Do you think this might be a Scam?

I received a text at 7:45 pm, asking if I was interested in doing a “pre-inspection” on a house, and gave details of the house, guy’s name is Brian Smith. I’m thinking pre-inspection means a walk though prior to making a bid, but wasn’t sure. The phone number was not from within my state. I replied yes, call to provide details and schedule a time. 5 minutes later got another text with more info, the address, and asked the pre-inspection price. Said he couldn’t attend inspection, owner will let me in, will I only send report to him. I asked for more details of property, like outbuildings, extras, etc. Then finally found the property on line but only on Zillow, 30 days old (which is too long these days), strange description of property, 3 crappy photos, owner said he’s lived there since he was 5, house was built in '69, etc. I am getting pretty suspicious by now, the guy won’t call, and doesn’t ask your typical questions about the home inspection. I said I can do inspection tomorrow (Tues), or he’ll have to wait until next week. He replies next Mon works. (Again, suspicious, usually they want inspection immediately.) Then says he will send me cashier’s check ahead of time, will overnight it tomorrow so I have payment before we start. I say ok, send email address so I can send contract for you to sign and send back with payment. Then he says pest company also coming that day. I try to do a reverse look up on his phone number, comes back the number is not assigned. I look up the seller’s info, it says seller is 94 years old, so big lie about living there since he was 5. Now I am really suspicious, wondering when the guy is going to ask for my banking info. Another text comes in, bingo! The pest guys want payment on site, so tells me he’ll send me a check for my $350, plus $50 for my gas, plus money for the pest inspection. So wants me to cash check and deposit my fee and bring the pest company their fee in cash. I reply no way, this is sounding like a scam. I try calling him, just get a funny busy signal. I try calling the seller who at least has a local phone number, get the same funny sounding busy signal. So I reply never mind, I’m no longer interested, sounds too much like a scam. He replies it is not, but understands and says good bye. Would you have taken the job?

Several years ago I had a guy text me with similar deal. He was in the hospital after an accident coming home from submitting an offer on a house, and had no way to get to bank, said he’d give me his credit card to not only pay my fee, but also pay me for the $2500 down payment on the house that he can’t get to bank or his checkbook to send, and I should do a cash advance off his payment and bring cash to the inspection for the seller as the seller won’t let me in without that payment. I laughed and said nice try and hung up.

Anyone have similar things happen? Did that first scenario sound like a scam to you, or should I have followed through? If he sends a cashier check, I guess there’s no way to hack into my accounts, I’d just be a little leery of going to the house with cash and without some “backup”. Thoughts please.

SCAM.

STOP TALKING TO THIS PERSON.

Several red flags in your description mate.

Good luck.

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Scam!

Let someone else have him even if he is real.

If people didn’t answer my communications, with them, I dropped them.

I was so busy that I didn’t have time for that.

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It is a well known scam. Been multiple posts on the Facebook groups sharing the same story.

Who has to do this in today’s world? No one.

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Scam. This type of scam has been around since someone in Nigeria had a rich uncle die and needs help hiding the money in your bank account before the corrupt Nigerian government takes it.

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Beware the criminal element! Total SCAM!
I advise you cease all communication with this party.
I had the same scam/offer/story come my way a while back. I realized that it was all nonsense and that was the end of it.

I’m still waiting for my wire transfer from the daughter of the nephew of the son of the king of some messed up country that asked me for help. :crazy_face: Just kidding.

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I like to play with them on occasion and after a few beers…

After the apparent dialogue by them leading up to a scam, I lead them into this;

" Thanks for the call! Let’s talk about this further, but this call is being monitored and recorded by…" and then there’s the hang up and dial tone…

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I answer some with a gruff “County Detective Bureau”!..what do you need?

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Ask them to listen closely, then give them the air horn, you will laugh your ass off, :joy:

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Scams and criminals everywhere…and when they can now easily shakedown an American Company for a cool $5,000,000…things are only going to get worse.

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More and More Scams It is too Bad.

And my phone rings a lot for all kinds of things SEO, Website, Local advertising, all of which I am either doing already or not affordable.

And they use a local number so It looks like a legitimate call for an Inspection, and it ends up being a sales pitch. ARGHH!

Just tonight I had some guy text me asking about an inspection. Asked if I take card, said yes. Then some number from Delaware (I’m in Wa.) calls me and it’s this same dude. I can’t understand 90% of what he’s saying. He can’t attend, wife was on a business trip in Cali, she had an accident and is in a wheelchair bla bla bla.

I ask if his realtor referred me. Oh, he doesn’t have a realtor, but a “representative”… Ok…

But what made this SO obvious, I asked him how he heard about me, “oh I looked and saw all of your great online reviews.” (my business is very new and while I’ve performed a few inspections, I know for a fact I don’t yet have online reviews yet). Then he straight up asked if I can send him ID so he “know who he’s working with.”

As if bro. Take a fudging hike.

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I generally play with them, letting them send the check and incur real costs. The check is generally drawn on a real bank, so I send it to the bank or sometimes to a local PD detective who cares. In general no agency cares to follow up on these scams (not the I3C, not the FBI, nor the postal inspector or local PD).

In this case since you are to bring cash to a physical location, you’d have a good chance of getting the local PD to be involved in the sting. Take his check, but have the PD show up with your hard hat and clipboard for the “inspection”. Needless to say, don’t cash the check.

The house is likely abandoned, but the undercover officer will be met by the “pest guy” at the house. The “pest guy” is actually a money mule: a small time criminal who will funnel the cash after taking a cut upstream to the (likely) overseas scam operator.

The check itself is likely stolen, so there’s a chain of fraud going on you can interrupt.