How to protect yourself from AI real estate scams

More Arkansans are falling victim to AI real estate scams. Here are a few tips on what to do if this were to happen to you.

LITTLE ROCK, Ark. — Scammers have been getting more creative these days.

Not only have they been doing the regular scams of credit card fraud, and identity theft but they’ve also been taking it a step further by using artificial intelligence tools to target people.

Individuals falling victim to AI scams in real estate have been on the rise in Arkansas.

“So essentially, the potential for the real estate scams is staying the same, but the risk of falling for one is increasing because of this assistive technology,” said Cara Carlin the Director of Communications for the Better Business Bureau.

Carlin explained how AI scams in real estate are advancing with things such as fake listings, generated conversations, and even voice impersonations of property owners.

“What we’re seeing in the real estate world is a threat of AI-generated listings, AI and spider seller personas, generated conversations, and that could be with the property owner or even voice impersonations,” Carlin said. “There’s not a lot of red flags, unfortunately, but some of the things that scammers do that you can pick up on. Especially in this space, high pressured sales, rush transactions, a reluctance from the owner or the agent to meet in person.”

Because of situations like those Realtor Marshall Golleher with Rackley Realty said he’s more proactive in making sure that buyers and sellers are actually legit.

“If I’m meeting somebody on Zillow, I’m looking them because I don’t want to go show up there and you know, whoever I’m meeting isn’t who they say they are or for just safety,” Golleher explained.

Usually scouting for a home or becoming a first-time home-owner is an exciting time but lately for several Arkansans it’s become quite stressful.

“It started from the home shopping American dream to ‘I just got scammed, I don’t want to buy a home anymore’, it might take their homeownership dreams which would be really sad,” Golleher added.

Carlin said it is easy to fall victim to AI, and people often do because the technology they’re using can create life-like listings but there are definitely some things to look out for.

“Physically visit that property or ask someone to do so on your behalf. Then request to verify that owner or agent identity legitimacy upfront. Don’t provide any personal information or upfront money until you know who you’re dealing with and that the transaction is legitimate,” Carlin said.

If you or someone you know has been scammed, you can report it to law enforcement and to the Better Business Bureau Tracker online.

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