A fraud story in our first BRRRR!

60 Replies

Originally posted by @Quito Keutla :

@Alexandra Chaploutskiy thanks for sharing, glad you caught it early. Best Wishes!!

 Thanks so much!

Originally posted by @Jim K. :

@Alexandra Chaploutskiy

Hi Alexandra, I once had a real estate agent I gave a key to for showings move an illegal migrant worker of his into one of my properties.

This was, thankfully, not in this country.

 Jim, that's pretty crazy! I wouldn't expect this kind of thing from a real estate agent, aren't they risking losing their license for such action?

Originally posted by @Alexandra Chaploutskiy :
@Chuck Mader:

You are so right, Chuck! And being available for all these meeting to create them- also a huge red flag. 

 I hope you get out of this ok and thank you for the write up so others can learn from it.  

This post has been removed.

I swear. Im hoing back in the construction business when i retire. Honest contractors are in short supply. 

Originally posted by @Nathan G. :

If you think it's expensive to hire a professional, try hiring an amateur.

I would have walked when he didn't have any forms. 

His license could be verified by calling the City or checking their web site. I'm in a town of 9,000 in Wyoming and can find every licensed individual in the City or county, along with their contact information.

Never hand over keys until all requirements are met.

I also wouldn't accept the building inspectors recognition as verification of licensing. It could be they knew each other from school or that the building inspector recognized him from other scams.

Thanks for sharing so others can avoid making the same mistake.

 I mentioned it above.. but for us it quite simple procedure.

1.  my office first checks with the contractors board that takes all of 3 to 4 minutes.. you can see licenses active or not.. and also all the complaints filed against that license or individual.

2. copy of insurance.. then a call to said insurance broker to see if its actually current and when it expires.. this goes into our builders software as a auto notification item.  IE we get a auto notice 30 days out of insurance expiring.

What we find though in this part of the business.  Is many many of these guys are not licensed especially in some states. and really the only ones that are    are plumber and electrician.  other trades don't need it or just don't get it. 

Originally posted by @Alexandra Chaploutskiy :
Originally posted by @Jim K.:

@Alexandra Chaploutskiy

Hi Alexandra, I once had a real estate agent I gave a key to for showings move an illegal migrant worker of his into one of my properties.

This was, thankfully, not in this country.

 Jim, that's pretty crazy! I wouldn't expect this kind of thing from a real estate agent, aren't they risking losing their license for such action?

Yes, in decent places but at the time I wasn't in a decent place. I was in Athens, Greece in 2006, at the height of the general acceptance of corruption at all levels of society that would turn the country into a debt colony a few years later.

I would add ask for a current drivers license as part of your due diligence before hiring. I had an issue with a sub contractor whose name did match that of a licensed contractor with a nice website, lots of great reviews etc.. however it turned out to be a family member's license and my guy had no credentials and was working under their name unbeknownst to them. I made the mistake of hiring him without seeing his license, he had a good excuse for not having it on him, I was in a bind, and he references were more than happy to talk about how awesome he was. It was a big mistake, which ended up being a costly one. Lesson learned! 

The drivers license is also a small preventative measure against theft, fraud etc...

@Alexandra Chaploutskiy

You were wise in not giving any money up front. Thanks for sharing it gives us all a reminder to be on guard all the time.

You meet the phony contractor who showed you a house or met someone who claimed he was a contractor with no proof he was?  Both require licenses to show or give quotes.

Throughout your encounter I spotted 3 or 4 redflags.  Check out their background. On Contractors we always use referral and have them checked out. Some are not what you think and that is the way the business operates.

Thank you for sharing this story. It's an important lesson for long distance / OOS investor. 

I know there are some good ones out there , but I’ve had better luck with unlicensed handymen doing my work than licensed insured “ professional “ contractors . Maybe it’s my dumb luck but it seems like every time I get screwed it’s by one of the pros . In this business I’d rather have good referrals from other other local investors than positive online reviews and all the right paperwork .

@Alexandra Chaploutskiy

Thanks for sharing the story with us, so us newbies know what to watch out for! Glad you didn’t give him the deposit. Good luck.

Also remember to get proof of liability insurance.

@Alexandra Chaploutskiy I’m in jc... yeah the scam artist are out there. There is a guy that I see all the time doing work and he had took two different neighbors down the street from my rental property for a ride. Every time I see him I point him out to others. He does concrete work and does the bait and switch. Sell the job for x and does y. If you want x that will be more money. If they don’t pay more he does y and moves on. I wish it was legal to shoot these people... non productive part of society...

I am sorry that you had to deal with this. Honest people are in short supply and we all have to do our due diligence as customers as well as service providers.

there’s always a reason for a cheap price, you get what you pay for. Sorry this happened to you but glad you learned and didn’t get burned too bad!

@Jonathan Greer That is GREAT advise.  Start with a small job and a carrot for more later.  If you're new to the business don't just give anyone the whole house to do without checking references.  Your only as good as the last job, I was told early on.  References, references, references.

Thanks for sharing! Always good to have a reminder to stay on our toes!

Jeez, "Mike" put some serious effort into this scam. Glad you didn't give him a deposit etc. Honestly, as much respect as I have for good contractors and tradespeople, finding a good one in this business is not easy. It can be done, but for sure it takes time and effort. 

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