NASHVILLE (WSMV) - They fight for our freedom every single day. Now, advocates and realtors who sat down with News 4 want to get the message out about a scam that’s impacting many of our service members.

The scam involves real estate. It does not solely target military men and women, but veteran advocates we spoke with say they’re noticing a lot of them being affected because they have to move and leave areas suddenly. 

“These are people who have said, I’m willing to do back-to-back deployments for my entire career,” Sherry Pickering with the Montgomery County Veterans Coalition said. “You have to move on to your next place. You don’t have a choice.” 

That leaves victims open to scammers. 

“They begin as a For Sale By Owner and they’re just uneducated about the process of transfer of ownership and closing,” Realtor Su Whetsell with Reliant Realty said. 

The scammer may use a few different tactics, but ultimately the victim thinks the home is sold, the scammers rent out the home they do not own and collect rent, while the owner of the home eventually gets a shock. 

“They get a letter in the mail saying that the mortgage hasn’t been paid for 7 out of the 12 months last year,” Whetsell said. 

This can really impact anyone who is trying to sell their home in a hurry or us trying to save some money by doing it themselves. 

So how can you protect yourself? 

  • Do your homework. 
  • Find a reputable Real Estate Company 
  • Check Reviews 
  • If you choose to do it by yourself, check your documents to make sure you are closing on your home. 
 

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