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.