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Scammer on prowl, buying house Munich

12 posts in this topic

Hello Folks,

 

The scammers are up again and this time, it's a new method (atleast I haven't read about this for sometime). So we are in the market of buying a house in Munich and surroundings and recently came across  on immobilienscout24, one not so cheap but neither too expensive row house close to our place.

 

It was from a private individual and we contacted giving our information about our family (kids, age et. al), jobs (profession, employer), income, telephone number (mobile & landline), downpayment information, e-mail address, and we applied to it immediately.

 

The offer was put down after 2-3 hours as expected and we were waiting anxiously to be called by the owner. 

 

Instead, I received an sms after 2 days from "mail.chUser" with broken German saying that if we are interested, we should send an e-mail to jacquelinecol.ombe54@gmal.com!

 

A dead sure give-away but still that element of doubt remained, so I decided to go to the address given in the immobilienscout24 ad, and voila, got in touch with owner only to find out that the house was actually meant to be rented out and not to be bought. He already have found renters and he was just doing finishing touches to the house. He had no clue about the house being sold on the immobilienscout.

 

So the scammer stole the data from the rental page of immobilienscout24 and put it up for buying at close to local prices. Since I know couple of people living in that area, they told me that lot of people have already come to look at it.

 

So now, I'm the only one who got to speak with the owner and others who are in the same boat like ours still believe the house is up for sale!

 

We have already contacted immobilienscout24 team and asked them to block the user. But since the ad was already put down, I'm not sure how much this would be of help.

 

Can the scammer use our private information (like e-mail address, postal address, name, jobs, working location, salary information) to harm us? Is this considered as a potential identity theft?

 

We did not click on the e-mail address given neither replied to any e-mail so far.

 

What do our knowlegeable IT folks think about it? ( selling private information on darkweb, ordering stuffs online on our name?)

 

thanks for reading the long post though! Stay safe and healthy to everybody!

 

 

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49 minutes ago, emale said:

Can the scammer use our private information (like e-mail address, postal address, name, jobs, working location, salary information) to harm us? Is this considered as a potential identity theft?

 

We did not click on the e-mail address given neither replied to any e-mail so far.

 

So how did you give them your information?

 

Answer to first question - yes.

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We contacted by replying to the "anbieter kontaktieren" button in immobilienscout24.de

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OP- very unwise move- opening yourself up to identity fraud. Just too much info- so keep a close check on personal accounts, and watch out for scamming emails and phone calls.

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As an aside, calm down with the volunteered information, you’re buying, not renting, how nice you and your family are, your profession and your income don’t interest a (real) prospective seller one bit. At some point the real estate agent or owner may ask you to provide a bank statement that financing is not a problem, but that’s it and that’s after the initial introductions are finished and you’ve checked the place out. 

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Thanks for all the replies!

 

 

13 hours ago, LukeSkywalker said:

You made an offer without seeing the property in person?

We know the location and couple of people living close-by and judging by the pics it was good and very authentic. We did not make an offer just contacted via immobilienscout24 website and that information gets directly routed to the scammer. In immobilienscout24, the fields like first name, last name, e-mail, full postal address is required to move ahead to get in touch with the buyer.

 

I'll be careful next time for sure and chalk this up as lesson learned. The reason we write more personal is that many times the buyer doesn't even bother to contact back once he has enough applicants, and this atleast we thought helps us stand-out as buying is almost like renting around here. Between if any body has a recommendation of a good makler, please feel free to pm me. I've had couple of bad experiences with them already (for potential buying and renting in the past).

 

What got me worried is that can further data be compromised by just reading the sms? Should i be informing the police as well? Thanks !

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Going by the description of what information you provided, I think the most urgent thing would be to notify your employer. If the scammers have the right (i.e. criminal) contacts, they could use that information to spearphish others at your company - e-mailing other people at your company pretending to be you, to spread malware/ransomware or commit other nefarious deeds, such as fraud.

 

I'd also file a police report if I were you, and notify Google that the specified e-mail address is being used for fraudulent purposes. The scammers probably have hundreds of others, but every little bit helps.

 

And for the future, before you send anyone on immobilienscout your personal data, cross-check the images at images.google.com to make sure they haven't been stolen from a legit ad, like these were.

 

Best of luck and please post updates.

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Update: We informed the police but they seem to be less interested in our case as there is no harm done to us yet. If any, then the owner should be the one contacting the police about it.

So watch out for others and as other posters mentioned, we've certainly learned our lesson and will be more careful before sharing any personal details in future. Thanks for the all the replies.

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Thanks for posting all this here, it's the kind of information that can save others a lot of trouble.

 

I suppose one of the main take-a-ways is to be sparse on the info to send on the initial contact from on immoscout. I expect you have to give enough so that the private seller knows you are not a scammer but not enough to be used in case the sale is a scam.

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On 9.2.2021, 10:46:01, emale said:

Update: We informed the police but they seem to be less interested in our case as there is no harm done to us yet. 

 

 

I don't know if you happened to notice but with exception to cases of physical assaults, you'll find the police in major cities in Germany to be absolutely useless. And the bigger laugh comes when the city prosecutor 95% of the time throws out your complaint because he thinks the damages aren't significant enough to hold the court's attention.

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