I received a text to see if I could inspect a home on a particular date and to give an estimate for inspection, radon inspection and termite inspection. The guy says he is the seller of the property and he’s not going through a realtor. He has an out of state cell phone, which in of itself isn’t a huge red flag. So, I researched the property and it is listed for sale through a local realtor. However, the client said his name was Davidson Robert. Well, who has a last name as a first name? I give him my estimate and he says that’s fine and he’ll cut a check and mail it to me today. Woke up with a little doubt in my gut so I searched the property deed information and it’s owned by a Mr. and Mrs. Johnson. Now, my client says to contact him for the lockbox code and he wanted the inspection complete by the time he arrived. If this client isn’t legit then why would he go through all this? He hasn’t signed my contract yet and I told him I would have to leave the radon text canisters in the home for 72 hours. My research gives me the phone number of the actual owner. Should I call them to see if they know my client? Call the listing agent to confirm the owner information? Any suggestions would be greatly appreciated.
Sounds like a scam…one of the many that continue to circulate.
Morning, Richard. I have been contacted numerous ways, calls, texts, emails, social sites like Facebook, etc…from provinces and states, to inspect a property.
I apply three basic rules.
1: A valid phone/mobile number. I call them to chat.
2: Valid email address. I text them my email and want a email returned.
3: I reach out to the listings agent. Spera keys are simple. They text you the code to get the key that opens the lock on the door.
Simple as that.
Give them a call.
To determine if the home is actually under contract with your client…(but it’s not)
I’ve received requests from this scammer about once a month for the last few months now.
Gee… I dunno!!
For fun… Scammers have no life in their parents basement!
Yes to both! Not so much to verify any legitimacy, (which it doesn’t have), but to alert them to the home being used in a SCAM!!
(You just may pick up a new legit client or two)!!
Here, have a scroll. Look familiar?
IMO having an out of state number is not a red flag, many of my clients have out of state numbers.
I also have two first names, you’d be surprised at some of the names I’ve seen over the years.
In this day & age I would NEVER accept a check in the mail, if my client can’t be present they must pay through PayPal.
If there are any questions in your mind at all about the client actually being under contract, most definitely call the LA and check with them.
Thanks, Brian, Great advice. My gut told me it was a scam. What’s the purpose of doing this though? He’s not going to get any money out of it.
Here is how it works.
He will write the check for an amount over your fee. The check will be fraudulent however the bank will not catch this problem for several days. In the interim, he will ask you to zelle/cash app the overage to a third party.
In the end, he will have the cash that you Zelle/cash app. And you will be out that money and any banking fees plus the amount of the fraudulent check.
I missed the part about the cheque. No cheques. In God we trust. All others pay cash.
Extremely familiar. A check definitely is a red flag. Honestly, when he said his name was Davidson Robert then I knew no one would name their child backwards. Lol. I tried to call number and it didn’t work. Chalk one up. Thanks.
I am glad you brought this to the forum. There are a few inspectors who have been ripped off. The more we expose it, the better.
This is what I do…
Through text message: Are you going to be at the property? If so, Then I will accept your check. If you’re out of state and cannot make it, then you must pay through ISN.
Hope it helps.
I appreciate everyone’s help. Crazy world out there.
No cheques ever! Cash or e-transfer prior to inspection date. No exceptions
I have recieved this same type of Text with it also starting of with: “This is Davidson”…blah blah. (No Robert). I get this same type of scam texts about 3-4 times per year, same MO.
Does not sound like the typical scam. However for future use just call the listing Agent to see if they have an offer on the table by the person claiming to be buying the home. I’ve done that before when I suspected a problem.
Sounds like good ol’ Davidson is still getting around.
It’s been months since he has texted me. Maybe I was too hard on him the last time he texted me. IDK…
Contact the local Realtor.
Wait for the check to arrive.
If it’s for more than the inspection, file it away.
If you get a text, say the check never arrived.
Search this forum for scams.