Fred Griffin Tallahassee Real Estate, Licensed Florida Real Estate Broker (Fred Griffin Real Estate)

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Thomas J. Nelson, REALTOR ® e-Pro CRS RCS-D Vets
Big Block Realty 858.232.8722 - La Jolla, CA
& Host of Postcards From Success Podcast

Research first.

It's ready-aim-fire...

not fire-ready-aim.

Jul 08, 2018 09:30 AM
Eve Alexander
Buyers Broker of Florida - Orlando, FL
Exclusively Representing ONLY Orlando Home Buyers

Our first multi-million $$ buyer in south Florida was our ticket to the the good life...or so we thought.  We were simply green and naive back then.

Buyer was setting up some "off-shore" convoluted financing that I did not understand...even the sellers attorney did not understand.  A few red flags popped up.

We became suspicious, so had my private investigator client check him out.  Buyer was actually in the "big house" and only owned a old pick-up.

That same evening we had the seller's 4 attorneys, the listing agent and Mike and I on a conference call, when one of the attorneys "got it' and said that if they do it that way the seller will end up with "0" money...

The buyer hung up...

The pieces fell into place and overnight we learned a big lesson. The scammer knew all about black cards, private airplanes, luxury cars and where the rich and famous go...he was really good.

 After that I had the PI check out a couple more buyers who were also "fakes".  One claimed to be the heir to a fortune and wanted to buy the top floors in a new Miami condo building.  

The other buyer sent me a "proof of funds" letter ( from New Yersey) that looked sketchy.  I called the doctors office to verify and later learned that the scammers girlfriend cleaned the doctors offices...and used his infomation.  The real doctor called the police and the scammer called me to threaten me...seriously.

After that we moved to central Florida where my stories get boring.  All my good stories are from South Florida.

We have had a couple of scammers here, but this time we are smarter...we cut them off quick and did not work them.  



Jul 08, 2018 11:28 AM
Debe Maxwell, CRS | The Maxwell House Group | RE/MAX Executive | (704) 491-3310 - Charlotte, NC
The right Charlotte REALTOR!

WHOA! I hadn't read this one, Fred! Thanks for sharing. I'm becoming hardened to being surprised by these scammers; it seems like they are a dime a dozen these days. 

I hope they lock him up and throw away the key!

Jul 08, 2018 09:20 AM
Mott Marvin Kornicki
Waterway Realtors® • Notary Public & Apostille - Sunny Isles, FL
Miami Notary & Apostille 786-229-7999

Does NOT shock me at all - after all South Florida is, was and will be a sunny place for shady people!

Jul 08, 2018 08:24 AM
Katerina Gasset
Get It Done For Me Virtual Services - Wellington, FL
Get It Done For Me Virtual Services

We caught this one before it got bad: 

I got a call from the internet. Not surprising. 

It was Dell's wife. Everything checked out. 

They wanted to buy a house in Palm Beach. 

Not surprising... most famous people want to own a house in Palm Beach or Jupiter Island. 

They were flying in on their private jet. 

They set everything up, we verified everything. 

We set up the appointments with the 3 listings they wanted to see. 

In Palm Beach the listing agent is always the one to show the property. You would never think of allowing people into one of those properties without the listing agent there and even security at times. 

In order for you to see one of the listings in Palm Beach you have to first show your proof of funds, we need a financial letter from your bank or stockbroker. 

The day of her plans- she told me she was still waiting for their attorney to get them their proof of funds letter. She then said her attorney was in court and that by the time she got here - she would have the letter. 

She had been calling from Austin Texas, central time zone. 

She screwed up when she said her attorney was in court in New York City - she gave a time when the courts were not opened yet. That was my clue. 

We called the police in Palm Beach and they told us that this person was on the wanted list for doing this and what she did was she would steal stuff out of the homes. We alerted the listings agents, told them to be careful, not to let her into any of their listings. 

She really did live in Austin they said, she was a past employee or something of the Dell family so she know a lot about them. 

Jul 09, 2018 01:11 PM
Peter Testa
Nationwide Homes - Danbury, CT

Just when you thought you've heard it all. 

Jul 09, 2018 08:07 AM
John Pusa
Berkshire Hathaway Home Services Crest - Glendale, CA
Your All Time Realtor With Exceptional Service

Fred Griffin in several occasions, I have seen con artist from Middle-East pretending to be from honest wealthy noble families want to invest in real estate and businesses. Among them, there is a guy named Ergun always discussed about millions and billions drove Mercedes, it turned out Ergun didn't have a driver license nor owned a car. Strangly enough, people believe this kind of people.  

Jul 08, 2018 10:13 AM
Nina Hollander, Broker
Coldwell Banker Realty - Charlotte, NC
Your Greater Charlotte Realtor

No I haven't... and with a husband who did banking in the Middle East for decades I always have a source for someone to be vetted thoroughly.

Jul 08, 2018 09:52 AM
Ron and Alexandra Seigel
Napa Consultants - Carpinteria, CA
Luxury Real Estate Branding, Marketing & Strategy


This quite the story, and no this has not happened to us.  We have worked with high profile people and celebrities.  They were referred to us by people we had a relationship with. 

Living in Los Angeles, we were on guard for these type of scams...A

Jul 08, 2018 09:44 AM
Pete Xavier
Investments to Luxury - Pacific Palisades, CA
Outstanding Agent Referrals-Nationwide

I've been played many times, many times I've struck gold as well.

Jul 08, 2018 09:17 AM
Kathleen Daniels, Probate & Trust Specialist
KD Realty - 408.972.1822 - San Jose, CA
Probate Real Estate

I have not.  I complete my due diligence on prospects before I buy what they are selling ... which is either a true story or a load of bologna! 

I've been "played" in other ways and deceived a few times.  I cost me my time and maybe $100. 

Jul 08, 2018 08:46 AM
Candice A. Donofrio
Next Wave RE Investments LLC Bullhead City AZ Commercial RE Broker - Fort Mohave, AZ
928-201-4BHC (4242) call/text

Okay. This takes me back to Palm Springs in the 80s. So many scammers playing big roles. One of my girlfriends, a very prominent newscaster fell in love with a man who was supposed to be the grandson and heir to the Gulf gasoline business. I met him and thought he had way too much swagger for me, but by all accounts he seemed legit. We didn't have ways to research at that time. He got engaged to her. He didn't take her for a bunch of money but, her reputation was sterling. Because she was on his arm he got through. He left a trail of wreckage and unpaid bills a year-long and then disappeared.

Jul 10, 2018 07:27 PM
Annette Lawrence , Palm Harbor, FL 727-420-4041
ReMax Realtec Group - Palm Harbor, FL
Making FLORIDA Real Estate EZ

Never swindled out of $50,000 but did get tricked into buying tilapia  thinking I was ordering grouper.  No Sultans were involved.

Jul 09, 2018 05:49 AM
Bob Crane
Woodland Management Service / Woodland Real Estate, EXP - Stevens Point, WI
Forestland Experts! 715-204-9671

An old saying out there, something about how it is impossible to con an honest man.

Jul 08, 2018 09:51 AM
Wayne Martin
Wayne M Martin - Chicago, IL
Real Estate Broker - Retired

When I worked with multifamily complexes, had a few imposters make a play. But, money talks and bull_hit walks quickly!

Jul 09, 2018 06:22 AM
Bob Betel
Allstar Home Mortgage, Inc. - Sweetwater, TN
President, Allstar Home Mortgage, Inc

Very interesting story, and it shows what can happen if you treat people differently because of what they are buying and thinking about how much money you can make.  Always check how deep the water is before you jump in

Jul 09, 2018 05:16 AM
Praful Thakkar
LAER Realty Partners - Andover, MA
Andover, MA: Andover Luxury Homes For Sale

Fred Griffin - I am with Thomas J. Nelson, Realtor, ePRO, CRS, RCS-D on this!

Jul 08, 2018 09:56 PM
Roy Kelley
Realty Group Referrals - Gaithersburg, MD

There are creative scams for every fool.

Jul 08, 2018 10:34 AM
Steven Nickens
Wailea Realty - Wailea, HI
R(S)GRI ABR, Maui Real Estate Hawaii

Ok, once I had a lady buyer that was going to fly in on her private jet and spend $20,000,000. Yes, I was excited,  She kept delaying her trip, at that point, I ask for proof funds and then never heard from her again. Turns out she tie up a ranch in Oregon with no cash, she was just crazy.  So I lost no money but gained an interesting story to tell.

Jul 08, 2018 10:15 AM
Barbara Todaro
RE/MAX Executive Realty - Retired - Franklin, MA
Previously Affiliated with The Todaro Team

another reason to focus on listings.....

Jul 08, 2018 09:54 AM
Ryan Huggins - Thousand Oaks, CA - Thousand Oaks, CA
Residential Real Estate and Investment Properties

Thankfully not.

Jul 08, 2018 09:40 AM
Will Hamm
Hamm Homes - Aurora, CO
"Where There's a Will, There's a Way!"

Wow interesting what some people do.


Jul 08, 2018 09:23 AM
Michael J. Perry
KW Elite - Lancaster, PA
Lancaster, PA Relo Specialist

Oh Boy !

Jul 08, 2018 09:14 AM
Tony Lewis
RE/MAX of Valencia (Hall of Fame) 30 year Valencia Resident - Valencia, CA
Summit Real Estate Santa Clarita & Aliso Viejo

I've been conned twice in the past 22 years.  It is painful and a time waster.

Jul 08, 2018 09:12 AM
Margaret Rome Baltimore 410-530-2400
HomeRome Realty 410-530-2400 - Pikesville, MD
Sell Your Home With Margaret Rome

Another scammer...just bigger. Thanks for sharing..

Jul 08, 2018 08:57 AM
Jeff Dowler, CRS
eXp Realty of California, Inc. - Carlsbad, CA
The Southern California Relocation Dude

That's quite a story,  and no doubt not the only one out there.

Jul 08, 2018 08:55 AM
Maria Sapio
Keller Williams of Central PA - Carlisle, PA
Real Estate Agent- Carlisle, PA.

Wowsers - what a story!

Jul 08, 2018 08:38 AM
John Juarez
The Medford Real Estate Team - Fremont, CA

Even the rich and successful folk are not safe from succumbing to their own desire to become more rich and successful.

Jul 08, 2018 08:22 AM
Dave Martin (703) 585-4687
Fairfax Realty - Fairfax, VA
Making Realty Dreams a Reality #WeWillGetYouHome

Scams are everywhere it still amazes me how many Nigerian princes there are that need, all our help to get some of their money out of the country LOL

Jul 11, 2018 03:30 PM
Joan Cox
House to Home, Inc. - Denver Real Estate - 720-231-6373 - Denver, CO
Denver Real Estate - Selling One Home at a Time

I have to research many of my web hits, and have never had this happen, even on a smaller scale.

Jul 11, 2018 06:37 AM
William Feela
Realtor, Whispering Pines Realty 651-674-5999 No.

No way!!!!!!!

Jul 10, 2018 06:42 PM
Gita Bantwal
RE/MAX Centre Realtors - Warwick, PA
REALTOR,ABR,CRS,SRES,GRI - Bucks County & Philadel


Jul 09, 2018 05:55 PM
Olga Simoncelli
Veritas Prime, LLC dba Veritas Prime Real Estate - New Fairfield, CT
CONSULTANT, Real Estate Services & Risk Management

Check out who you're dealing with and if it sounds too good to be true...

Jul 09, 2018 01:15 PM
Christine Kankowski North SD and Temecula
House Match Inc - Poway, CA
Excellent Sales and Property Management

WOw, I dont have any stories close to this.  Just a cash buyer, never wanting to actually put in an offer or provide proof of funds...  I did let them go as a client.  

Jul 09, 2018 08:17 AM
Gabe Sanders
Real Estate of Florida specializing in Martin County Residential Homes, Condos and Land Sales - Stuart, FL
Stuart Florida Real Estate

Not something that has happened to me.  And, pretty doubtful that it will.

Jul 09, 2018 06:17 AM
Richard Weeks
Dallas, TX
REALTOR®, Broker

For me, the most was a $10 lunch.

Jul 09, 2018 05:11 AM
Paul S. Henderson, REALTOR®, CRS
Fathom Realty Washington LLC - Tacoma, WA
South Puget Sound Washington Agent/Broker!

I think I am being snookered right now with a referral...

Jul 08, 2018 08:27 PM
Sam Shueh
(408) 425-1601 - San Jose, CA
mba, cdpe, reopro, pe

firwst time is today...........

Jul 08, 2018 06:50 PM
Joe Pryor
The Virtual Real Estate Team - Oklahoma City, OK
REALTOR® - Oklahoma Investment Properties

And I thought Babe Ruth was the Sultan of Swat.

Jul 08, 2018 12:47 PM
Gary L. Waters Broker Associate, Bucci Realty
Bucci Realty, Inc. - Melbourne, FL
Fifteen Years Experience in Brevard County

Nope but when you want something so badly (like a deal) your vision is compromised.  It happens with "small" transactions and investors as well.

Jul 08, 2018 12:37 PM
Richard Bazinet /MBA, CRS, ABR
West USA Realty - Scottsdale, AZ
Phoenix Scottsdale. Sellers, Buyers & Relocations

Good thing no.... but vetting buyers is something I do diligently.

Jul 08, 2018 12:37 PM
Kat Palmiotti
406-270-3667,, Broker, eXp Realty - Kalispell, MT
The House Kat

I am sure the developer and his company did not respond because that was an embarrasing situation. Ugh.

Jul 08, 2018 11:43 AM
Don Baker
Lane Realty - Eatonton, GA

nope, sure haven't.

Jul 08, 2018 11:27 AM
Richie Alan Naggar
people first...then business Ran Right Realty - Riverside, CA
agent & author

I have come close to that world and it is tense....Its the greed that drives it

Jul 08, 2018 10:46 AM
Lyn Sims
RE/MAX Suburban - Schaumburg, IL
Schaumburg Real Estate

Nope would never happen in my market. I'd pay for lunch maybe but that's too many drinks on the tab I'm afraid.

Jul 08, 2018 10:43 AM