Contact forms in property listings may also be used improperly or fraudulently. Fraudsters sometimes use contact forms to send messages to advertisers in which they feign an interest in purchasing properties. Once contact is established, a meeting – usually abroad – is requested. At this meeting, the fraudster steers the conversation away from the advertisement and onto the subject of a money exchange or cash transaction. The fraud is then committed during the money transfer (counterfeit money, empty suitcases, etc.).

Misuse of identity documents

In another version of this scam involving fraudulent listings, the advertiser will request a copy of the prospective customer’s personal ID. Online fraudsters use such copies later to impersonate real people – for example, to impersonate reputable property advertisers and then request the advance payments from searchers described above.