The biggest scam in America’s real estate market is being perpetrated by fake Chinese sellers, according to an industry watchdog.
The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) recently warned sellers in the country’s real-estate market that they need to be wary.
And a new report from the Center for Public Integrity, the nonprofit watchdog organization, found that sellers are “actively avoiding or failing to verify” Chinese buyers.
The report comes as Chinese authorities continue to clamp down on Chinese nationals living in the U.N. and other international organizations in response to U.A.E.’s decision to hold its first U.K.-China summit.
It also comes amid reports that Chinese nationals have bought properties in San Francisco, New York, Miami and Seattle in the past few years.
It is unclear whether or not Chinese buyers have made significant purchases of properties, which could be a sign that buyers are avoiding a higher-priced market.
“The real-world experience is that many people are trying to avoid it,” said John C. O’Neill, the director of the Center’s China program.
“It’s very difficult to make that argument.”
In a statement to the Center, the Department of Homeland Security said the department’s Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) and OFAC-related authorities are taking a “careful look” at the issue.
“While OFAC is not a regulator, OFACs anti-money laundering and cybersecurity activities include anti-fraud efforts targeting foreign entities,” the statement said.
“We continue to assess the impact of OFAC actions on foreign real estate and to determine appropriate corrective action.”
In addition to OFAC, OFC is the primary federal agency responsible for preventing money laundering and financial crimes.
But the watchdog says that while OFAC has not made a significant effort to monitor Chinese buyers in the real estate business, there are some examples of OFC’s efforts to do so.
OFAC’s anti-corruption unit has reported that China’s central bank and other central bank officials have contacted the real-tor industry and offered to help identify and address Chinese buyers, according the report.
“This is a concern,” O’Neil said.
“[OFAC] has a lot of resources that they can use to investigate, and they can’t necessarily get as much information as the realtors and real estate agents.
And so they have a little bit of an incentive to be very aggressive in that effort.”
The real-tourism industry is a huge source of revenue for China’s government, which has been cracking down on foreign money.
Last year, the Chinese government arrested nearly 100 people who were in business with the realtor industry, including some who had been working as tour guides.
The crackdown on the industry came as the government was preparing to introduce an anti-graft law, known as the “one-China” policy, which seeks to restrict Chinese money flowing to Western countries.
A Chinese government report in January 2016 stated that the Chinese market has “become a major source of foreign investment and tourism funds for the Chinese economy,” according to the Washington Post.
It stated that a “number of individuals and companies have been identified” in China who are “investors in the tourism sector.”
The report noted that the realty industry has also been singled out for a crackdown.
“Foreigners and tourists, in particular, are increasingly turning to local real estate companies for a variety of reasons, including to escape Chinese laws,” the report stated.
In a 2015 report from PricewaterhouseCoopers, the real world’s largest real estate brokerage firm, the global real estate industry “is one of the most vulnerable sectors in the global economy.”
The firm’s report, which reviewed a range of real estate trends and prices in 15 countries, noted that “in recent years, Chinese investors have shifted to real estate investment from tourism and other emerging markets.”
A real estate agent, who asked to remain anonymous to protect his job, told the Washington Examiner that he had never heard of a problem between Chinese and U.E. real estate buyers.
“There’s no problem between the two groups,” the agent said.
He also said that Chinese buyers are often willing to pay higher prices for properties in U.R.A., which is a local currency used in China.
“China doesn’t really care about what kind of property they want to buy, and Chinese buyers tend to want the cheapest property,” the agency agent said, adding that he’s “always been surprised” when Chinese buyers buy properties in the United States.
“In fact, I’m pretty sure that most of the time Chinese buyers don’t want the property in the first place.”
The agent said that many Chinese buyers also prefer to use U.H.
A or U.O. property, even if it’s not in the same region.
“I don’t think there’s any reason for that,” he said.
In addition, the agency report