted line with a real estate agent, your home is on the line.
Back in the days when doctors made house-calls and pizza companies didn't, things were different.
In those days, business was often done on a hand-shake. Consumers were more trusting. But then more companies were worth trusting. There was a spirit in our society which accepted that "your word was your bond".
The Scandal Of False Quoting
When Lisa signed-up to sell her home the agent quoted her a price of "$370,000, maybe more". And then he advertised it as "range $230,000 - $270,000".
Home-Sellers Can Lose Most When The Market Is Booming
It is a well-known financial maxim that the biggest losses can occur during the times of the biggest profits. Success creates complacency. It makes people drop their guard.
His critics call him crazy and obsessed
His name is Tim O'Dwyer. He is a lawyer. With a black T-shirt under a leather vest and a scant scruffy beard, he looks more like an ageing rock-star. You want to like him.
But with many real estate agents, this lawyer is despised...
Until the contract has been signed , NOTHING is certain.
With most home sales, there are three groups of people - sellers, buyers and agents. The sellers want the highest price, the buyers want the lowest price and the agents want a commission. For the buyers and the sellers, this is a dangerous formula. Most times, the agents are in no danger...
Home Sellers To Pay More Commission If Their Homes Sell For More Money
There is a nasty scam emerging in the real estate industry. It is a particularly dangerous scam because, on the surface, it seems fair. It requires home sellers to pay more commission if their homes sell for more money.
How Can They Call This A Success?
Advertisements placed by agents which say such things as "90 percent success rate at auction" are only telling one side of the story - the agents' side.
Nine Reasons Auctions Get Lower Prices
If someone is trying to talk you into selling by auction, then before you sign anything, please read this.
Agents should give REAL guarantees to consumers
"Excuse me, but I'm looking for somebody to blame," sang Bob Dylan in his song Hurricane.
In the real estate industry it is hard to find people who will accept responsibility and take the blame when things go wrong.
A new sting to a common scam in the real estate industry.
What you are about to read is commonly known as being "all stitched up". No matter what you do, you lose. And you can't get out of it.
Agents who STEAL money from their clients are crooks.
A long time ago, at a seminar, I said "50 percent of agents are crooks". A rather unpleasant agent demanded an apology. So I said "50 percent of agents are NOT crooks". The audience howled with laughter. The offended agent left the room.
Dummy bidding is intended to coerce sellers AND buyers into making decisions based on FALSE information.
In last Sunday week's Herald-Sun, a journalist quoted the advice from the book, Real Estate Mistakes, about calling the Police if you suspect fraud in real estate. Last week someone called the Police.
How the old "Bait and Switch" has become the new "Bait and Crunch".
Many years ago The Cord Car Company used to advertise Holden Commodores at incredibly low prices. Each weekend full page ads would usually feature one car at say $3,000 when the new price for the exact same model elsewhere was many times that amount.
Auctions This Weekend.
Every weekend when I look at the thousands of homes for auction, I can't help feeling upset about the thousands of consumers who are losing money. I think of how hundreds of agents will be admiring their own advertisements, which increase their "profile"...
THE REAL ESTATE ADVERTISING SCAM
Did you watch Media Watch last night? In about five minutes, Media Watch gave its viewers a look at one of this country's greatest consumer scams Real Estate Advertising.
Yes it is a 'scam' and, frankly, it makes me feel ill.