Several weeks ago I received an e-mail directly from my Web site, asking for more information on a listing. It sounded weird from the beginning because the writer indicated she lived in the UK but wrote in broken English, and didn't seem to understand that the listing she was inquiring about had sold. I received several more brief e-mails (with many spelling mistakes), asking if I would send her listings between 500,000 and 700,000 Euros.
I googled the name but could find nothing.
I've learned long ago that when your intuition tells you something is amiss, it most likely is amiss. So, to see where this would lead, I sent a couple listings.
Last Friday, the writer, a Mrs. Achap Rita, said she was going to Cameroon for a few days and then was flying to Sacramento. She asked me for the closest airport.
Today, I received an e-mail from the "Air France Customs Bureau," which maintains a Web site at Yahoo (ha, ha, ha). They wrote to advise me that Mrs. Achap Rita had been arrested in Cameroon with "a huge sum of $354,701,510" in Cameroon currency or $780,000 USD. This e-mail me asked me to confirm that I had a working relationship with the arrested person.
I am not responding, of course, because I am certain the next e-mail will ask me for my bank routing numbers and to deposit this money in a U. S. bank. I can hardly wait for the next e-mail, NOT. I am considering responding by saying I am the U.S. Customs Official at gmail.com, and I have arrested Mrs. Elizabeth Weintraub, carrying a huge sum of money . . . but I probably won't.
If you receive an e-mail like this, you should report it to the FBI Internet Crime Complaint Division, which is precisely what I did with it. I regularly receive the Nigerian scam e-mails, but this approach is new. It wouldn't astonish me to learn that these people are targeting FSBOs and just recently decided to go after real estate agents. The moral is always listen to your gut. If you suspect criminal activity, report it.