Watch Your Back – Scams are Rampant

Over the course of the last few days, we have been apprised of a couple of different scams that seem to have arrived in Berkshire County all at once.  Mainly, these involve a potential buyer, contacting an agent (not necessarily the listing agent) to put a full-price offer in on a property, sight unseen.  Seems fishy already, doesn’t it?  The buyer goes on to say they will wire funds and send money in excess of the sale price.  The intention of this scam is that the individual will request the excess to be returned to them.  Before you know it, a refund has been issued on funds that bounce, and your out!

Another is that an individual will offer to ‘rent their home’ and will ask for security, first, last (or some combination thereof).  The unsuspecting tenant arrives at the property only to find out that the house was never for rent!  It might be a property on the market for sale, or it might be a property that was previously on the market, or never on the market.

Let your fingers guide you to a search on the internet…often times these scammers will use the same name over and over again.  Let’s face it, when you have that many balls in the air you have to be able to remember your name!  A simple search can turn up posts made by those who were scammed before you.  If you’re uncomfortable, trust your instinct – ask your legal counsel for advise.  Proceed with caution – that old adage our parents used to tell us, “If it sounds too good to be true, it probably is.” still serves us today.  If you’ve been the recipient of one of these scam emails or phone calls, please alert your local police…they have people on the force now who specialize in this type of thing.