Recently I was scrolling through the Connecticut Reddit page and saw an interesting thread about a potential real estate scam.

The post came from u/SalomeOttobourne74 who wrote:

Anyone else getting 'smishing' texts or shady real estate calls over the past week?

I have gotten several texts and calls from people trying to buy my estranged father's house. From what I can Google, it's not currently on the market. My sister just advised that she's gotten texts today from people trying to buy not only our father's house, but also mine (also not for sale). I can't figure out what what they are after. None of the numbers or business names seem legitimate.

Anyone else getting 'smishing' texts or shady real estate calls over the past week?
byu/SalomeOttobourne74 inConnecticut

The answers came flooding in from people who had experienced something similar. One of the first to answer was CT Realtor Carl who said:

"These are from pesky/shady/sketchy/unethical (IMO) home wholesalers. They get your house under contract for $X and then sell that contract to another party for $Y and pocket the profit.


Shady Wholesaler: We'll give you $200k for your house in 45 days

You say sure sounds great.

Shady Wholesaler finds an investor willing to pay 225k, shady wholesaler pockets 25k in profit.

They are particularly good at preying on elderly and people in desperate situations. They do these mass texts because all it takes is one response to make a lot of money."

Kolzig33189: "I’ve gotten maybe one every two weeks for the past few years. Blocking numbers doesn’t do anything since they come from different ones."

newmoon23: "This is why we set our phones to silence unknown callers."

dreemurthememur: "I got one a few months ago for an address I’d never even heard of before. I’m a 24 year old warehouse worker and the only taxable property I own is a Volkswagen Jetta."

GetHyped85: "I reply with a 200% market value for my house if they want it..."

Fight_the-bastards: "I tell them that my house is for sale for a hundred million dollars, cash only."

JHolm915: "AT&T has a security app that does pretty well at blocking them for my phone, but there was a week or so a few months ago when I got bombarded by calls and texts about buying my home."

Be sure to share this with someone you think could be vulnerable. If you ever have any questions about offers and believe they may be shady check the Connecticut State Department of Consumer Protection website. 

Closeup of a traffic light by night in Israel. Red light.
N Rotteveel

More real estate advice from Connecticut State Department of Consumer Protection:

Real Estate Complaints and Guaranty Fund

Of the nearly 26,000 licensed real estate professionals in Connecticut, the vast majority have no complaints from their clients. However, occasionally problems do arise between a consumer and his or her agent during a transaction. If your concern or complaint is not addressed by your agent or the real estate agency, you may file a complaint with the Department of Consumer Protection. Your complaint must:
  • be in writing,
  • indicate the amount of the loss claimed, if any,
  • state the facts on which the claim is based and
  • include any documentation or evidence that supports the claim against a licensee for his or her actions.

Complaints that seek restitution from the Real Estate Guaranty Fund must be based on an act or omission that occurs in the provision of real estate brokerage services by the broker, associate broker or salesperson, or an unlicensed employee of a licensed real estate broker.

It must involve a transaction related to real estate located in Connecticut and be based on an act or omission in which money or property is obtained from a person by theft, embezzlement, false pretenses, forgery or constitutes fraud or misrepresentation. The maximum amount of a claim is $25,000. See above link for the application form.

You may also wish to check our License Verification page to see if there is a record of disciplinary actions against the licensee from previous business dealings.

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