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Shuimkoda Joji Real Estate Scam

This week, I received a full price all cash offer closing in 5 weeks on one of my listings! Sounds good, doesn’t it? I asked the buyer’s agent to provide “proof of funds.” As the seller’s agent, it was not in my client’s best interest to present an offer without proof that the buyer actually had the money. The agent understood and went about getting the proof of funds.

After a couple of hours of silence, more red flags kept popping up and my gut instinct said something was wrong. Luckily, the buyer’s agent sent me a string of email communication between the buyer and herself. In her mind, she did this to establish how serious of a buyer he was. Once I read the emails, more red flags appeared!

I googled his name and the very first site that appeared is the title Real Estate Bad Deposit Cheque Scam by Shuimkoda Joji! The name of our buyer! Check out the website. Some of what he writes in the email communication with his Realtor is word for word what is on this website—”love the curb appeal of this property, I want to close on the 28th of April 2011, please forward the purchase contract to me via DocuSign, an electronic way of signing documents,” and gives the website. He goes on to ask for the agent’s personal attorney’s information to deposit the check into his/her trust account.

Statements like this:

“I strongly advice that I need an attorney in your state to represent my interest in this transaction, so therefore, I would like to deposit all payments with the lawyer.”

Now, I am sure you are asking, “how does this guy profit?” Here is a quote from the website…

Jim Jackson
Jackson Law Offices
245 E. Laurel Street
Fort Bragg, CA. 95437 USA

Jim says, “…. as I’m aware of this scam (which takes advantage of the time lag in processing checks, particularly internationally) I spoke with our local banker who advised me that it is impossible to guarantee that a check is good even with a significant (3-4 week) waiting period. Wiring funds is the only guarantee.

So, Hawaii Lifers, and to all our Realtors on the Big Island, beware. Since this happened, I have heard of 3 other real estate scams. Be careful, and most importantly, listen to your gut!

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Gary

March 21, 2011

Good to know, but sitting on an offer — for any reason — is risky; the law requires that agents submit offers “immediately” to their sellers.

Gary

March 21, 2011

Good to know, but sitting on an offer — for any reason — is risky; the law requires that agents submit offers “immediately” to their sellers.

Sharon Brown R(S)

March 22, 2011

Thank you Gary for reading the blog and for your comments. You are absolutely right. All offers must be presented to the Sellers immediately. The sellers were presented with the offer upon my receiving it and, as you can imagine were quite interested in a cash offer, but required that “proof of funds” be included with offer. This was their instruction to me. I in turn give the seller’s request to the buyer’s agent.

Sharon Brown R(S)

March 22, 2011

Thank you Gary for reading the blog and for your comments. You are absolutely right. All offers must be presented to the Sellers immediately. The sellers were presented with the offer upon my receiving it and, as you can imagine were quite interested in a cash offer, but required that “proof of funds” be included with offer. This was their instruction to me. I in turn give the seller’s request to the buyer’s agent.

Jene Green, R(S)

March 22, 2011

Sharon~ Thanks for this Blog!! It’s always good to know whats going on out there… Crazy that this type of thing can happen right in our own backyard!

Jene Green, R(S)

March 22, 2011

Sharon~ Thanks for this Blog!! It’s always good to know whats going on out there… Crazy that this type of thing can happen right in our own backyard!

Sharon Brown R(S)

March 22, 2011

Aloha Jene, yes it is crazy and since the sellers receive this offer, I have heard from other agents that their sellers are receiving offers that appear to be a real estate scam too. Be careful!

Sharon Brown R(S)

March 22, 2011

Aloha Jene, yes it is crazy and since the sellers receive this offer, I have heard from other agents that their sellers are receiving offers that appear to be a real estate scam too. Be careful!

Kathy Awai, R(S); ABR

March 22, 2011

Sharon, The same guy contacted me regarding Jan Nores listing which I called her about but immediately I set him straight….in a nice way because at that time, I still wasn’t sure if this guy was for real or not. He e-mailed me a second time and this time, I flat out told him, sorry, that is not the way we do business here. He needed to produce earnest money and he needed to wire it to the escrow company. Well, I did not hear back but in the meantime was told by Katie that this was a scam and several Realtors received this. Geezzzz….some people will try anything.

Kathy Awai, R(S); ABR

March 22, 2011

Sharon, The same guy contacted me regarding Jan Nores listing which I called her about but immediately I set him straight….in a nice way because at that time, I still wasn’t sure if this guy was for real or not. He e-mailed me a second time and this time, I flat out told him, sorry, that is not the way we do business here. He needed to produce earnest money and he needed to wire it to the escrow company. Well, I did not hear back but in the meantime was told by Katie that this was a scam and several Realtors received this. Geezzzz….some people will try anything.

Sharon Brown R(S)

March 22, 2011

Kathy, it does seem amazing what some people spend their time dreaming up. If only they put their thoughts to the collective good of all, just think what might be accomplished….thanks for your note.

Sharon Brown R(S)

March 22, 2011

Kathy, it does seem amazing what some people spend their time dreaming up. If only they put their thoughts to the collective good of all, just think what might be accomplished….thanks for your note.

Martha Tumbleson, R(S)

March 22, 2011

Way to listen to your gut, Sharon. We all need to keep on our toes in this business – and you’re article proves the point. Thanks for sharing.

Martha Tumbleson, R(S)

March 22, 2011

Way to listen to your gut, Sharon. We all need to keep on our toes in this business – and you’re article proves the point. Thanks for sharing.

Sharon Brown R(S)

March 22, 2011

Wow Martha, I consider that a real compliment! Mahalo Nui Loa….do check out the website…unbelievable!

Sharon Brown R(S)

March 22, 2011

Wow Martha, I consider that a real compliment! Mahalo Nui Loa….do check out the website…unbelievable!

Tara Kelly, RS

March 29, 2011

Thank you Sharon for keeping us up to date..

Tara Kelly, RS

March 29, 2011

Thank you Sharon for keeping us up to date..

Sharon Brown R(S)

March 29, 2011

Tara, thanks for the comment and do be careful. Have heard of other fraudulent real estate offers going around.

Sharon Brown R(S)

March 29, 2011

Tara, thanks for the comment and do be careful. Have heard of other fraudulent real estate offers going around.

Claire K. Bajo RS

March 30, 2011

Thanks for this Sharon & so great that you blogged about it to prevent it from happening to others! Very smart to Google buyers name immediately too~ I had seen a couple scams come out of Canada a while back too.. a Chinese guy who sent a $150,000 check for deposit, then wanted some of that money back for furniture – the check was fraudulent [AXA Insurance knew nothing of this check], and the stock broker Mr. Green seemed to be the head master. So the second scam that came through, I told him to wire the full amount of the purchase price to escrow [which was when they disappeared].. they even used the same bank statement [showing $4.5Million from Bank of Montreal]. When I posted it on a Realtor thread, I got a call from Georgia the next day..an agent was helping the same guys who were trying to purchase a property this way~ So Mahalo Sharon.. the Realtor community thanks You!

Claire K. Bajo RS

March 30, 2011

Thanks for this Sharon & so great that you blogged about it to prevent it from happening to others! Very smart to Google buyers name immediately too~ I had seen a couple scams come out of Canada a while back too.. a Chinese guy who sent a $150,000 check for deposit, then wanted some of that money back for furniture – the check was fraudulent [AXA Insurance knew nothing of this check], and the stock broker Mr. Green seemed to be the head master. So the second scam that came through, I told him to wire the full amount of the purchase price to escrow [which was when they disappeared].. they even used the same bank statement [showing $4.5Million from Bank of Montreal]. When I posted it on a Realtor thread, I got a call from Georgia the next day..an agent was helping the same guys who were trying to purchase a property this way~ So Mahalo Sharon.. the Realtor community thanks You!

Sharon Brown

March 30, 2011

Thanks Claire, for such an informative comment! Hopefully the blog and all the great comments like yours will help other Realtors become more aware of these types of scams and help protect their clients in the process.

Sharon Brown

March 30, 2011

Thanks Claire, for such an informative comment! Hopefully the blog and all the great comments like yours will help other Realtors become more aware of these types of scams and help protect their clients in the process.

Gary Bland R S

April 3, 2011

Aloha Sharon- Thank You for keeping people posted. I have the same problems with Craig’s List. It is by far a scam as soon as you post anything! I have heard of many situations like this from many people.

Gary Bland R S

April 3, 2011

Aloha Sharon- Thank You for keeping people posted. I have the same problems with Craig’s List. It is by far a scam as soon as you post anything! I have heard of many situations like this from many people.

Sharon Brown

April 4, 2011

Interesting about Craig’s list, Gary. I stopped posting my listings on Craig’s List when I received calls from potential tenants asking for a key to get in to view the home. (The sellers weren’t looking for renters.) Evidently a person (the scammer) would see a new listing, post it as a rental, ask that the potential renter pay one months rent as a deposit up front, then agreed to meet the tenant at the property to show them the home. The potential tenant would arrive. When the scammer did not show, the tenant would call me from the For Sale sign. This actually happened twice to me and I have heard this has happen to others.

Sharon Brown

April 4, 2011

Interesting about Craig’s list, Gary. I stopped posting my listings on Craig’s List when I received calls from potential tenants asking for a key to get in to view the home. (The sellers weren’t looking for renters.) Evidently a person (the scammer) would see a new listing, post it as a rental, ask that the potential renter pay one months rent as a deposit up front, then agreed to meet the tenant at the property to show them the home. The potential tenant would arrive. When the scammer did not show, the tenant would call me from the For Sale sign. This actually happened twice to me and I have heard this has happen to others.

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August 22, 2011

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August 22, 2011

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