Monday, July 30, 2012

Building a House in Ghana Using a Family Member? 5 Lies Relatives Like to Tell

Over the years, we have received emails and phone calls about how relatives have wasted money sent to Ghana specifically for building a dream home. Most of these writers and callers’ funds were misused or the home that was built did not make sense—poorly built, substandard or not completed as they were told.

It may seem like a good idea to use a relative to handle arrangements when you want to build a house in Ghana. However, it is important to remember that scams from within Ghana are increasing and the criminals are becoming very intelligent about avoiding detection until it is too late. If you have recently entered into an arrangement with a relative, a friend or are considering doing so, watch out for these five common ways that you can become the victim in a scam.

1. “Everything looks good!”

One popular building scam in Ghana is to consistently reassure the absent homeowner that everything is going ahead as planned. However, the photos of construction progress are actually from someone else project that doesn’t have anything to do with your home. One scammer who used this tactics to rip-off his relative overseas recently hanged himself due a pending court case and the likelihood that he was going to do hard times in prison.

2. Lies, Lies, Lies

Another scam that is hard to recognize until it’s too late involves the quick spending of your money for the relative’s personal needs and he or she hoping to pay it back as soon as possible. Along the way, the scammer continues to feed you believable lies until it is simply too late to regain your money.

3. “Send more money!”

International awareness of the rise of crime in Ghana is ironically working in favor of some scammers. Your relatives tell you that they are being faced with litigation claims and need more money in order to go to court or hire guards to protect the property and construction supplies.

4. “Building supplies are expensive here.”

This scam involves inflating the prices when talking to you while pocketing the rest. This scam can be difficult to recognize; you may never be able to recoup your lost money.

5. Substandard Supplies and Lack of Documents

The relatives handling your project may choose substandard materials in order to pocket some money or they may fail to obtain the necessary documents required for construction. According to the U.S. Bureau of Consular Affairs, you can be held accountable by the Ghanaian authorities, even if you were completely unaware that laws had been broken and the authorities could demolish your building.

Protect Your Investment

You must take steps to protect your investment. Instead of relying on relatives, enlist the assistance of a professional, such as Ghana Homes Group, to handle the details of your international construction.


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