Safety Alerts

REALTOR Safety Alert Graphic

This page has an ongoing list of safety alerts for our members. Do you have a safety alert to share? Please contact BRR Director of Communications, Cassie Zimmerman, or call 208.947.7226.

Read more safety tips and find more resources in our blog post, Help Your Sellers Keep Their Homes Safe When Listed. 

October 2018

10/18/19: A REALTOR® member received an email that appeared to be from her broker, asking her to purchase some iTunes gift cards (possibly as a closing gift?) to give to a client of theirs that was under contract. The scammer said they were “too busy to talk by phone today” so to reply to the email with any questions. Please always be wary of any requests to purchase gift cards, as this is a common way for scammers to keep funds untraceable.

It’s also good practice to change your password if you think your email account has been compromised. For more information about email and wire fraud issues, please check out the following resources:

February 2018

2/12/18: Another case of a scammer targeting a company, this time a roofing company, was reported to BRR. The scammer originally reached out with texts and a call but resorted to communicating via email when they couldn’t text the office phone.  These emails indicate how the scammer was going to commit the fraud. The scammer asks for the bid for work or contract on a home and then asks for the contractor/company to make a payment, with the promise they will pay them back. Here is a shortened transcript of the emails, with names, emails, telephone numbers, and locations changed.

2/5/18: BRR was made aware of another local instance of this scam in which a painting contractor was asked to provide a bid. Similar to the last report, the scammer asked for the contractor’s banking information and/or credit card information in order to “coordinate payment.”

2/2/18: Please be aware, this is the THIRD local report we’ve had of a scammer contacting a contractor for a bid to have work done to a property. In this latest report, there were no phone calls — only text messages sent to the contractor asking him to provide a quote for pressure washing. The contractor went to the house, provided the bid via text message, but felt like something was off since there was a listing sign in the front yard. He notified the listing agent of the situation, who confirmed the request was not legitimate. This situation was different than the previously reported instances, because after providing the bid, the scammer asked for the contractor’s credit card and banking information, presumably to coordinate “payment”.

January 2018

UPDATED 1/26/18: Another member reported that a painting contractor received a suspicious call requesting that he provide a bid for a vacant home. When he arrived at the property, he tried to call the number back, however, no one would answer. Instead, they responded via text, saying they couldn’t communicate over the phone due to a disability (although they had called earlier). Over text, the calling party asked the contractor to look in the windows of the vacant home for them. The contractor wisely refused. This is clearly not an isolated event, please notify the contractors that you work with that this could happen to them, and advise them to ask the listing agent to find out if the bid request is legitimate.

A member notified us of suspicious phone calls being made to concrete/driveway contractors (in this case), where a male caller asks the contractors to visit a listed property and provide a quote for work to be done on the home. The caller then says he works out of state so all future communication should be done via text. The contractors were suspicious and felt like someone was baiting them to come out to the property, so they called the listing agent of the property in question, asking if this was a legitimate request from a seller or maybe a buyer. The listing agent confirmed that no work was being requested. For those of you with contractor contacts, please pass this alert on to them. If they feel a request sounds suspect, their best bet is to contact the listing agent first for confirmation.

December 2017

A local agent recently found themselves in a suspicious and possibly dangerous situation while showing a home. A potential buyer that the agent hadn’t met before contacted her by text and asked to be shown a vacant home with acreage in Middleton. The agent called the phone number but there was no answer or voicemail option. To err on the side of caution, she asked a friend join her to the showing. 

The potential buyer texted to inform the agent they were running late and didn’t arrive at the home until after dark. When the buyer did arrive, it was in a large, white cargo van that they blocked the driveway with by parking directly in front of it. The buyer texted that they were outside, and the agent texted back, asking them to come inside. A few minutes later, the van drove off, with the potential buyer never entering the home. 

Thankfully, nothing more happened. Please be aware of the situation and keep safety top-of-mind when interacting with clients.