Seller impersonation fraud is a type of real estate fraud in which an impostor masquerades as an owner of a property and sells, or attempts to sell, a real estate asset they do not actually own. In most cases of seller impersonation, the fraudster will use authentic-looking documentation to prove their erroneous ownership, such as falsified deed, mortgage, tax documents, and other paperwork that looks official.

Often, fraudsters may try to use the proceeds of the sale for personal gain and may incline a real estate professional to close the fraudulent deal by offering a large commission, bribe, or other incentive to the unsuspecting agent. Real estate professionals are kept in the dark as to the source of proceeds and unknowingly become part of the crime as unwitting participants in transactions.

Major Elements:
• Real estate fraud involving a person falsely impersonating an owner of property
• Fraudulent attempts to sell a property they do not own
• Authentic-looking documentation presented to support the ownership
• Fraudsters may use the proceeds of the sale for personal gain
• May offer a real estate professional a large commission, bribe, or incentive as a means of closing the fraudulent deal

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