Submitted to the FBI Cyber & Fraud System 8-21-2023.
On August 19, 2023, at 16:36, I received a text message from phone number 270-317-6402.
The message stated, "Hi, I am Adam, I would like to know if you are available to inspect my house 31st of August around Marietta.
" email address? How did you find me?
What’s the address?
Buying or selling?
What’s the agent’s name?
Sender’s response, “Through InterNACHI” (Our inspector certifying organization)
Sender’s second response, " Okay, house address is 4bd 2ba 1,538 sqft" / “679 Bonnie Dell Drive, Marietta GA 30062”
Sender’s third response, “You can go through this and get back to me with the estimate on the home inspection. The mold testing inspector will take care of other inspections at the house the same day of your inspection!”
I responded, “Wonderful, thank you. The reason I ask is I’ve gotten many fake requests. As an FYI, my minimum is $3500. Is there SUPRA access to the house?” The key box? “Also, there is no one else permitted in the house when I am doing an inspection for insurance purposes. Do you still want me to take a look?”
Sender’s fourth response, " Ok, the price is fair enough! I will provide access on the date scheduled, and I will make sure the utilities are on, just give me a call before heading to the location, also let me know if the 31st works for the inspection that was the date scheduled with the Mold testing inspector as well time 10am let me know if the timing works perfect with you as well? And I will be paying you through certified check."
I responded, “Ok, thank you, let me check the schedule.”
A few minutes later I responded in kind, "I just happened to be two blocks away.! The 31st at 10AM will work. You are on the schedule. I need your full name and email address, please.
Sender’s fifth response was, " My name is Adamhill@gmail.com ad my name is Adam Hill. I will process the payment to you today, you can have the payment on time as I won’t be present for the inspection due to my work. Just text me your name and your preferable address to receive the check and forward the inspection agreement to my email once you accept the payment. Thank you."
I sent my name and business address.
123 Street XXXXXXXX
Marietta, Georgia 30068
“Once the check is verified, the inspection report will be delivered to you within 24 hours of the inspection. I will send you the agreement to sign electronically.” Thank you."
Sender’s sixth response, “thanks, I got your information…please look out for the Check payment this week, And the check payment will include the mold inspector fee, I will need your assistant paying them for me.”
Sender’s sixth response secondary statement, “The mold inspectors said their payment can only be received via zelle or cash app and I don’t have those apps, that’s why the payment was issued in a single form so you can sort out the payment for me after the check clears your bank. Thank you.”
I am now more than suspicious…
I responded, “NEGATIVE!” I cannot accept the check for any more than the inspection amount…I will not pay the mold inspector!" I thought the address looked familiar. You did this to me once before. I knew this was a scam!"
NO further communication was received from the sender.
*NOTE - It is not uncommon for us to do business entirely electronically. Many times via text until docs are required to sign. Many times, I NEVER meet the owner or agent handling the inspection. All documents, the agreement, the inspection fee, and other docs are signed electronically.
**NOTE – In line 7., my statement was, “As an FYI, my minimum is $3500.” This was on purpose.
My fee is really $350 but I made the “typo” on purpose. …because a REAL client or real estate agent would question it without hesitation.
It is an egregious error that demands questioning.
In line 8., Sender’s response was!, " Ok, the price is fair enough!
That verified my suspicions.
The Inspector General
Residential Home Inspections
InterNACHI Certified Inspector
It has been around for a while. Glad you are aware now.
Check the search function (upper right magnifying glass) for “scams”.
All Inspectors need to be on “scam alert” everyday, especially the new guys who might be, dare I say, hungry home inspectors.
Adam is a busy guy who is apparently is buying property all over the country and evidently has mold inspectors working for him in every city.
I received the same text message only his name was Jason and his deal was to pay the plumbers. I figured it out when he said he was the owner of the property so I looked at the deed online and his name was not on it. Then I looked up the area code and saw it was near Nashville. I googled ‘inspector scams’ and found a news story about this very scam on a Nashville TV station. I played along and am currently waiting for his check made out to a bogus name that I probably should not post here. If he was more familiar with English he would realize I’m messing with him. He sent me another text this morning from a different phone number telling me the check was on the way. When he asks about it I will tell him the FBI confiscated it and I’ll keep it as a souvenir.
I posted about this very same number not long ago.
However, I took a shortcut and texted 'Dr. Adam" back saying, call me I’m in the office, and asked for the address, no response till 6 hours later, red flag 1, looked online, and saw it was available, (90% of the time it will show pending).
LOL, RED Flag 2.
When asked for pricing again, I said call me we can discuss the particulars of the home and your needs, third strike you’re out, end of story, caller blocked…
I NEVER give a price without a consultation.
After all, it’s important to build value and trust with your client.
$350 sounds very reasonable we charge at least $400 here in upstate NY usually $440 plus ancillary services, it’s nice to walk away with at least $600 or more. Further downstate they start at $500 +. BTW if your phone rings once, don’t call it back, it’s a reverse charge scam to some foreign country. Since we are public figures the scams abound, watch your back, had my identity stolen some years ago so consider credit monitoring…
By the way, the $350 price a charge for 1500 ft.². It goes up from there, however, and take note of this, here in Georgia. There are many inspectors who are scum. They give away deals for inspections for most homes without restriction for $200 under cutting other professional, inspectors and undermining the industry. I’ve contacted a couple of them and told them what they were doing but they are more concerned about volume than they are quality. Georgia is rife with do it yourself or’s even when it comes to certification as an inspector . In Georgia, if you own a hammer, you are a remodeler. If you own a lawnmower, your a landscape architect.
It has only been in the last couple years that the state now requires that all remodeling and construction operators be licensed by the state. However, again, if you’ve been doing it for the last 20 years, you were grandfathered in. And it has nothing to do with the quality of your work… I promise.
Secondarily, there are a great many Hispanics here, who run their own businesses without being licensed and undercut everybody in the industry. You can’t get drywall done by anyone unless they came from another country. You can barely get flooring done unless they came from another country. The same with painting. The same with Siding. And of course, the same with Roofing.
It is unfortunate, however, I truly believe other Certified Home Inspectors have seen the damage done by inspectors offering minimal pricing for Inspections. And, of course, uneducated realtors, or real estate agents will recommend an inspector at the minimum price if they are paying for it or if their client needs an inspector. It obviously looks more attractive to pay the absolute minimum than it does to pay for quality and service.
I would say that around 90% of these scams are done via text messaging. In our company we only have our office number which is a non-text VOIP based number visible to the public. We just do not get scams via test like this. If we get a test message to one of our cell phones it is usually a Realtor we have worked with in the past. We then call them back or email them. We just do our best to not conduct business via text message.
Very interesting, Inspectors are required to be licensed here.
Yes there will always be that inspector that’s in the Realtors pocket.
When you get your check , do not try to deposit it.
Just keep it or throw it away. This is nothing new, the FBI will do nothing. There has been much discussion of this scam on this discussion board (forum) as it has been going on for a long time. I’m glad you were not fooled by the scammer.
Be alert to their fishy texts.
And don’t tell them your real name or address.
starting a nice collection I see!
That’s hilarious! Love it
Got similar scam, they will never leave phone number to call. If I cannot talk to client I will end communication.
I have had three this year. One of the scammers I played along just to waste his money on a fake check and postage. Instead he got me mixed up with Texas inspector while I’m in Illinois. His text said the USOS shows check has been delivered in McAllen TX. please deposit and pay the plumbers their $1500 so we may proceed. I text him back and called him the worst scammer ever. His mother would be ashamed. Then I blocked him because they usually send me a cuss word.
Oh heck yeah. That one’s a classic. I eventually cut out the middleman and provided a slightly different mailing address for that check😳
Creepy! I just got the same text from the same number while reading this forum. I took a screenshot and texted it back to them and told them to get a real job! Silence!
I have received the same scam two or three times. You played with him much longer than I did. Thanks for letting us know how it came out.
I received the exact same messages from “Adam”…sigh, I hate scammers.
Yes, I get this one about once every 6-8 weeks. Its a pain and I wish the powers that be would do more to track these cats down and arrest them for fraud.