A brokerage recently notified RACI of an unverified nonprofit representative attempting to purchase multiple properties in a potential real estate scheme.
The individual misrepresented himself as an authorized representative of a nonprofit organization and made offers on multiple properties contingent on other listing transactions completing. He could not provide proof of funds or a pre-approval letter to purchase properties. The individuals listed on the nonprofit did not return attempts to verify this individual’s authority to conduct business on behalf of their nonprofit nor on the behalf of an unverified dba nonprofit organization.
The brokerage firm used Forewarn to establish a pattern of suspicious activity that resulted in termination of listing agreement and steps to void an illegal transfer.
Here are some suggested steps to verify validity of nonprofit organization representatives:
Search for Domestic Nonprofit Corporations on INBiz.
Verify authority to represent directly with person(s) listed as incorporators or governing person(s).
The FTC suggests searching online using the non-profit name plus words like “complaint,” “review,” or “scam.”
Search by both phone number and name using Forewarn app.
Again, the brokerage involved asked RACI to share this with our membership to give others a heads up and to be on the lookout for suspicious real estate schemes. Always double-check things related to money or sensitive information, even if it seems like an extra step or inconvenience.
As always, if you believe you have been subjected to a scam, file a complaint with the Indiana Attorney General’s Consumer Protection Division. A consumer complaint can be filed at indianaconsumer.com — or you can contact the Office of the Attorney General at 1-800-382-5516.
If you have a safety concern to share, call us at 765-457-0089.