Agent2Agent in Denver>Question Details

Robert McGui…, Real Estate Pro in Denver, CO

Trulia Agents, I am getting requests from foreign buyers requesting to purchase homes in the US, or Colorado, usually for $400-$800. The emails

Asked by Robert McGuire, Denver, CO Wed Aug 18, 2010

seem to be from Asian origin. There usually seems to be another contact or 'financial advisor' from Canada that is a middle man. I am told that there is a scam going on that follows this scenario and false financial documents are involved. Let me know if you have more information or experience with this. I just got another request today.

Example. "After searching the Internet for a real estate agent I have decided to choose your firm to buy my permanent home.I need a 4 bed room home of 400.000.00-800.000.00USD".

Thanks in advance for your response,

Robert McGuire ASR
Realtor/Consultant
Your Castle Real Estate
rmcguire@YourCastle.org
Direct: 303-669-1246

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Answers

26
Thank you for helping to spread the word about this Robert.

We encourage everyone who receives any similar emails to forward them to us so we can block these messages and these users form our platform.

We’ve also written the following PSA to help agents avoid phishing scams and urge everyone to share it with their broker/agent sphere.

Best Wishes,

Emily Gibson
Community Moderator
1 vote Thank Flag Link Thu Aug 19, 2010
Hi Robert. If they write me that they're located in Japan, I always make sure to ask them to FedEx me my favorite sushi rolls, something spicy with lots of avocado. If I get them within one day, then I know they're legit. If not, I move on and never look back.
1 vote Thank Flag Link Thu Aug 19, 2010
Dennis Quinn, I just googled Lin Heng Scam. There's some interesting information about him and how many people he's tried to scam in many things including Real Estate.

Sandy Kinslow
1 vote Thank Flag Link Wed Aug 18, 2010
I got one of the Canadian/Asian emails from a Trulia contact. Sounds a lot like several of the others - wants to buy a specific house for cash after asking me to send listings; his lawyer will contact a local lawyer, etc. Also just got a bank statement. for proof of funds. How can you tell it's bogus? Feeling a little foolish that I just googled the name of the Trulia contact and found such a long string of similar emails -- what a huge waste time.

Debora S King, ABR, GRI, SFR, CSSN
Desert Dwellers Realty LLC
Debbie@azdeb.com, 602-793-5762
0 votes Thank Flag Link Tue Sep 7, 2010
We just got the same email here in Montclair, NJ. Thanks for the warining!
0 votes Thank Flag Link Mon Sep 6, 2010
I got the same thing this week.
I sent him listings on Sunday and they wanted to write a contract sight-unseen.
Careful.

Dave Bracklow
C-21 Arizona Foothills
480-390-4310
http://www.DaveBracklow.com
Web Reference: http://www.davebracklow.com
0 votes Thank Flag Link Mon Aug 30, 2010
Hi Robert,
LOL- I probably receive a dozen of those emails a week between Trulia, Craigslist and other sites I use to market my listings and services. So sad that some people would spend their time and energy running those scams...
0 votes Thank Flag Link Mon Aug 23, 2010
Hi Robert

Scam all the way.
Once the seller accepts the legal contract they want money to cancel the contract and through their lawyers prevent a release.
They drag the contract for months, and can then cause a seller to foreclose.
Then they can eventually buy the property on court steps.
Of course you could get sued by the seller eventually.

Also bear in mind the funds can be illegal and you are running foul, running up long distance calls and legal bills
Protecting yourself.

Good luck.
Perry
Good luck.
Perry
0 votes Thank Flag Link Sun Aug 22, 2010
Lots of scams like this. Gotta watchout, we all get them. If it sounds to good to be true.... Notice, it probably said in your city instead of stating the city. That is because they send the same one out to a bunch to see who bites.

Kindest Regards
Dianne Hicks
HomeSmart Real Estate
Web Reference: http://www.di4homes.com
0 votes Thank Flag Link Sun Aug 22, 2010
I got the same bogus request last week through Trulia from Yanai Takao, yanaitakaoo@asiamail.com. He also sent me a bogus bank statement.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Sun Aug 22, 2010
Thanks Guys,

I know this is a scam and I wanted to get more exposure for other agents out there since I have not heard this mentioned before here. The first request I got was from Japan with a Financial Advisor in Canada. After pressing him for answers, documentation, financials, signing agency docs, etc., I finally wrote an offer and sent it to him by E-contracts. Once I sent the offer, I never heard from him again. I think I spooked him by asking too many questions. I have since received 3 or 4 more request with the same language and same scenarios which I have deleted and ignored. . He never asked for attorney information to send earnest money so I never did figure out what the scheme was until now. I am glad the FBI is looking into this.

Thanks again for helping me expose this scam to other agents.

Robert McGuire
rmcguire@yourcastle.org
0 votes Thank Flag Link Thu Aug 19, 2010
Hi Robert,

I've never tried to follow up with these people because it seems obvious to me that this is a scam. Somebody who is truly serious about buying a home in that price range would want to email or talk with a broker for a while and would list parameters like location, size, etc. I also got the exact same message--word for word--yesterday from an Asian-sounding name.

Regards,
Linda Aanestad
Epic Realty, Inc.
719-686-1600
0 votes Thank Flag Link Thu Aug 19, 2010
I got it too. I reported it at: http://www.ic3.gov/complaint/default.aspx
0 votes Thank Flag Link Thu Aug 19, 2010
Yes, this is a scam. A friend of mine was a victim of it. They send phony "funds" and then say they've changed their mind and want money from the attorney's escrow account back hoping it happens before their phony funds clear.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Thu Aug 19, 2010
This IS A SCAM!!!!!! We have got these also and we are working with the FBI to nail these guys. You should Contact the FBI. They are interested and will like you to forward them the emails. They will pretend to be an agent and go after these guys. Dont be fooled!
Brian
0 votes Thank Flag Link Thu Aug 19, 2010
Mine usually are via Canada...scam!
0 votes Thank Flag Link Thu Aug 19, 2010
Hi Robert, it's a scam. I got one a few months ago, a Japanese customer with a Canadian attorney who was to handle the funds. I googled the lawyer's name to see if he was indeed a lawyer in Canada and to see if I could get his phone number. 1st thing up on Google was a newspaper article describing the scam, naming the lawyer.
If you respond to the orginal email, asking what part of town, how soon, etc - all the questions you would want to get answered to find the right house, you will likely find that there is no response from the "customer"
0 votes Thank Flag Link Wed Aug 18, 2010
Hi Robert, This a very common scam here with Denver agents. **See Below for a copy of the actual email I received! They all have a similiar theme: You do not know them and no one referred them to you, allegedly wanting to purchase expensive real estate, sight unseen, wiring money, no phone number,common to have a reference to Asia in the email address, etc. Who would complete such a real estate transaction and refuse to talk with the person responsible for a $400,000+ purchase??

I hope common sense prevails when an agent receives an email from: Someone out of the blue who allegedly can make a very large purchase over email with someone completely unknown to them personally or by referral, on a property they have never set foot in?
All the best,
Christine Battista, Keller Williams DTC
DenverInvest@gmail.com 303.587.9270

From: noriko_ike@asia.com [mailto:noriko_ike@asia.com]
Sent: Sunday, July 11, 2010 3:49 PM
To: DENVERINVEST@GMAIL.COM

I will like to offer $440,000.00 on 17481 E Caley Ln Aurora Co 80016 because
I love the curb appeal of this property, please send me the contract use docusign format for me to sign and return immediately this will be my retirement home and it will be a cash buy

1. I will want to close on 15th August, 2010

2. I want to put down $5,000.00 as the Earnest money
3. Additional $150,000.00 should be put aside towards the closing but not to be added on the contract until all closing payment are completed

My legal name is Noriko Ike of 2000 Sheppard Avenue, Toronto Ontario Canada M3N 2J1 and I am single, I will not be in Canada before the closing date to wire the funds to the your attorney so I will advice you to send me your attorney information for a check to be drawn to give enough time for check clearance since I wont be in Canada to wire funds for closing.

My account manager will Issue payment in US Funds $155,000.00USD for the earnest money and the down payment for the property payable to your attorney, the check will deliver to your attorney.

-598-

Please I need the following information of your attorney immediately

Closing Law Firm Name...................................................
Law Firm Address.......................................................
Law Firm Telephone......................................................

Lawyer's Name...........................................................

Regards

Mr. Noriko Ike
0 votes Thank Flag Link Wed Aug 18, 2010
The letters will look something like this. The first 5 or 6 of them I received had an attorney name and number and the next few I received had a different attorney name and or a financial adviser to contact:

Thanks so much for your email, I would like to purchase this property Listing price $329,000 I will like to offer $310,000 MLS# because I love the curb appeal of this property, please send me the contract for me to sign and return immediately this will be my retirement home and it will be a cash buy, the contract should be a DocuSign please.

1. I will want to close on 20th September, 2010
2. I want to put down $5,000.00 Earnest money + $150,000.00 down payment towards home.
3. + additional $150,000.00 should be put aside towards the closing but not to be added on the contract until all closing payment are completed.

My legal name is Yanai Takao of 2000 Sheppard Avenue, Toronto Ontario Canada M3N 2J1 , I will not be in Canada before the closing date to wire the funds to an attorney so I will advice you to send me an attorney information for a check to be drawn to give enough time for check clearance since I wont be in Canada to wire funds for closing.

Please forward me a purchase contract agreement in DocuSign format, DocuSign format is an electronic way of signing document, their website is http://www.docusign.net

My Canadian Attorney will Issue payment in US Funds $155,000.00USD for the earnest money and the down payment for the property payable to your attorney, the check will be deliver to your attorney
I strongly advice that I need an attorney to represent my interest in this transaction, my lawyer can pay to seller or title company so therefore I would like to deposit all payment with the lawyer.

Please I need the following information for your attorney immediately at my own expense
Law Firm Name...................................................
Law Firm Address.......................................................
Law Firm Telephone......................................................
Check Payable to...........................................................

Regards
Yanai Takao
0 votes Thank Flag Link Wed Aug 18, 2010
Interesting....I have gotten them too and I'm not a Realtor.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Wed Aug 18, 2010
Hello Robert,

I've gotten them too. I wonder how they make money. I googled the names of the ones that I got and each one had blogs saying to beware of them.

Sandy Kinslow
Coldwell Banker
kinslowteam@aol.com
0 votes Thank Flag Link Wed Aug 18, 2010
Very Interesting, I recieved a request to work with an aisan man who now lives in England. He wants to move his family to the US and invest in commercial properties. I have been conversing with him for about two weeks now. He sent me an agreement today but it does not ask me to commit to anything and there is no middle man. What is interesting is that he sent me a copy of his passport with a picture and then called me directly. I missed the call but he said he was going to call back.

Anyone have it go that far? His name is Lin Heng. Familiar?
0 votes Thank Flag Link Wed Aug 18, 2010
Here's a link to read more about this.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Wed Aug 18, 2010
This is a scam. The next email will give you his attorneys name and contact number along with a form letter that many of have received. The buyer usually has an Asian name, lives in Canada, his attorney is Mr. Brown, he will pay cash and close quickly and wants you to use Docusign. I have received numerous emails all the same just different names. I called the attorney just to see if anyone would answer. You will get someone however, I do not believe he is an attorney.

My guess is that they will send the earnest money (bogus check) for the deal and then at some point cancel the deal and want their earnest money back. You send them back their money and meanwhile the check they sent turns out to be a bad check and you are out the money. I can't imagine that someone would refund money before the check they received clears, but apparantly...........

If it's too good to be true.........

Trulia would like you to forward the email to them so that they can block it in the future.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Wed Aug 18, 2010
Robert,

i got the same thing. Now that I see you got it too, I am confident it is a scam.

Thanks,
Tim Ghaemi
0 votes Thank Flag Link Wed Aug 18, 2010
I've also had these emails & have ignored them. I'm curios too, what others have had come of it.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Wed Aug 18, 2010
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