Bogus Inspection Request

I received a bogus inspection request on Friday evening.
“Good day, my name is Mike. I’d like to schedule 20th Feb for a home inspection here in Bennett.”

I smelled a rat immediately, but as Zig Zeigler used to say, and I paraphrase, “Investigate, prosecute, and convict a possible client until proved innocent” (or not a client). So, I replied and asked for the address.

Saturday morning, Mike replied, “I’d want visual inspection of the property and provide report identifying all defects. here is the property address (I’ll omit the address) its a 3bed2bath1508sqft0.27acre lot…the property is vacant for the inspection, reason for the inspection is to look out for possible repairs. likewise this is a pre-listing inspection, please provide me with your estimate both for the home inspection, radon, water sample and termite inspection,”

I called the lister and found out that it is not under-contract, but he is negotiating a contract with a local buyer not named Mike. BTW, around here, water sampling on public water sources is almost unheard of and termite inspections are rare, (I’ve only been involved in two in 24 years). My guess is that this is one of those scams where Mike wants to pay me more than the inspection with a bad cashier’s check and have me reimburse him the difference before the check bounces.

I have not responded to Mike yet. I am pretty busy and even this post is eating up some of my time, but it may be informative for some newbies and I have a question for you guys. Do any of you have some clever way to burn ol’ Mike?


Not clever, just smart… Delete! Delete! Delete!

BTW… (NOT targeted at Lon)…

this is a NEW addition to the scammers narrative. Most likely it came from the other “Inspectors” that are *ucking around with them, and in effect ‘coaching them’ on what’s wrong with their original narrative.
At some point they will eventually con an unsuspecting person and then YOU will be a party to their crime!!

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Credit card payment only and paid in advance… Seems to work… That will be the sign if they are legit or not.


“Mike” hasn’t contacted me since I told him that I don’t accept checks via US Mail and that he would have to pay with an electronic method such as Zelle. Obviously “Mike” is still successful in scamming inspectors since this seems to come up every couple weeks or so. The next time I’ll just have him send the check to my state AG.


Accept PayPal payment only, must be made by 5:00 PM today or you’re cancelled.


I like and agree with all the responses, but I was wondering if there was a way to reverse scam these guys.

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I doubt it Lon, most of these scams originate in other countries and there’s really not anyway, at least that I know of, to legally get them, we can play games with them and waste their time, and if it’s slow that might be worth it, but they’ll keep trying regardless and if they scam 1 out of 100 it’s probably worth it to them…

Lon, I had the exact same inspection request, word for word, all text message. They did give me the address (also not an active listing), but “Mike” would not give me his full name or buyers info once I explained my confirmation email/preinspection agreement/payment requirements. The requests for water sample, radon, termite, etc, was very odd for here as well, and I could sniff out the strange verbiage from the beginning. Haven’t heard any more from “Mike”.

Thanks for sharing!

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One way to hit back is to play along and get them to go ahead and send you the fake check. At least it will cost them $10 to do so. If they start losing money maybe this scam will end.
Use a fake name. A real buyer would recognize the joke, but a Nigerian Prince will be none-the-wiser and go ahead and send the fake check. Hit them in their wallet. make them lose some of their own money.


If you want to take it to the next level, you can play games with them and make them really work for that refund check. really piss them off.


That’s master level genius right there…

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I am embarrassed to say that I did not catch your “name” on the check on my first look. Love it.

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I’m with JJ, delete delete delete. I don’t have the time or patience for games.

Once I determine the contact is a scammer, I disengage. No further communication. No confrontation. What JJ said: “delete! delete!” and I block number and/or email address.
I believe this is the same guy. Tried to hit me 2 days ago.
Mike Mahaffery 1-406-608-8463

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Wasn’t me, Lon!!! But I got the same call. Dismissed it as what you said it was, Bogus!

Had the same text yesterday from Mike. Actual listing on a new home in town. Wanted a water test (flag)
Another one week or so ago…different name…same m.o. I quoted a ridiculous price and he said it was too high…told him that is what I charge scammers. End of contact.

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I get the same texts here around St Louis. They sometimes have different names but the blurb is identical.

May have to get creative…. Love “Harry Paratestes…” Hes my favorite Fake News Anchor

I’ve received several of those in the past. I had to fuck with the last one that contacted me. Had them going for a few days just for fun.

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Here’s the most recent one I received via text.

Am James Thomas by name, will you be able to INSPECT a new house I am interested in purchasing which I am in talks with the seller. where are you located It’s located at : 1467 Cleveland Ave, Columbus, OH 43211
Here is the house info; 4bd 2ba 808 sqft year built in 1920,

The place is currently vacant.,., Let me know your quote and availability by February 22TH OR 28?

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This is gold right here!!! :rofl::rofl: