Scam Artist Targets Orlando Realty
Last week I picked up a beautiful $300,000.00 listing in Winter Springs. Less then a week later a man calling himself Dr. Andrew Cowley contacts me through my Orlando Realty Consultants website regarding this listing, it went something like this.. I am Dr. Cowley from the UK and I found my dream house on your website. I want to submit a full offer contract on it right away and I would like to submit an offer for $5,000.00 less than the listing price”. A day or two go by and Dr. Cowley sends in the offer for almost full offer price complete with his financial statements which showed a balance of $5,856,765.00 .
I thought to myself, great! This guy really wants the house and even more importantly he really has the money. Being the only Orlando agent involved, I stood to make an $18,000.00 commission and it was all supposed to be done within a week. I got my seller to sign the contract, collected a $195,000.00 deposit from Dr. Bs and submitted everything to my Title Co.
The next day I get a call from my title company that blew me away. My title agent informed me that as soon as he submitted everything to underwriting, about a million red flags went up when Dr. Cowley name was submitted. Apparently, this guy has been ripping off title companies throughout Central Florida, and now they were on to him.
When something appears to be “To Good to be True” it probably is, especially when it comes to Orlando real estate
Here is how his scam worked. First he finds a house to submit an offer on and contacts the Orlando Listing Agent. He then tells the agent how he is a successful Dr. from the UK and he has the financials to prove it. He also tells the agent how he has to have this house and is ready to buy sight unseen because he doesn’t want to lose it. The whole time, he goes back and forth the the agent on details of the contract to make himself more believable. Finally, after all this he sends in a signed contract with a deposit of $195,000.00, when the contract only requires a $2,000.00 deposit.
Here’s the kicker…. A couple of days later, he contacts the title company and tells them that his wife had a miscarriage and he really can’t move forward with the deal and that he needs his full deposit back immediately. By doing this two days after he sends the deposit, he knows that his bad check is still being processed and requests the title company to wire him complete deposit amount immediately.
I know what you’re thinking… Do title companies really fall for this scam?! Thank God my Title company is on top of things and saw this guy coming a mile away. However, there was a title company that actually fell for this scam and he got away with it!
Jenny Zamora, Lic RE Broker. Orlando, Fl