Using Trulia in Charlotte>Question Details

Gina Storeho…,  in Charlotte, NC

Is this a scam? Has anyone received an email from Takeuchi Keigo looking for homes to buy priced from $450k-$850k? He emailed me through

Asked by Gina Storeholder, Charlotte, NC Wed Jun 2, 2010

He said he is in Japan but would like to buy a property in Charlotte, but won't be in the US to look at the home or sign anything in person. His financial advisor is in Canada, Mr. Walter Atkins, and he asked me to contact him directly to move forward. Both the clients name and the financial advisor are linked to real estate scams I found online -… I would love the business, but this doesn't feel right. Anyone else heard from this guy or seen something similar?

Help the community by answering this question:


Hi Gina and Anna!

We are looking into the issue. So sorry that these emails got threw our spam filters. If you receive any more, please forward them tio me at rudy at

Thanks for your help and patience.

0 votes Thank Flag Link Wed Jun 2, 2010
Mr. Takeuchi just sent his friend Wang Tao to follow up with me. They both want to buy homes for cash, and they both use Mr. Walter Atkins as their "financier". Shocking!

I'm going to sell them a houseboat with a hole in it.
Web Reference:
4 votes Thank Flag Link Wed Jul 7, 2010
I too received multiple emails from Takeuchi Keigo. Here is my latest response to him:

Dear Takeuchi Keigo,
I will need your complete name, mailing address, home/cell phone number, employer contact name and phone number to begin the process. I also only take money orders or traveler's check for my upfront consulting fees. My minimum fee is $2500.00. I will need a retainer of $1,000.00 in advance to begin the process. I have a PayPal account if you prefer to use a credit card. How would you like to proceed?

Thank you,
Molly Cartwright
3 votes Thank Flag Link Mon Jul 12, 2010
I got that one too - we forward the info to the
1 vote Thank Flag Link Fri Aug 22, 2014
I love these scammer guys!

I commincate with them for a while until I can reel them in up here in the mountain to show them homes...but I dump them on an old dusty mountain road to nowhere. After's hungry bear season up here and those critters LOVE sushi!!!!!
1 vote Thank Flag Link Sat Jul 9, 2011
Run, run, funny how they think we won't recognize these.

1 vote Thank Flag Link Sat Jul 9, 2011
You think by now he would've been on to us and changed his name or alias!! LOL!! The ironic part is if you google his name, Trulia has the first spot with your post on it! I hope, if anything, it brings you business!

I was contacted by him last night via Trulia and I sent him an email this morning. This was his response:

I am Mr. Takeuchi Keigo a Japan origin I need a 4 bed room single family home to buy, Fairfield, NJ NJ with a garage and 2 bath with or without swimming pool price should be between $800,000 to $100,000,00 please send me some listing Tel:+81338873121

Best Regards
Takeuchi Keigo

I am going to follow Emily of Trulia's direction now and forward all the scam emails I have received through Trulia to Trulia now. I know that they will attempt to cut down on these spam emails and scams but unfortunately I believe there are way too many spammers and scammers to ever stop all of them!

Gina Chirico, Sales Associate
Lattimer Realty
1 vote Thank Flag Link Fri Jul 30, 2010
Don't give up on Trulia yet - I had a valid lead this week and 2 visitors to my open house who found it on Trulia. I will keep posting here, just being a bit more cautious! There are real buyers out there!!

Dawn G
Keller Williams CT
1 vote Thank Flag Link Tue Jul 20, 2010

I hope you can see from the 100+ posts here from agents that not all real estate agents are as foolish as your sisters agent and we can in fact be trusted. Sounds like your sister unfortunately got the bad apple. Its a simple fact that ALL AGENTS ARE NOT CREATED EQUAL. There are bad agents out there, just as in any profession, but it really stings when the consumer is unfortunate enough to have one working for them. Please don't loose faith in our profession. We too are sometimes caught off guard by these scams. But I have to say that based on the details you posted, I don't have much regard for that agent. To take a transaction as far as she did without any personal contact with a foreign buyer and no earnest money is just plain disgraceful. The best way to find a good agent is by referral....get a testimonial from someone who actually worked with them.

I wish your sister the best of luck and would like to apologize for her bad experience. On behalf of all the good real estate agents out there, please don't loose faith in us!!

Gina Storeholder
Broker NC/SC

Here is Juju's original post (in case you didn't want to scroll down thru all of these):

My sister recieved an offer on her house from Wakabayashi Hisaki who supposedly lived in Toronto Canada. And the stupid real estate agent said everything was on the up and up even though she did not receive the $5,000 good ernest money before she presented the contract. She then continued to try and push the deal through even though half the money that he said he had sent in a check never showed up, she still stuck with the closing date and had my sister move all of her belongings out of her house, she had to find another place to live in a rush and put deposits down and have electricity turned off and on at another place....THEN after all this the real estate agent finally thought...well, this might be a scam. Duhhhh...ya think? I thought real estate agents at least had half a brain and would have researched this person a little more. His name is all over the internet as a scam artist for god sake! Moral....don't trust scams on the internet and don't trust real estate agents.

Tue Jul 13 2010, 14:17
1 vote Thank Flag Link Fri Jul 16, 2010
Will sum it up to this. If it werent for the fact the lead came of KWBounce,, it wouldn't have been paid any attention to...however, as I have received a couple leads from them that resulted in sales, well, I wasn't going to ignore, but feel truly blessed to have a forum like this where we can share these things with each other, good and bad. God bless you all ...hard working agents out there. Have a great weekend. Hot one here in Barrington (subs of Chgo) today and this weekend.
1 vote Thank Flag Link Fri Jul 16, 2010
Any agent foolish enough to proceed and have a seller move out of a home, based on an email from a foreigner - with NO money or formal documenttation or personal contact..... should have her license taken away.............if for no reason than stupidiity!!!!!!!

Juju - make sure your sister finds a new agent - perferably one with a brain!
1 vote Thank Flag Link Tue Jul 13, 2010
Thanks for keeping the information coming everyone. As I said before, the more information we gather on these individuals and the initial messages they send through our platform, the better prepared we are to stop them.

If you haven't already, please take a moment to read our PSA below with more information about protecting yourselves from these types of scams.

Best Wishes,

Emily Gibson
Community Moderator
1 vote Thank Flag Link Tue Jul 6, 2010
" Wells Fargo Bank was kind enough to waive any fees. I, of course.....etc. "
Other banks might not be as "kind" , and you will be charged - why anyone woud jump on that email, hope and pray it's real and proceed, is beyond me - you need to verify any strangers that approach you over the internet before engaging in ANY activity with them.

Even if, in some amazing way, that check cleared, you have NO idea who or what you were dealing with - money laundering? illegal funds? ??

If it doesn;t make sense to you on a rational level - there is a reason!

These people play off your eagerness to do business......causing you to put reason aside - come on people - think before you get invovlved with something that is"too good to be true".
It's not a lottery, and you didnt' win any jackppot!
By getting invovled in any way, you are perpetuating the scam.

Report email that is suspect to trulia
1 vote Thank Flag Link Tue Jun 29, 2010
I'm glad I posted this to Trulia! It sounds like these guys are busy at work trying to find an agent who will fall for their scam. I hope this reaches everyone they are contacting, but I know that is doubtful.

FYI - I did email Takeuchi shortly after posting this to Trulia, letting him know that I had done some research online and perhaps someone was using his name and that of his financial advisors to run a real estate scam (still giving him the benefit of the doubt). I expressed to him that I hold my ethics and my fiduciary relationship with my clients to the highest regard and would need to speak with him in person before proceeding. No surprise that I didn't hear back from him!!! With everything else we are dealing with in this market, why do we have guys like this? I seriously hope they are caught and stopped!!
1 vote Thank Flag Link Mon Jun 28, 2010
Yes, I got hooked by him, also. He even went to far as to send a $150,000 certified check from a Canadian Bank (US Funds). He asked that I forward $85,000 to his furniture company, as he would be closing and moving into the house on June 25th. All cash closing. His financial advisor was Andrew St. Clair from Toronto, Canada. Naturally, I DID NOT send any money to anyone. I spoke with our Wells Fargo Bank president here in Steamboat Springs, CO and he confirmed that it was bogus. What an aweful person to get a seller's (and Realtor's) hopes up. Please pass this information along to your local Boards of Realtors. Karen Beauvais, Owner/Broker, Coldwell Banker Silver Oak, Ltd
1 vote Thank Flag Link Mon Jun 7, 2010
Hello, I recently recieved the same exact email off of Trulia but he was interested in properties in Beaufort SC. Sounded to good to be true after he took one look at a piece of property off the link and wanted me to write an offer right away. I then asked him to please call me and he gave me his financial advisors number and email. I googled it and it comes up with a bunch of scams as well. I even emailed his "financial advisor" and asked him to call me and he immediately responded back asking me to click on some attachments. I decided not to proceed with this anymore because you just never know if it's a scam. If it sounds to good to be true it usualy is. Clearly they don't have a clue, it didn't take very long to raise a red flag.
1 vote Thank Flag Link Wed Jun 2, 2010
I think I have the same guy but using a different name, he even sent me bank statements, but the bank went under in 2002!! Not sure how to follow up with this guy! any suggestions anyone? He is looking in the Phoenix area for 750-1 million, 5 bedrms, 5 baths (that's what gave me a feeling it wasn't up and up, who does that without even looking at a property in that price range!!
0 votes Thank Flag Link Fri Aug 22, 2014
Today, I received an email to make a purchase offer for Hisato Maeda of Japan for $750,000 in Missouri. He wanted me to recommend an attorney for him to close escrow. His financial advisor is Leslie Jones, whom I should contact with questions. So add these names to the list of scammers.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Fri Aug 22, 2014
Today, I received an email to make a purchase offer for Hisato Maeda of Japan for $750,000 in Missouri. He wanted me to recommend an attorney for him to close escrow. His financial advisor is Leslie Jones, whom I should contact with questions. So add these names to the list of scammers.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Fri Aug 22, 2014
Yes, I believe it is a scam. I have seen this question before and I believe I have even seen it posted on our board of Realtors bulletin notice. I think what happens is he backs out of any deal at the last minute and wants money refunded that you might not yet know wasn't really in your account until you send him the refund to find out it was never there. I would be very afraid to work with this person.
All this is from what I remember from seeing reports.. I have had no personal experience with this guy.
Best Wishes.
Jackie Lovell
Artisan Realtors.
Indianapolis, IN
0 votes Thank Flag Link Wed Feb 26, 2014
I had the same type deal, but a different name, Maeda Hisato who used the same Walter Atkins as his account adviser. Here was my email: Dear Sir / Madam,

Good day and happy holiday, I am interested in purchasing a property with this specification, A Residential Home with 4-5 Bedrooms, 4-5 Bathrooms, 2 car garages with or without swimming pool, single family, with the price ranges of $500,000-$800,000. I will like you to forward me your listing.

I sent him a property which he made an offer and wanted me to get an attorney to represent him. I told him the funds would need to be electronically transferred, and cashiers checks were unacceptable. Didn't hear from him again.

You can add Maeda Hisato to your list of buyers from Japan who are not for real.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Wed Feb 26, 2014
This guy is totally a scam artist. Stay as far away as you can. Don't even answer his emails. I received a $100,000 certified check from him and it bounced!
0 votes Thank Flag Link Sun Jul 10, 2011
It has been a while but yes, I received this a long, time ago. Same MO.

BEWARE!. I didn't proceed and there were multiple others who also received the same info.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Sun Jul 10, 2011
Yes, it is a scam, the criminal is using different names and body of message. I went to the extent of sending him a property information in South Orange, NJ. This fellow requested I recommend an attorney to represent him. He contacted the attorney. He stated he would give me a date to visit US. I became suspicious when he stated the he was ordering some furniture from Japan for a property he is yet to view. What gave him up was a couple of days later he mistakenly emailed me a similar request without knowing that he had sent me one earlier. I emailed him back and called him names. Since them I did not hear from. Yes, it is a scam and how he was going to execute it has me wondering.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Sat Jul 9, 2011
my guys name was lan hua, from china
0 votes Thank Flag Link Wed Apr 6, 2011
I just received an offer from Takashi Miki and Naomi Miki from Japan. They said they previously lived in Canada and provided Proof of Funds from CIBC Checking in Toronto, Ontario. The buyer's agent who presented this offer said that she was contacted via email and that the buyer wants a 30 day cash close and were buying the home sight unseen with almost full price offer on $600,000 listing. Local title company advised that this scam has been going on and this offer fits the description to a "t". Beware.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Tue Mar 22, 2011
Recieved this email 3/13/11 @ 1;, Too vague so I googled his name. Thanks for the heads up! Hope they all get caught and thrown under the jail!!!

Good Day,

I will be very please if you can assist me in purchasing a dream home. 3-4 bedrooms, 3-4 bathrooms, single family
home, two cars garage. Please send listing of this specification. Price range 450,000 to 600.000.

Thank you.

Mr. Ampo Wang
0 votes Thank Flag Link Tue Mar 15, 2011
Just got this email yesterday from Ampo Wang. First think I did was punched the name into Google and your link came up in addition to this link on Twitter:

I hope some of you already sold Ampo and Takeuchi something :-)) LOL

From: Ampo Wang []
Sent: Sunday, March 13, 2011 3:45 PM
To: Niki Fiala
Subject: Property Search

Good Day,

I will be very please if you can assist me in purchasing a dream home. 3-4 bedrooms, 3-4 bathrooms, single family
home, two cars garage. Please send listing of this specification. Price range 450,000 to 600.000.

Thank you.

Mr. Ampo Wang
0 votes Thank Flag Link Mon Mar 14, 2011
I received a direct email from a Mr. Ampo Wang. He wanted a 'dream home' in Arizona in the $450,000 - $600,000 price range. Sounds to be the same request as in Atlanta.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Sun Mar 13, 2011
Fraud Alert: Please be aware of the following schemes/scams(Updated 2/17/2011) Posted by my Board of Realtors in Indiana.

1. Buyers claiming to be from Canada, UK and Japan are attempting to buy $300-500,000 properties sight unseen, want to send $150,000 in a check for you to deposit. It is suspected that they want you to deposit the check, they back out of the deal, and then you cut them a check from your account. Usually fails to go through when they are asked to wire the funds. Buyer's name is different every time.

2. Rental scams continue: individuals lift listing information from any number of sites where it is advertised, create a fraudulent For Rent ad, place it on any number of for rent sites, ask for deposits or confidential application information. Report to FBI Cyber Crimes Unit at

These individuals all have the same mode of operation. Once you tell them that certified funds must be wired from their account to close the transcation at a title company in the area where the property is located, they lose interest reall fast.

Go with your gut. If it doesn't sound/feel right, it probably isn't.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Mon Mar 7, 2011
Paul Klugah found you on Trulia Voices and wanted to drop you a line:
Message from: Paul Klugah

It is a pleasure to let you know that i am interested in your properties.
I am retired and i wish to go into Estate Management.

Please what is the proceedure for the purchase,also let me know if you can assist me for some more holiday houses or country cottage in a quiet and beautiful location like this.
Reply me as soon as possible via this e- mail

Thank you for your anticipated co-operation.

Thank you.
Contact sender:
0 votes Thank Flag Link Mon Mar 7, 2011
Ok friends, not sure if we have a new one or not. His name, Iian MacGregor, currently residing in Kuwait. Have about 2 hours of time in reply emails at this point as he wants to develop property that has nature preserve status for a golf course. Okay..... FB page is basically blank and there are 12 names in Linkd-in all with different backgrounds, education, etc. Dont have a good feeling and have actually spent more time trying to find out some legit background info.
Web Reference:
0 votes Thank Flag Link Wed Mar 2, 2011
i received email from ampo wang looking to purchase a dream home in atlanta. He sent me a bank statement for a toronto bank. i found a house and submitted a contract. contract has been countered, i heard from his lawyer associate about sending money, I gave both of them specific attorney for handling this transaction, not sure what thier game is,
0 votes Thank Flag Link Tue Mar 1, 2011
YES!!! I HAVE JUST RECENTLY HAD THE EXACT SAME REQUEST AND HAVE INVOLVED AN ATTORNEY PER HIS REQUEST FOR REPRESENTATION TO BOOT! I was wary from the get go but now that I've googled his name and see this I know I was correct. My name is Tiffany Saunders with Re/Max Advantage in Kansas City. 816-728-0724 call me anytime. What a jerk!! How can we catch this guy??
0 votes Thank Flag Link Mon Jan 24, 2011
We got the Dr. Michael Croarkin email today. It sounded a little sketchy, so we googled him. Soooo glad we did. I still don't understand what benefit they get from scamming like this. We would certainly verify any funds sent.

Thanks for sharing the good info on here.

Brenda O'Neal Lambert
Re/Max Real Estate Partners
Hattiesburg, MS
0 votes Thank Flag Link Fri Dec 3, 2010
I to was contacted by Reik Ampo. Wow, this is like a change letter of "who's who". I love that we can all communicate about someone like this so that we all know it isn't real. Thanks to all of you for sharing your story.

I received the mesage from him asking for more information on a listing in my area, but he did not give a specific address. It was when he put in his e-mail,"please contact me for further "enquiry"".. the fact that he spelled inquiry wrong was not the clue but the fact he used that word. Most buyers just say would you please send me more information. (Plain and simple)

Thanks again, Jackie
0 votes Thank Flag Link Tue Nov 9, 2010
Have fun with it. Request he send funds before you can assist. You will probably get a check payable to an escrow agent in the mail. I have a wall full of them.....

Alternately tell them you need funds wired to an escrow agent. They will say they cannot do that. That is a good sign this is a scam.

Amazing the stuff that goes on.....
0 votes Thank Flag Link Mon Nov 8, 2010
It is a scam. Like so many others. Don't wast your time.
Real Estate Broker in IN
0 votes Thank Flag Link Mon Nov 8, 2010
I have been getting these too, It is a scam. I smelled a rat from the wording in the second email and researched (googled) the name. HEY PRESTO.... this slimey bugs name and same info came up all over the place.
When you get any emails from anyone who is not going to be at closing, is wanting to pay money down to secure the property before seeing it "in a buyers market especially" and other things that give your gut instincts a bad feeling, believe it. NEVER ignore your gut instints, they are there to help protect you.
By the way, he found me on Trulia too.
The day of this the internet for buyers etc is wonderful so they can research and make decisions on what their wants and needs are without feeling hassled before contacting an agent, but it also brings out the slime balls who think we are moronic enough to fall for this scam and they can rob us.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Sat Nov 6, 2010
I think you're all mistaken. Rieko Ampo emailed me yesterday that he wants to buy a $500,000 house in Alpharetta, an Atlanta suburb - not in Charlotte, not in Florida, not in Mississipi, and not in Texas. And it's a cash deal and we're going to close on November 26. And he has a new attorney named Abraham Jacob Esq.

And not only that, if that deal goes smoothly he has a business associate named Mrs, Dai Ying who has shown a "relentless interest" in acquiring property in Atlanta, She is a Chinese National where Reiko is a Japanese Canadian. Imagine that - a deal out of the blue with a referral if I do a good job!

Sometimes I feel so honored to be chosen by such an honorable man.

And to show how honorable a gentleman he is, Reiko needs me to find him a lawyer so that he can deposit all payments with the lawyer.

I guess the only thing I need to worry about is the walk through inspection. If that doesn't go well he'll probably back out. But what are the chances of that?

P.S. gang - thanks for all the insights and stories. You have all saved me a ton of time and aggravation.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Thu Oct 28, 2010
Hi Gina. Mr. Keigo and I had lattes and some scones at Starbucks this morning. He promised to help me with my Japanese if I'd help him with his Hebrew. He told me that he fired Mr. Atkins, and will now use me exclusively as his financial advisor. I told him that he needed to stop posting on Trulia, because he's confusing everyone there with his requests. That's why we're up to 160 answers on this question. He's utterly confounding!

On another note, he's now thinking about getting his very own real estate license. He explained to me (in broken English) that maybe he can learn English AND take the real estate course at the same time. Then he said he'll be back here on Trulia asking us more of his great questions about how to be an ethical and fantastic REALTOR!

Anyway, let everyone know not to get too excited when they hear from him. He mentioned that his tri-merge credit score is now under 475, so he won't be buying anytime soon.


Scott Miller, Realty Associates, Boca Raton, FL
0 votes Thank Flag Link Thu Oct 28, 2010
Hello Everyone, I too was contacted by Reiko Ampo today, he requested me to contact them via email, I was pretty sure it was spam, steer clear of people like this. I love George's response!!

Stay away from:
Message from: Reiko Ampo
Please contact me to discuss real estate acquisition
Thank you.
Contact sender:
Name: Reiko Ampo
0 votes Thank Flag Link Thu Oct 28, 2010
How cool would it be if we could send them a virus?
0 votes Thank Flag Link Wed Oct 20, 2010
Yes - I received an email today from Trulia from this same person - Reiko Ampo. I became suspicious since my results from Trulia never produce a lead where they just want me to contact them by email and not send any details about what they are looking for in a home. I decided to put the name "Reiko Ampo" in the search engines and came up with this question as the first result. Needless to say, I'm not going to make contact since he will probably email back a computer virus. Thank-you for posting this.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Wed Oct 20, 2010
One more here. Contacted by Reiko Ampo, being represented by atty. in Toronto Michael Jorhnston. Came to me through Unique Homes. I answered him and sent some listings. Seemed a bit odd, but the price range was so reasonable and his request was doable - $550-$650,000 that I did not question it too much....

He chose one of the listings I sent him, said we would have to have representation here in the states to send him names of attys. I sent the name of 3 attys. He then sent a check for $98,000 without me having formally drawn up the contract! .

Spoke to the atty. that Mr. Ampo wrote to and actually hired. He explained how this scam can work is: they go into contract, send a check that comes from a Bank in Canada,have a house inspection and then they want to back out because they don't like the inspection. The check seems to clear or should have cleared, but when the atty. returns the funds, the check has not fully cleared and the atty. is out the funds from his Atty. Trust Account!!!

What I can't understand is why attys can't fully check that the funds have cleared and that these people have obviously figured out an angle that they can get past an atty. of all people!

The atty. I recommended and I just found this thread, so thanks to you all, we will drop this like a hot potato. What a waste of everyone's time. TG for the internet and that we are able to check this out.

Thank you all.

Gloria Nilson Realtors
Rumson, NJ
0 votes Thank Flag Link Tue Oct 19, 2010
I received a message, via my website, from Reiko Ampo, giving a phone number in San Antonio. The request was unrealistic, which led me to google the name. Obviously, there are multiple versions being sent out to agents across the country.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Wed Oct 13, 2010
My Real Estate team just received an email from this guy as well. He says that he lives in San Antonio and he is looking for a house in South Padre Island with a price range of $250,000 - $600,000. My partner just called and left him a message. When he calls back we plan to confront him about this ridiculous scam. Is he so stupid that he doesn't realize that we can Google his name and figure out what he is up to. I think it is time that he gets a new game.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Tue Oct 12, 2010
Yes, I got one from a Reiko Ampo, I feel it must be a scam as well. He wants $250K to $600K to much of a spread to be serious. I got it through my website. Priscilla Allen, RE/MAX Associates, San Antonio, Tx 78258
0 votes Thank Flag Link Tue Oct 12, 2010
thsi is totally a scam.....I got the same e-mail a little while ago.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Fri Oct 8, 2010
I got the Croakin one too. Such a waste of everyone's time.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Fri Oct 8, 2010
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