We wanted to pass along three safety concerns reported by REALTOR® members in the field. In addition, we just launched a new Twitter account: @RealtorSafetyMA that we’ll use to issue safety warnings and tips that you can use to better protect yourself online and while at open houses and with buyers and sellers.
Please immediately contact your local police if you have experienced any of situations described below.
Please let us know if you come across any safety issues that your fellow REALTOR® members should know about.
It has been reported that four brokers in the past three weeks have reported thefts at open houses in Pioneer Valley (3 in Hampshire County, 1 in Hampden County).
The alleged thief is very tall, 6’3”/6’4” blond to sandy brown hair (there is the possibility that he might have dyed it dark brown as of this post) He is personable and in his 30s and at least one time had a female companion.
This person arrives early as agents are setting up and has stolen jewelry and perscription drugs. He parks far from the house – possibly in a silver car.
This individual has shown up on two separate occasions at broker open houses. He gives a bogus name, company, address, phone and on one occasion said he was an agent from the Boston area. He has been known to take pictures inside the house.
Merrimack Valley/Southern New Hampshire:
Several REALTOR members in this region have reported that a person named “Doug” has made several calls to local women REALTORS® stating that he wants to buy a house and also open a hair salon. He then asks each woman if she would like a free hair cut.
He had been calling from a Walpole, Mass. number, but these calls are now registering as private.
When questioned, he makes excuses until he feels trapped and then hangs up. He does not have an email, but just says he is in the process of setting one up. Please take appropriate precautions and call the police.
There is an international buyer in the Berkshires looking for real estate, who, according to the police, has quite an extensive rap sheet for fraud. The scams have been described as “an astonishing series of worldwide swindles” that involve international banking, investment, and financial transactions, including bank fraud, securities fraud, and passport fraud. The background and people associated are quite intimidating. Please note: The board office has been in touch with authorities regarding this matter.