An old scam with a twist continues to resurface in our area. Realtors beware!
If you receive an email from someone outside of the country who wants to purchase one of your listings with cash and they have never viewed the property, be careful. When they ask for the name of a closing or escrow attorney, be careful. If it seems too good to be true, it probably is.
An ECAR Realtor recently received an email that made her suspicious. ECAR was forwarded a copy of the email. Click here to view it for yourself.
ECAR affiliate member and local attorney Richard McNeese was contacted by the Realtor for advice. Based on his experience with these scams, he could say beyond a shadow of a doubt that it was a scam and to be careful. Regardless of where their email indicates they are from, the scams originate in Nigeria.
A bogus, but very real-looking check is received and deposited. Within a day or two of the deposit by the brokerage or title company, the scammers demand the return of the deposit. The intent is to coerce someone into sending them a refund check before the depositor realizes the original check is a forgery.
It can get worse. The depositor may realize their error after they send a refund check and call to stop payment on the check. Now, the scammer has a copy of the check and may use the sender’s account to create more “certified” looking checks. They can and will duplicate that check with signatures and account information.
When the deal seems too good to be true, do your homework and ask questions. Be cautious and stay safe!