Increasing numbers of South Africans are falling prey to boiler-room tactics in their desperation to buy property offshore in the face of looming land expropriation without compensation, an economy in recession and growing fears about the country’s future social stability. This is according to Ian Edwards, partner and Africa regional manager of Austen Morris Associates, a global wealth manager which operates in a number of countries,including SA. “Increasingly we are seeing people who have been panicked into buying properties that are worthless or next to worthless from offshore and local salespeople with hazy credentials and fake promises,” he says. Tim Mertens, chairman of Sovereign Trust, an international fiduciary and tax-planning business that specialises in offshore structuring for foreign assets, says there is no doubt that there are hard-sell salespeople trying to flog property and take advantage locals’ fears about SA’s political and economic uncertainty. Although offshore ...

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