Protect Your Account Numbers
Friday, January 28, 2011
Local police in Asheville report that a scam artist is trying to con North Carolina real estate agents into providing their bank account numbers. Agents are receiving calls from a woman who uses the name Daphne Navarro and claims she lives in Florida. She says she has visited a piece of property in the agent’s area and is ready to make an offer on it. After the usual back-and-forth negotiations with the seller, a price is agreed on. The caller then cons the agent into providing the bank account and routing numbers for the real estate firm’s trust account, on the pretext that she will wire her payment directly to the account.
However, a day or two later the agent gets an email stating that Daphne Navarro has been killed in an auto accident. The perpetrators of this scam now have the bank account and routing numbers for the real estate firm’s account, which can be used to create counterfeit checks or commit other kinds of fraud.
Real estate agents are always looking to make a sale, and con artists can be extremely convincing. But this scam offers a good reminder to all of us: be skeptical whenever anyone asks for your account numbers or personal information. It may be a scammer trying to pull the wool over your eyes.
If you’ve been the victim of a scam, contact the Consumer Protection Division of the Attorney General’s office at 1-877-NO-SCAM.