Lennox agent tips authorities to international property scam

REAL estate agents and property investors have been warned about a scam where thieves try to steal a property from under the real owner.

The NSW Department of Fair Trading issued the warning after a Lennox Head real estate agent told Fair Trading about an international scam.

"It is a scam letter (purportedly from the Australian Tax Office) designed to harvest details from real estate agents about Australian properties they manage on behalf of non-residents," Fair Trade Commissioner Rod Stowe said.

"The scammers seek to assume the identities of non-residents and sell their properties without the real owners' knowledge."

He said the ATO had confirmed the scam to his department.

He added that identical letters, under the letterhead of Britain's Her Majesty's Revenue and Customs, had been sent to real estate agents across Britain since March 2012.

Topics:  real estate scams

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