Beware of this Property Scam



Posted by Ed 41 days ago
Oliver Ellerbe thought he had found the perfect home for his aging parents.

The brick house in Katy, Texas, near Houston, was just a five-minute drive from his own home. At the time, his mother and father lived more than an hour away, near the city of Conroe. The distance began to pose a serious problem when his father’s liver cancer spread through his body and left him unable to move about on his own.

“It became very difficult,” Ellerbe, 44, said. “My wife and I were interested in bringing him closer to us.”

At a real estate auction, Ellerbe, who works in the petroleum industry, made the winning bid on the house: $150,050. The moving plans began.
A few days before the scheduled closing in February 2015, Ellerbe received an email, seemingly from his real estate agent at the firm Keller Williams, notifying him that the wiring instructions had changed. Soon after, he drove over to his bank and sent the $150,050 to the new bank address.
Then he left for a hunting trip with clients. “Nothing felt off,” he said.
On the morning of the closing, Ellerbe received an email from someone at the titling company, Solutionstar Settlement Services. They asked him when he was going to send the money. He had already done so, he explained. He showed the emails as proof.
The titling company representative told Ellerbe they hadn’t sent those emails. And the wiring instructions had never changed.
“My heart sank,” Ellerbe said. “I had sent my money to a thief.”

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