LAS VEGAS (KVVU/Gray News) – Several Las Vegas real estate agents are being attacked by a man they say pretends to be a wealthy homebuyer but then backs out of business, leaving everyone scratching their heads as to who he is and what his motives are.
In the last month and a half, about 10 agents said they were dealing with a man posing as a member of a wealthy and well-known family in the area. None of them could verify if he was really part of the family or not, but all said he wasted their time.
Michele Dugan has been a local real estate agent for almost 25 years. Her sister Tricia Morgan-Tilley works alongside her as Sisters Selling Vegas under Realty One Group.
The unidentified man accepted a cash offer for a $1.5 million home from Sisters Selling Vegas. The offer was accepted by the seller without ever providing proof of money.
Dugan usually said they don’t bid without proof of funding, but the listing agents never asked for it. She suspects the agents recognized the man’s name as part of a wealthy family and did not question him.
“We pushed for proof of funding many, many times and didn’t get it and by that point we already had an offer signed so we had to move. We had to act,” Dugan said. “And when we acted, they never asked for it [on] the list page. They must have seen the name because they never asked us any questions. They just said, ‘Yes, the seller accepts.’”
You opened an escrow account but never received the money. The unidentified man even requested a home inspection, which was carried out, but the inspector was never paid.
The sisters, the salesman’s agent, and the home inspector scratched their heads.
The seller’s agent tried to reach the man several times, only to find that the number had been disconnected.
Now the sisters want to warn others.
“I’ve never had an artificial buyer; That’s never happened to me,” Dugan said. “And it just tells me that with social media and with these electronic times and with the valley growing, we have to pay attention.”
The sisters aren’t the only ones who believe they were attacked by this man. Melissa Croysdill, another real estate agent, knows eight other agents with similar stories.
“You have to be very careful about identity theft and things like that, but never has anyone let me put in so much work, be so persistent and lie with so many details to not know — to this day — what the endgame was,” Croysdill said .
Croysdill said the man sounded normal on the phone but things got “interesting” when it came time to provide proof of money. She said the man told her he was in the hospital.
The sisters were told a similar story and were even more confused after contacting the hospital.
“We called the hospital several times and asked his name and they put us in a room, so someone was in the hospital,” Morgan-Tilley said.
The sisters and Croysdill all agree that it’s a terrible feeling when someone plays with their feelings and wastes their time.
“We just want to let other realtors know that there’s a guy exploiting realtors right now to waste our time, to waste a lot of people’s time, because he’s bored, sad and lonely,” Morgan-Tilley said.
The National Association of Realtors has an entire website dedicated to security tips here.
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