The Cochise County Sheriff’s Office has been advised of a new scam that targets homeowners who have recently sold their house. The scam was reported in the Benson area where a resident reportedly sold their home after listing it with a credible and professional agent in Benson.
The agent had the listing advertised in the Tucson MLS system and a Tucson company sold the home.
On Wednesday January 20, 2016, the local Title Company made telephone contact with the Benson Real Estate agent and confirmed that the house sale had been officially recorded at the County Office. This call took place at approximately 2:00 pm.
At 2:45 pm, the Title Company received an email from someone posing as the seller advising them to wire the money to a business account and to cancel the printed check that was presumably ready for distribution. The Title Company then called the seller to get additional details about the transfer when they were advised that the sellers did not make contact for a wire transfer and they would pick up the printed check.
Accrding to the Sheriff’s office, the circumstances in this incident and the official looking emails to include accurate information for the Real Estate Company with phone numbers and email addresses confirm that the scam is very thorough and operates quickly.
If you are a homeowner selling your house, please make all efforts to ensure you work directly with the title company and real estate agent often through in person contact if possible.
It is fortunate for this seller that they did not lose a sizeable amount of money to a new and sophisticated scam such as this one.