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from Local Attorney, Michael H. Wasserman

Thursday, September 30, 2010

REALTOR ALERT - International Scammers Have You In Their Sights

Realtors - What would you think of representing an all cash buyer who is moving his family to Chicago from out of the Country, and who needs your urgent help to find a suitable home? Sounds nice, right?  He needs you to send him listings ASAP as he really needs to move quickly. Even better. Oh yeah, one more thing, he wants to wire you money, lots of it now, so that he can have it ready for the closing. Still interested?


If you are, better take a deep breath before reading on. This is the script to a  fairly elaborate - and pervasive scam that is being perpetrated on unsuspecting Realtors all across the country. I have seen it now twice in just the last three weeks. One agent was approached via Trulia. The other received a lead directly from the brokerage's web site.

More details about the scam can be found in this Trulia posting, and this Orlando, Florida lawyer's blog.


The first time this came up, I advised the inquiring agent to take extra care to try to verify the would-be buyer's funds and identity. He sent photocopies of a passport and a bank statement, but quickly disappeared and dropped contact when we started making inquiries with the bank.