‘Real Estate for Everyone’ or Deception: Serbian Ads Featuring Photos of Foreign Properties


Original article (in Serbian) was published on 20/6/2024; Authors: Marija Vučić, Stefan Kosanović

A 50-square-meter apartment near Vukov Spomenik in Belgrade for only 50,000 euros? Or a house in Veternik, Novi Sad, for half the market price? If it sounds too good to be true, you’re right. These ads, from the Instagram and TikTok account ‘Real Estate for Everyone’ (Nekretnine za sve,) feature properties that are not even located in Serbia. The photos are taken from real estate websites in Slovakia and the Czech Republic, or from accommodation booking sites like Airbnb and Booking in Berlin or Madrid.

“What’s the deal here? Zvezdara, third floor with an elevator”, asked a suspicious X user. Her attention was drawn to an ad posted on the Instagram account “Nekretnine za sve”. The ad featured a 49-square-meter apartment near Vukov Spomenik that cost 54,000 euros.

In this part of the city, according to the data of real estate sales websites, the average price per square meter is around 3,400 euros, so for such an apartment in reality one should allocate around 150,000 euros, i.e. three times more.

Thanks to the advertising of cheap apartments, this account attracted the attention of many users on social networks. Almost 29 thousand people currently follow the Instagram page, and the TikTok account with the same name gathered about six thousand followers in less than a month. On TikTok, we found another related account, ‘Dream Apartments’ (Stanovi iz snova) with around 3,200 followers. During April, this account advertised slightly more luxurious, but still unrealistically cheap, apartments. 

“Find your dream home at incredibly low prices”, states the description of the account “Nekretnine za sve”.

What is not stated in the description is the name and contact information of this “agency”. The website admin invites interested parties to send an e-mail to nekretninezasve@gmail.com for inquiries about how they can schedule a viewing of the apartments. No one replies to that email, as people complain in the comments.

This is because these apartments, and at these prices, only exist in dreams. As we found out, the photos were taken from the Internet and show the interiors of real estate in countries such as the Czech Republic, Slovakia, Germany, and Spain.

The owner of this website started with false real estate advertising in April. Then the first “ad” was published for a luxurious apartment of 147 square meters in Belgrade for only 114 thousand euros.


However, this affordable penthouse in the heart of Belgrade is actually in Berlin. We found it on the accommodation rental platform, Airbnb.


People were also interested in a 56-square-meter apartment located “in a quiet part of Belgrade” for 68,000 euros, so they asked in the comments – without success – how they could schedule a viewing, how to contact the agency and in which part of the city the apartment is located.


However, this apartment is also located a little further from Belgrade – in Berlin.

Likewise, a house of 128 square meters from Krakow, Poland has become a house located in Novi Sad’s Veternik and is offered for only 85,000 euros.

Fake house in Veternik; Screenshot/TikTok
Real house in Krakow; Screenshot/Properstar

Other real estate photos that we searched led us to apartments in Madrid, Prague, and Bratislava.

We have not been able to determine who is behind this account, and no one has responded to the mentioned email either. We asked, among other things, what exactly is the “idea” behind this false advertising, since there is no product being sold or an account to which deceived citizens would be invited to pay money.

The Instagram account “Nekretnine za sve” changed its name as many as six times, and earlier, apparently, it also published motivational messages. This can be seen on its Threads account which still features old posts.


Growing Social Media Accounts as a Business

However, it seems that profit could very well be the motive for starting a website like this, which in a short time managed to gather a large number of followers interested in cheap apartments.

And precisely gathering followers, or “building” accounts on social networks, is a form of business. The founders and administrators of these or similar accounts continuously work to attract the audience by displaying attractive content. When they reach a few thousand, tens of thousands or even hundreds of thousands of followers, they sell that account, most often to a business owner, a potential influencer, a media outlet, or anyone who needs an already built-up base of followers.

Then it happens that the page changes its name and starts with different posts or with selling some products.

On the Internet, you can find ads selling already “developed” accounts on Instagram, Twitter, Facebook and other networks. Prices vary a lot, so for example on the Sasomange website, you can buy an Instagram account with almost 50 thousand followers for around 150 euros. On the other hand, on a specialized website for reselling accounts, an account of that size costs more than 1,000 euros.

Many who make money in this way care about gathering as many followers as possible relatively quickly to sell it more expensively. Therefore, they will most likely use various manipulation techniques to attract attention, such as promises of easy and quick earnings, manipulative advertising, disinformation, sensationalism, clickbait content, and similar.

How to Avoid Being Deceived

There are two positive aspects to this particular story.

Firstly, it seems from the comments under the posts that many people realized that something “stinks” here and did not believe the deceptions, and secondly – there is currently no “scheme” for extracting money from citizens. In other words, even if you believed that such cheap apartments were really being sold, the most you have lost is a little time in case you tried to schedule a viewing of the apartment and sent an email to which no one responded.

However, this does not always have to be the case, and sometimes damage can occur. Therefore, here are some tips to avoid falling for similar scams:

1. No name or contact information

Doubt should first be aroused if the account description does not clearly state which real estate agency or company it features, that is, who exactly is behind the account. Trusted accounts will always include the company name, website, address, and phone number. Indeed, these data can also be fabricated, but if they are not there at all, this is a reason for caution.

it should also be clear if the admin of the account is unresponsive, that is, he/she does not respond to messages. Many were left without answers to numerous questions about the apartments, and only a few were sent to the mentioned email, but did not get a response. 

2. Look carefully

Those who misuse such content rely on the fact that no one will notice the omissions that could give them away. It is possible that they are targeting older people, those who are at a lower level of education or technological literacy and who will not even notice suspicious signs in the posts.

For instance – the quality of the photo. Take a look at all the posts on the page and if you notice photos that are “blurrier”, smaller in size, and have poor resolution, there is a high chance that they were downloaded from the Internet and taken by that agency. A real estate agency would certainly photograph the apartments.

The same applies if they look so good that they are almost unrealistic, like from a catalogue.

Pay attention to other omissions – for example, some photos on the mentioned Instagram account “Nekretnine za sve” have watermarks of the sites from which they were taken. In the photo below, we noticed a trademark belonging to the website “4 mosty”, which sells real estate from Poland.


At the time of the development of artificial intelligence, that is software for generating photos, it is not excluded that you come across, for example, an interior that looks almost or completely realistic but does not exist in reality. However, look carefully at the photo – mostly the details will reveal that it is artificial intelligence, such as blurred edges, distorted knobs and buttons, or completely distorted smaller objects, etc.

AI-generated kitchen

3. Read carefully

In the case of the mentioned account, even the text posts themselves do not make much sense or lack key information. Let’s say, for the most part, what is usually stated in similar ads is not specified anywhere – in which part of the city the apartment is located, which city transport lines pass there, which shops, institutions and more famous objects are nearby, etc.  

“The apartment is located in a well-developed area that offers all amenities: grocery stores, health clinics, bakeries, kindergartens, nurseries, supermarkets, tennis courts, swimming pool, children’s playground, large park. Excellent public transport: buses, tram, fast exit to the highway”, states one of the ads, which is formulated very generally as if it was created by artificial intelligence. In some ads, you can find loanwords like “we cooperate”.

All of this should raise your suspicions.

4. If you are suspicious, there is probably a reason for it

And finally, be suspicious. In these areas, we still remember how many fellow citizens spent the nineties investing their savings in the infamous pyramid banks, Jugoskandik and Dafiment. Believing in promises that they would get up to 15 percent interest on savings in marks and even 160 percent on savings in dinars, many lost everything they had.

If it sounds too good to be true, it probably isn’t real. In the years when real estate prices in Serbia have skyrocketed and affording a roof over your head is very difficult, it is logical that many will be attracted to such offers. However, ask yourself if any investor would sell apartments in such a perfect condition, at prices two or three times lower than market prices.

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