Should I allow tenant to pay with cashier's check?

7 Replies

A potential tenant applied to stay in my boarding house. He said he works in GA and NY. He wants to open another branch in Cleveland and wants to rent one of my rooms. I assume that he travels and doesn't care to pay full-price for an apartment, considering he will be traveling a lot and he is here on business. He said he will want his luggage, BMW, and some furniture shipped here before he moves in (at HIS expense.) He said it is most convenient for him to pay with a cashier's check. I have never encountered something like this. Thoughts?
It sounds like a HUGE scam. But I do not see what he would be getting out of it.

He said he works in GA and NY, but did you confirm this for yourself during the application process? I'm assuming (and hoping) he hasn't actually signed any lease with you yet nor have you given him keys. So he can't just ship out his things. Do you typically meet people in person to sign the lease and move them in?

I don't see how a cashier's check would be most convenient for him. Why isn't some normal way of paying convenient? It does sound fishy and it's too much liability for you to accept his belongings. I'd move on to someone else.

305-537-6252

Is this person coming from outside the US?  Is he a doctor from the UK who's moving to the US with his daughter?

The way this scam works is that you and the scammer agree on some amount for the rent, deposit and whatever.  Then he sends you what looks like a cashier's check.  But, oops, his company included money intended for him in the check.  Such as for shipping that BMW, luggage and furniture.  Oh no, he needs that money right away.  Could you please wire him the extra money ASAP.  And, if you do, the scam has succeeded.  The cashier's check will turn out to be bogus.  Because its (supposedly) from a foreign bank, it may take your bank a while to figure this out.  But they will, and the they will take the money out of your account.   You're out whatever money you've wired him and whatever fees your bank charges you.

If you want to play along (google scam baiters or look at 419eaters.com), have him send the check.   When he wants the money back, tell him sorry, but your bank requires 30 days to clear a foreign check and you don't have the money to send until the check clears.   If you keep it going that long, tell him you have to send a check.

Of, just tell him nothing and ignore him.

Originally posted by @Joshua Hollandsworth :
A potential tenant applied to stay in my boarding house. He said he works in GA and NY. He wants to open another branch in Cleveland and wants to rent one of my rooms. I assume that he travels and doesn't care to pay full-price for an apartment, considering he will be traveling a lot and he is here on business. He said he will want his luggage, BMW, and some furniture shipped here before he moves in (at HIS expense.) He said it is most convenient for him to pay with a cashier's check. I have never encountered something like this. Thoughts?

 In my experience dealing with 1,000's of tenants & even 1,000's of potential investors the fact that you know he drives a BMW is a huge red flag. Often times scammers or those who really do not have enough money will make sure that they tell you things like "I have a BMW" in an effort to impress you & make you feel comfortable with them & their earning potential. If he was just a regular Joe looking for a place he would have likely said "I need to ship my car" instead of "I need to ship my BMW." 

Anybody who has made it a point to try to tell me how much money they have has turned out to be a total waste of time or have no money at all. Again this includes potential tenants & also potential investors. On the investor side of things we get 1,000's of inquiries at Holton-Wise. The guys who come into my office with their fancy suits & business partners saying they want to be 30 properties a month never end up buying anything. While the guys who fly into town with their wife saying they want to buy 1 to see how it goes end up buying multiple properties. Literally happens like this every time. At this point in my career as soon as someone tries to impress me with their wealth I almost immediately write them off.

James Wise, Real Estate Agent in OH (#2015001161)
216-661-6633
Thanks a lot! I figured. I was just curious how he was able to make money. I see now.. As soon as I asked for his employer's information and SSN he stopped responding I was just curious. Thanks again!

google the email address.... and it'll probably come up as a scam. But yea tell em you'd accept the cashiers check in person, no one will show up. The cashiers check will be fake and pass the bank, then they'll catch it and the money will come back out and your acct flagged. If you're really unlucky you gave him some of the money back and you're out that amount. 

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