EDEN LAND SCAM: Land Fraud Alert
Published On: March 29, 2023 Posted by: Jeremy Peterson
Recently we received a lead through our online portal purporting to be a land owner in Eden wanting to sell his lot. We will call him George. He expressed urgency and wanted us to find out the market value of his land. As with all of our leads, we were excited at the prospect of helping someone in need of our services.
Looking at his property’s title history, we saw that he had purchased the lot in 2021 and that he lived in Canada. He also had a Croatian name and that perhaps explained some of the awkward English syntax in this original message to us. However, our spider senses went off after we sent George a market analysis.
After sending George a thoughtful and comprehensive analysis giving him a range of price options, his immediate response was “Go ahead.” This didn’t sit well with us. We hesitated and then requested a phone number so we could call George about some questions we had about the land. In the meantime, we contacted Metro National Title who recorded George’s purchase back in 2021. We compared contact information. Neither email addresses nor phone numbers correlated.
We asked the title company to independently reach out to George and make sure he was indeed wanting to list his lot for sale. Unsurprisingly, he did not want to sell the lot. The person we were communicating with claiming to be George was a fraudster. As it turns out, we were witnessing first hand latest attempt in a surge of fraudulent activity regarding vacant lots.
It is good that we detected this fraud up front. If for some reason a fraudulent sale had happened, that would have been a bad day for everyone. Even if it had not happened, the wasted time and resources involved in trying to market and sell the property would have been a sunk cost. We offer a special thanks to Sue Anthony at Metro National Title for chasing down the real owners of the land and verifying for us that a fraud was in the works.