Wednesday, July 18, 2012

How I was almost the victim of an online scam...


This post isn't fitness related.
This post isn't healthy living related
It isn't a recipe, a workout, or even fun.

I was the victim (kind of) of a online realty scam.
I know that this has been happening a lot and all over so I wanted to share this with all of you.

Here's the story:
I found a property in my hometown on trulia.com, the price was PERFECT for us so I immediately reached out to the "homeowner."

The first email he sent was way to personal, telling me about his family-religion-job-where he is currently living, etc.
He signed all of his emails with "god bless"

However, I was being naive and went along with it.
We emailed back and forth a bunch of times over the past three days
I even had my aunt look into the name of the person (she is a realtor) and his name checked out as the home owner.



Here are a few things that weren't adding up:
1- There was a real estate sign on the property
2- There were cars in the driveway, even though he told me it was unoccupied because they moved out of state
3- He obviously couldn't show me the house because he is out of state, so I could go walk around the property...which I did, twice.
4- Told me he would remove the sign and cars as soon as I wired him money
5- The emails had horrible spelling and grammar
6- The phone number he used was through Magic Jack (I called it twice)
 7- His "application" was very vague, however he has my name and address which worries me and my family a little.


I called the real estate agent this morning and let him know what is going on. It turns out the homeowner and him are good friends and have been for years.
The homeowner isn't in Maryland...he is in NY and has always been in NY.
 
He was VERY thankful I reached out to him and is going to contact proper authorities to sort this out.
Because this person is using the homeowners name AND stealing money.


All in all I am upset I let myself get duped even though I had an idea as to what was going on this entire time.

Please be careful.
Use an agent.
Don't become a victim of an online scam.
Don't give out any personal information online.

Like my dad has been saying for the past few days
"If something seems too good to be true...it usually is."


7 comments:

  1. Amazing how close you came and you even had your antennae up! Thank you for alerting us. I am a landlord/ rental house owner and would be angry as all get out if this happened to me. Good luck with finding a legit place you love. http://funandfit.org/2012/07/the-klout-workout-perks-circuits/

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  2. So sorry that you had to go through this!! so sad that people are like that but I am glad that you were able to figure things out in time! Thanks for alerting everyone to be more careful! Best of luck in finding a good place! Patience is key!

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  3. Yeah - so not cool how people do this anymore. When we were looking for property up in Alaska while still in North Carolina we found a few scams and luckliy realized it early on - but who knows if it could have gone farther - my husband says my jaded life view helped us for once. I am just so unsure about some people anymore! Keep your head up - the right one will come around!

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  4. This happened to me too! It seemed so legit but also I knew something wasn't quite because the English was terrible and the guy was trying way too hard to make me think he was a saint. Talking about his mission work and how he had the fear of God. What kind of low-life people use God to scam people like that?? Anyway, a quick google search helped me realize it was a scam. I found sites showing examples that looked just like the emails I got. Good for you for doing your research and following your gut!

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  5. the creeps and manipulators out there are so scary to think about. That's great that you shared your story because if it helps even one person it's worth it.

    Whew on the close call and listening to your gut!

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  6. This happened to Furman and I like 100 times when we were looking for a house to rent. Most of the time they had some sob story about how they are a missionary from Uganda and they will mail me a key... As if I would give anyone anything for something I haven't even looked at. My rule of thumb is if they want money wired it's a scam. No one wires money anymore except crack heads who need bus tickets from family members trying to get them into rehab.

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