Beware of Wu Gregeory who is SCAMMING Realtors!

By
Real Estate Agent with RE/MAX Alliance Group BK3111936

I had an internet request from someone named Wu Gregeory from Canada that wanted to buy one of my better listings in Pelican Pointe Golf & Country Club in Venice FL and they wanted me to draft offer for them, $580,000 with $31,000 escrow close in 35 days and they wanted me to have home inspection done and added to HUD.  They emailed me the terms of the contract which seemed OK.  Mr. Gregory also wanted me to get an attorney to represent and close the transaction.  I was very skeptical but did have an open house and several people where there looking for their friends in Canada.  I Googled the name and it came up that he was a doctor so he did have the means to pay for the home (list price was $589,900).  I asked for proof of funds and he sent it to me and the bank checked out.  I still had gut feeling that this was too good to be true.  Mr. Gregeory requested that I send offer to him by DocuSign as he did not have the ability to print and email so I drafted up the offer and made appointment with my sellers. 

Still feeling something was not right I did explain to sellers not to get hopes up as I felt that this might be a scam but did not want to miss out on the opportunity should this be a real offer.  We completed the documentation and sent to Wu Gregeory by DocuSign.  I then turned over to attorney and also told them of my suspicions.  I also requested that Mr. Gregeory wire funds to attorney's escrow account and he stated he was not able to.  I think at first they thought I was a little over protective of my sellers as they could not understand what the scam could be.   Well when the check arrived it was for $350,000, not $31,000.  The scammers are hoping attorney deposit's check into escrow account and then they cancel contract and request escrow back and only later the attorney finds out that the check had been canceled and is no longer valid. 

I also found out Wu Gregeory struck again a few weeks later in Sarasota FL.  This time the attorney was able to inform the agent about the scam before it went any further and before anyone could get injured.

I feel foolish that I was not able to figure this out beforehand but am glad that in the end no one got hurt.

Posted by

Serving customers in Venice Florida, South Venice, Osprey, Nokomis Florida, Casey Key, Manasota Key, Englewood Florida, Rotonda West and North Port communities. Call me to list your home for sale, answer questions regarding steps you can take to AVOID FORECLOSURE or answer any general questions you may have about real estate.

Contact me by email at Kari@KariBattaglia.com.  Need information fast, call me direct at 941-270-1851.  Copyright©2011 by Kari A. Battaglia.  All Rights Reserved.  

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Rainer
307,049
Jennifer Chiongbian
Specializing in all types of Manhattan apts & townhouses - Manhattan, NY
Real Estate Broker - NYC

WoW!  I didn't think it happened in sales.  We have a ton of those similar types of scams going on here in the Manhattan rental market.  Never thought it happened in sales.  Guess they are getting a bit more sophisticated.  Thanks for the head's up!

May 31, 2011 05:54 PM #1
Rainer
84,011
Christi Koch
Keller Williams Realty - Austin, TX
Realtor - Austin Texas Keller Williams Realty

Kari, This happened with a listing in our office last year.  The foreign "buyer" would not wire funds, instead insisted on sending a cashiers check for earnest money, $10,000.  Then decided to back out of the deal and wanted his earnest deposit refunded.  The title company here insisted on waiting for the earnest check to clear approx.  30 days as it was drawn on a Canadian bank, and sure enough the original cashiers check was fake.

May 31, 2011 06:01 PM #2
Rainmaker
152,962
Kari A. Battaglia
RE/MAX Alliance Group - Venice, FL
Venice FL Realtor - RE/MAX Alliance Group

Jennifer - The scammers are getting more and more sophisticated everyday.

Christi - Same here, the bank was a Canadian Bank.  The attorney contacted the sender of the check and told them they are destroying check and to wire the funds.  Needless to say that was the last time we heard from them.

May 31, 2011 06:15 PM #3
Rainmaker
621,135
David Popoff
DMK Real Estate - Darien, CT
Realtor®,SRS, Green ~ Fairfield County, Ct

Wow, I have heard of this before, you really need to look out. Good for them to wait 30 days for it to clear.

May 31, 2011 06:22 PM #4
Rainmaker
180,268
Laura Gray
RE/MAX Realty Group - Gaithersburg, MD

Kari

We have been dealing with these type of scams for over 2 years in our market area, on the local and international level. Many attorneys that own settlement companies are requiring wire transfers only. They DO NOT accept certified funds anymore because of the forged checks that go undetected.I am requesting that the funds be wired 2 weeks prior to closing at a minimum these days.

May 31, 2011 06:26 PM #5
Rainer
224,298
James Loftis
Real Estate 911 Inc - Hollywood, FL
Real Estate 911 Inc

I had a similar email from a buyer in Canada, turned out to be a scam. Googled the email and found that it was quite common.

May 31, 2011 06:30 PM #6
Rainmaker
152,962
Kari A. Battaglia
RE/MAX Alliance Group - Venice, FL
Venice FL Realtor - RE/MAX Alliance Group

David - We are lucky.

Laura - Sounds like a good idea.  We have not had these problems here that I have heard of before.

James - Did not think to Google email just the name.  Next time I will do that.

 

May 31, 2011 06:31 PM #7
Rainmaker
351,634
Michael Eisenberg
eXp Realty - Bellingham, WA
Bellingham Real Estate Broker

I have had a similar scammer try me from Asia, if it's to good to be true it usually is

May 31, 2011 08:42 PM #8
Rainmaker
93,447
Scott Warga
ACSI American Construction Specialists & Investigations - Gilbert, AZ

WOW what a great post. That is one of the great things about this site, we can spread the word.

I almost feel sorry for the agents that don't use AR.

Thanks for the info.

Jun 01, 2011 12:40 AM #9
Ambassador
667,270
Ann Allen Hoover
RE/MAX Advantage South - Hoover, AL
CDPE SRES ASP e-PRO Realtor - Homes for Sale - AL

I'm like you......I would have been suspicious all along.  You have to be so careful!

Jun 02, 2011 09:21 AM #10
Ambassador
1,273,354
Dick Greenberg
New Paradigm Partners LLC - Fort Collins, CO
Northern Colorado Residential Real Estate

We've had several of these guys take a run at us over the last couple of years - they were easy to see coming,and I don't really understandhow this works, since no one around here is refunding money on uncleared checks. I'd think thismight have a better chance of working if it was targeted at FSBO's.

Jun 02, 2011 04:56 PM #11
Rainmaker
152,962
Kari A. Battaglia
RE/MAX Alliance Group - Venice, FL
Venice FL Realtor - RE/MAX Alliance Group

Dick - I agree with you I don't understand why they are so persistant.  Two weeks after this happend the attorney received another contract from the same buyer and he was able to inform the agent of the scam.  They must have been successful at least one time for them to keep doing this. 

 

Jun 02, 2011 06:53 PM #12
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Rainmaker
152,962

Kari A. Battaglia

Venice FL Realtor - RE/MAX Alliance Group
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