We at Top Ten Reviews take a considerable amount of time and pride in our research, but sometimes we come across unscrupulous websites that even make us cringe. Essentially, our job is to weed out the bad seeds and provide the consumer with the best data available, but sometimes there are a huge number of people just dying to get a hold of your hard-earned dollar and the question is “who do you trust?”

If you are interested in venturing into the world of Foreclosure Real Estate here are a few things to keep in mind when searching the Internet for your housing steal:

1. Be Skeptical, Be Very Skeptical

We can’t stress this point enough. I know this sounds cliché, but the old saying “if it’s too good to be true, it probably is” is completely applicable here. If someone is claiming you can make a fortune just by sitting on your couch, they are lying. Like any business, investing in foreclosures takes time and research.

2. Beware the Word FREE

Nothing is free! Plain and simple. If you sign up for something that is “Free” without reading the fine print, prepare for a world of heartache. In all of our research we did not find one foreclosure listing service that was 100 percent free. All required some kind of credit card information and would subsequently charge you one minute after your “free trial” had expired.

3. Do Some Homework

Before you willing hand over your credit card information double check a few reputable websites and see what others are saying about the services you’ve found. A good place to start is The Better Business Bureau has no affiliation with these services and will provide you with objective opinions.

In our research we found one company marketing itself through three different websites all offering various “foreclosure kits” or “one time charges.” To the untrained eye these may seem like dream packages, but in the end it’s just a scam. Additionally, most of these types of sites don’t provide contact information. If you are using Internet Explorer you can check their Alexa Data. Alexa is a service provided by Microsoft that provides information about almost every website available. If you begin to see a pattern in marketing, chances are the sites are all owned by the same company, even if the website URL is different on each service.

We tried to contact a few of these services and never received a response. When in doubt about a service, contact them. If they don’t respond, they don’t deserve your business.

4. Security Matters

Believe it or not, not everyone on the Internet are friendly people just trying to help you. They are sneaky, sleazy people looking to make a quick buck off the consumer’s naiveté. Always make sure any website that requires a credit card or personal information is a secure site with a valid security certificate. The easiest way to do this is first look for “https” in the website’s URL; the “s” stands for secure. An easy way to recognize this is to look for the lock symbol located near the URL line or on the bottom right hand corner of the website. Both Internet Explorer and Mozllia Firefox use these symbols. To check the security certificate double click on the lock icon and a popup window will appear displaying the site’s security information.

5. Always Read the Fine Print

Ok, so I know the fine print is boring. As reviewers we spend a good portion of our day reading them and trying to separate the legitimate businesses from the con artists. If read closely, the terms and agreements, terms of service, TOS, privacy policy, company policy and so on, can be very revealing. Legally, these companies have to spill their guts about their policies. If they do not have a terms of service or a link to their policies this is a huge red flag.

We know you work hard for your money and we try to provide the best information available to help you make an informed decision. These are tips we follow and would hope you take into consideration when embarking on a new venture whether it is foreclosure investing or otherwise.

More Top Stories