There are more and more scams occurring over the Internet involving real estate. Let me tell you what just recently happened to me. I have a pretty good web presence and I receive a fair amount of buyer leads that contact me who are living out of state or the country. I have even sold a few properties sight unseen, so I did not think twice when I received a email from Eku Esaki who lives in Montreal Canada who wanted to purchase a home in Fountain Hills AZ where I happen to live.
I received an email stating “I need a 3 to 5 bed room single family home and its a cash buy, with a garage and 2 bath, price should range $700,000 to $800,000 please send me some listing/MLS to choose. This number is my number in Japan so dial like this +81-6-333-3344 and firstname.lastname@example.org.” He says he is living in Montreal Canada for the time being but working in Japan. So I quickly followed up with him as I do with every client and emailed him properties that I thought would fit his needs. He then responds the next day saying that he would like to make an offer, he says “I love the curb appeal of this property, please send me the contract for me to sign in Docusign and return immediately this will be my retirement home and it will be a cash buy.” Now Realtors know about Docusign (electronic signatures) but how many consumers do? That was my first Red Flag Alert! We continue to communicate via email for a couple days and he was always very quick to respond, but he would not call me. He gives me a song and dance about how the time difference is 13 hours and he is working two jobs, and he will try to call at his convenience. Another Red Flag Alert! Montreal Canada does not have a 13 hour time difference from Arizona. Then he wants an attorney’s name so he has buyers representation as he tells me it is tradition in Japan. I refer him to a local attorney in Fountain Hills. Still no phone calls to me or the attorney or any proof of funds. So I finally googled his name and found this website with comments from others about this scam http://www.sarasotahomesforsalenow.com/sarasota-real-estate-scam. I am not surprised Eku Esaki AKA Scammer, has not contacted me again. The attorney also informs me that he has come across this scam in the past. Sure enough this has been happening all over the country.
What do they get out of this? The scammers send fake cashier’s checks for the Earnest money deposit which gets deposited to escrow. Then the “buyer” immediately cancels the deal and ask for the EMD back. Their hope is that the escrow company will then write the scam buyer a good check for the EMD before they realize that the deposited check was bogus. I believe they were making quite a bit of money doing this in the past. Now most but not all escrow companies are on to this scam and require monies to be wired to escrow or at the very least for funds to fully clear.
Home sellers and Realtors please be beware of these scams, a few minutes to write a few emails was all the time that I lost but it could have been worse. When the red flags go up listen to your intuition.
If you are looking for quick answers to your questions aboutFountain Hills Arizona real estate, you can contact me via email/text or call me at 480 888 6708. You’ll have to call me though if you want to put in an offer.