New Scam to Be Aware

A new one! So, land scams with fake sellers are all the rage in Berkshire County (two more reports this week). Likewise, copying for-sale photos and listing data and posting them as a house for rent on Craig’s List to steal the down-payment (one new report).  This week alone, we had more than 4 reports of cash offer, sight unseen, let’s close in 7 day scam.  And, the ever popular wire fraud / email phishing.  But, this one is a new one that you should all be very careful about: The ADT guy:

After a sale closed, a “home services” company called the Buyer’s Agent, and congratulated him on the sale and asked if the buyer had “turned on their alarm?”. He said his company represented ADT and was contacting Realtors to provide referrals for service providers and offered a referral fee.  The REALTOR (thank you Steven Weisz for sharing!) told him that he should talk to the owner, but a few things to think about …

First, don’t.  It’s a little scary when you actually think about it. Is this a harmless sales call (do they even work for ADT???) In the case of the ‘alarm system’, sharing any information on the presence or use of an alarm system presents a very real security risk for that new homeowner.  No one should ever get the status of the alarm system from a Realtor. In general, you should also never trust anyone over the phone seeking information or offering you an incentive to give current or former client information.  We know at times you’ve assisted local fire departments with the contract information for a new homeowner when they are out of town and there are alarm issues, but even that requires due diligence.  In that circumstance, we advise you contact the homeowner directly yourself and tell them who they should reach out to at the fire station.  Please NEVER give access or security information to anyone or discuss their travel or primary living habits unless you’ve been authorized to do so. Yikes!