A con artist looks for a low-end, rundown house for sale. He approaches the seller and says he's willing to pay the full asking price-but only if the seller will do him a small favor. See, the buyer needs a bigger mortgage than the house is worth. So if the owner agrees to relist the house at, say, triple the price, then the buyer can apply for a bigger mortgage.
The swindler often tells the homeowner not to worry-he wants to use the extra mortgage proceeds to fix up the house. The seller usually heartily agrees: He's getting the full price … and besides, wouldn't it be nice to have the place fixed up? The swindler, using a false identity, takes out the supersized mortgage, pays the seller, and pockets the remainder. The house usually ends up in foreclosure.