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Land Scam Alert

Recent land listing scams have been affecting New Mexico. Individuals claiming to own land have approached REALTORS®, requesting them to list the land for sale. It's essential to adhere to all office listing procedures diligently and ensure you're dealing with the rightful owner of the property. Consider the following best practices to safeguard against falling victim to a fraudulent land scam.

Prior to listing vacant land, it's crucial to confirm the caller's ownership of the property:

  • Schedule a live streaming meeting via Zoom, Teams, Google, or FaceTime.

  • Arrange to meet and walk the lot line with the potential client.

  • Reach out to the title company for any additional owner information.

  • Inform the potential client that documentation will be sent to the address on file with the Tax Assessor and request it to be returned before listing the property, given recent fraudulent land deals.

  • Use social media and internet resources (such as Spoke) to verify the owner's phone number or email.

If the seller shows reluctance or provides excuses regarding any of these steps, it could indicate a potential scam. Trust your instincts! If unsure, seek guidance from your Qualifying Broker, who serves as your primary defense.

If you have clients with vacant land, recommend setting up a Google alert by entering their address. This way, if the property is listed unexpectedly, the owner will be notified.

Buyers' brokers should also exercise caution. When representing clients purchasing vacant land, inquire with the listing broker if they have verified the seller. Ask questions!


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