This blog by Pamela from Raleigh NC is a huge wake up call for potential buyers and renters. While I have not heard of this in Las Cruces New Mexico, scammers will keep working this as long as there are unsuspecting people willing to give them their money.
Fraud and REO’s ~ there’s a rash of it hitting Raleigh NC - public BEWARE
This post is a heads up about a fraudulent scam hitting the REO business here in Wake county NC...
As the old saying goes “if it sounds too good to be true” it probably is!
Last week an agent was scheduled to show one of our bank owned properties that Lee had listed up in Wake Forest. But once he got there the agent was greeted at the door by a man claiming to have just purchased the property from the bank through an investment company. The lock box was gone.
Surprised and no doubt a tad put out the agent called wondering why we still had the property on the market if it has been sold. WHOA - sold? Nobody told us! With calls/emails off to alert the assest managers, Lee headed to the property to see for himself what was going on...
Sure enough our sign was gone, the locks had been re-keyed, the lockbox was gone, the AC was running, and all the notifications were off the windows. But nobody was home.
Now we start to do some investigative work quickly on our end... What do we find? We discover the fraudulent documents the investment company filed at the Wake County Register of Deeds Office.
Looking closely at the fraudulent docs we find that the company called "ONCE International Land Trust"; used an obscure address in Raleigh. Looking up the address (thanks Google maps) we discover a picture of a modest dwelling at that address. (the AHA moment)
But it gets worse; the culprits had filed erroneous and false documents with the county... not just on this property but we discover on others too. All high end vacant homes in Raleigh... We alerted the other listing agents of the possible scam taking place. Today we are aware of 7 properties that have been hit.
So what’s happening? This week we’ve got our properties back, re-keyed and on the market. Meanwhile we learn of a plausible scam/scheme where some folks get possession of a vacant property, advertise an incredible deal for lease or purchase, find an unsuspecting party thinking it is too much of a good deal to pass up and are duped by the fake documents and they tender a juicy deposit to the investor who just disappears..
Think it can’t happen? It can. And has - in Charlotte, San Bernardino County CA, Hampton VA so BUYERS and REO agents BEWARE. There’s a scam potentially coming near you.
About the author: Pamela is a Raleigh Realtor with The St. Peter HomeSelling Team at Prudential YSU Realty in the Raleigh NC (Triangle) area.
We are a team of passionate North Carolina Real Estate Brokers dedicated to connecting our clients to success in home buying and home selling in the Triangle. Pamela can be reached via email at Pamela@RaleighHomesOnline.com or by calling (919) 645-2522.