Potential Scam Warning

This came in from a REIA member.

Hey Josh,

So below is the outline of the events; hopefully some other real estate investors can learn some of the lessons from this that will help them in the future.  I will keep the name of the buyer and the closing company out of this (there’s still a 0.1% chance they are legit), but if anyone is working with the company out of Michigan, please have them contact me.

I was wholesaling two properties in Duquesne when I was contacted by a buyer from Dearborn, MI.  The guy sounded professional on the phone, he asked the right questions (condition, taxes, etc) and was seemingly familiar with Jordan Tax Services.  He agreed to buy the house that needed work, but i saw two red flags:
1) He didn’t have local boots on the ground, and it seems that he wasn’t very interested in seeing the property himself.
2) He wanted to close VERY quickly (two days), and wanted to do it though his friend’s closing company in Michigan.  He just needed all the documentation and routing and account numbers for the wire transfer.

I looked up the guy and his closing company (google is a good place to start) and wanted to see his profile on Linkedin.  He claimed that his company has been in business for 8 years and the closing company was around for 7.  I found his company on a general business site, and it had two reviews (one was threatening to sue him); the closing company couldn’t be found at all, and the gentlemen who was running it (his friend) owned another title company.  That company had only one google review (in seven years of doing business).  His friend did have a Linkedin profile, but without a picture and with only a couple of contacts. 

The seller has shared my suspicions and wanted me to make the deal only under the condition that the buyer will pay with a certified check.  I had a chance to call the buyer’s friend (and closing company owner), who said that they can certainly pay by checks, but that was the last conversation I had with the buyer, who never returned my calls after that. 

There may be a slight chance that the guy was a legit buyer, who just got upset that i didn’t trust him and he cut off the communication, but more likely they didn’t see any point of proceeding when it became clear that the seller will not provide her bank account info (which is, supposedly, a public info, according to the buyer!). 

So if the guy wants to buy the house that he’s not interested in seeing, wants your bank account info and wants to close as quickly as possible, it would be a good idea to find out more info on him.

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