Classic Internet Scams – BE AWARE…
Most people who use Green Homes For Sale have great stories to tell about their experiences, but we do receive infrequent reports of scam and fraud attempts.
Use caution and common sense when dealing with any financial transaction:
NEVER WIRE FUNDS VIA WESTERN UNION, MONEYGRAM or any other wire service – anyone who asks you to do so is a scammer.
FAKE CASHIER CHECKS & MONEY ORDERS ARE COMMON, and BANKS WILL CASH THEM AND THEN HOLD YOU RESPONSIBLE when the fake is discovered weeks later.
GREEN HOME FOR SALE IS NOT INVOLVED IN ANY TRANSACTION, and does not handle payments, guarantee transactions, provide escrow services, or offer “buyer protection” or “seller certification”
NEVER GIVE OUT FINANCIAL INFORMATION (bank account number, social security number, eBay/PayPal info, etc.)
AVOID DEALS INVOLVING SHIPPING OR ESCROW SERVICES and know that ONLY A SCAMMER WILL “GUARANTEE” YOUR TRANSACTION.
Who should I notify about fraud or scam attempts?
FTC toll free hotline: 877-FTC-HELP (877-382-4357)
FTC online complaint form (www.ftc.gov)
Canadian PhoneBusters hotline: 888-495-8501
Internet Fraud Complaint Center (www.ic3.gov/)
Non-emergency number for your local police department.
If you suspect that a home posted for sale on Green Homes For Sale may be part of a scam, please contact us. Be sure to include the URL (or Listing ID #) in your message.
Most scams involve one or more of the following:
inquiry from someone far away, often in another country
Western Union, Money Gram, cashier’s check, money order, shipping, escrow service, or a “guarantee”
inability or refusal to meet face-to-face before consumating transaction
Examples of Scams
1. Someone claims that Green Homes For Sale will guarantee a transaction, certify a buyer/seller, OR claims that Green Homes For Sale will handle or provide protection for a payment
These claims are fraudulent, as Green Homes For Sale does not have any role in any transaction.
Scammer will often send an official looking email that appears to come from Green Homes For Sale, offering a guarantee, certifying a seller, providing payment services — all such emails are fakes!
2. Buyer offers a genuine-looking (but fake) cashier’s check
you receive an email (examples below) offering to buy your item, or rent your apartment, sight unseen.
cashier’s check is offered for your sale item, as a deposit for an apartment, or for just about anything else of value.
value of cashier’s check often far exceeds your item – scammer offers to “trust” you, and asks you to wire the balance via money transfer service
banks will often cash these fake checks AND THEN HOLD YOU RESPONSIBLE WHEN THE CHECK FAILS TO CLEAR, including criminal prosecution in some cases!
scam often involves a 3rd party (shipping agent, business associate owing buyer money, etc)
3. Someone requests wire service payment via Western Union or MoneyGram:
Often claim that an MTCN or confirmation code is needed before he can withdraw your money – this is FALSE, once you’ve wired money, it is GONE.
Scam “bait” items include laptops, plasma TVs, cell phones, tickets – but could be almost anything
common countries currently include: Nigeria, Romania, Ukraine, Spain, UK, Italy, Netherlands – but could be anywhere
deal often seems too good to be true
4. Buyer offers to send you a money order and then have you wire money:
this is ALWAYS a scam, in our experience – the cashier’s check is FAKE
sometimes accompanies an offer of merchandise, sometimes not
scammer often asks for your name, address, etc for printing on the fake check
deal often seems too good to be true
5. Buyer suggests use of an online escrow service.
most online escrow sites are FRAUDULENT, operated by scammers
for more info, do a google search on “fake escrow” or “escrow fraud”
6. Buyer offers partial payment upfront
he says he trusts you with the partial payment
deal often sounds too good to be true
Potential buyer offers a (fake) cashier’s check as a form of prepayment or deposit.
You receive an odd email (Often in poor English) offering to buy your home sight unseen. Often the offer will come from a party out of the United States.
A cashier’s check is offered as a form of deposit.
Buyer offers to send you a cashier’s check and then have you wire money. This is ALWAYS a scam – the cashier’s check is FAKE.
The value of the cashier’s check may exceed your agreement and the buyer asks you to send or wire the balance via money transfer service.
Banks will often cash these FAKE checks AND THEN HOLD YOU RESPONSIBLE WHEN THE CHECK FAILS TO CLEAR.
They are persistent and may send several cashier’s checks if you do not respond immediately.
Scam often involves a 3rd party (some kind of agent, business associate, escrow service, etc.)