So, very recently Mike and I discussed the idea of moving back to Quebec (something that has been brought up many times in nearly 4 years now) and we decided we were both ready to make this move. So we put the house up for sale for the second time this year and sat back and waited.
A couple people had e-mailed asking questions but no one bit…until finally a gentleman (more of a jackass..but we’ll try and keep this light) e-mailed asking if he could see more pictures. I e-mailed him some more and his response was that he loved the house but it was up to his wife to decide. He was in Toronto (this I know was true because he e-mailed from his cell phone and the area code was 647) but his wife was working out of the Country for three weeks and then she’d be returning to Canada.
So he e-mailed the photo’s of the house to her and a day later I received an e-mail from her stating that she also loved the house and they were interested in buying it. However, they wanted to pay cash, if that was okay with us. That was the first red flag, but we decided to give the go ahead and just check with our bank about it. The bank told us to go see a Lawyer (a very costly thing to do but had to be done), so we did. We set up an appointment right away. In the meantime, these people asked if they sent us a down payment would we kindly keep the house off the market for them. So we agreed to a $5000 down payment which she said her company would be sending to us right away Express mail.
Mike met with the lawyer on a Thursday to draw up the papers (because they wanted the closing ate to be set for October 15th) and we received the cheque the day after in the mail.
Rewinding a bit…another red flag was when this woman asked me for a copy of my ID (license, medicare, etc anything). To which of course I said hell no! But she seemed fine with that and we had proceeded.
Anyways, when the cheque came in the mail it was for $46,192.63…a very odd amount. It was suppose to be $5000. So I e-mailed her about this and her story was that she had told her company to sell her share of stocks (or something like that) and send us the full amount, and apparently she had not expected it to be such a high amount. So we said fine and agree the rest would be paid when she got back to Canada. However, we’re not stupid…we never cashed it. Instead, the following Monday (yesterday) we were set to pick up the papers at the lawyers office and scan and e-mail them over to this couple to sign and send back to us.
Keep in mind this whole time we both found this whole thing sketchy but we had our hearts set on moving so we kept moving forward.
Anyways, on Monday I e-mailed our lawyer to find out what we should do with this cheque. He said the whole thing just didn’t sound right and we should bring the cheque to him so he could verify it with the bank (HSBC Bank of Canada). He said though that scammers do this a lot, that they send you too much and ask for a large sum in return and when you go to cash the cheque it can take the banks weeks after the cheque is cashed to find out it’s not real or it’s fraud and in the meantime you are sending these scammers money and they run off with it and disappear. I put my heart as ease though and explained that she never asked for any of the money back so we were good.
Not ten minutes later ( I had e-mailed her again to let her know we’d be sending her the papers via e-mail that day) she e-mailed me and said there was an urgent matter at hand with her company and she needed me to send her $19,000. She gave me some account info in Japan and left it at that.
At this point, I started bawling because I had realized that what we were trying to avoid all along was actually true. This woman was trying to scam us. Thankfully we never touched the cheque. I e-mailed her and told her we would not be touching that cheque and we would certainly not be sending her money…to which she responded that she’d tell her “company” to cancel the cheque and if we dared try to cash it she’d send the police after us. Right…(insert vulgar name calling here). As IF we’d even try!
Anyways, this is the summary of what happened within the last couple weeks. This is why I posted those angry statuses the other day. I was heart broken. We had already gotten rid of our cat, most of our stuff, and now owe a lawyer money we don’t have. It’s not been a pleasant experience to say the least and I urge anyone selling a house privately to beware of jackasses like this. Always trust your gut…if I had trusted mine instead of following my heart, I would have said no from the very beginning to a cash purchase on a house.