Are Rich People trying to Impersonate Me?! I Smell a Scam in East Hampton!

What can I say, it’s been busy in the Hamptons lately and this weekend will be no exception, even in the middle of WINTER!   Yes, WINTER… the Winter Warlock is working overtime this weekend; there’s snow, the winter Olympics .. very little day light….
Winter Winter Everywhere!

and Sag Harbor hosts it’s Third Annual Harborfrost.    It’s relatively new tradition with fireworks, parties, art exhibits and the locals coming out of hiding to celebrate all things cold and frosty.  But if you really want to know what Harborfrost is really like, let me quote what a friend of mine calls it, “Spring training for St. Patrick’s day in Montauk.”   Anyway, here is the schedule and web site for HarborFrost 2014!   Go have fun people and be safe!  Also, take heart, EH Village beach passes are now on sale!  Winter will soon be a thing of the past like “Beliebers.”

Meanwhile, It’s been a weird couple of days.   First, there was the angry man calling from “Microsoft” who wanted me to give him access to my computer, apparently there getting error message from my “windows computer.”  As he demands,  “Push the Microsoft Flag key and control,” I inquire who exactly he wants to speak to… I mean he has my computer registered in his files, right?    Once again he demands I listen to him but he still doesn’t know my name!  If you’re really interested, google it apparently it’s a common scam.  I actually find these scammers kind of fun to tease, I’m lonely!

Then I got an e mail from someone saying, “I hope you don’t mind me e mailing you at this address?   I googled real estate, hamptons and Patrick and I found your business contacts.    Apparently the e mail we’ve been communicating on has been redacted!”  REDACTED?   I had to look that word up to find out it basically means deleted.
After I emailed saying, “refresh my memory, what were we talking about?”   The nice gentleman figured out he had been had.     Apparently some clown from god knows where took my photo and my name and proceeded to list a summer rental on Air BNB for a home on Lily Pond Lane, East Hampton!!!   Now call me wacky but do you really think anyone who has an oceanfront on Lily Pond lane is going to list on Air Bnb?    Is Jon Bon Jovi or Martha Stewart perhaps impersonating me on the
The Air BNB ad , I didn’t place!!!

Interwebs?  What, can’t they just send unwanted pizzas or ring the doorball and run away to the neighbors they don’t like?!   I mean this is crazy!!!  Anyway, the nice people at Airbnb.com caught this before me and the ad was taken down.   But how weird is this   (See it below).    So buyer… or renter beware when you’re surfing online!     This is almost as weird as when Amex asked me if I bought 10 cases of horse feed in Kentucky!   Besides if you’re going to steal anyones identity… I mean really… you couldn’t pick someone more glamorous than me!?
Also, don’t mind if I rub this in… DON’T WASTE YOUR TIME FOLKS USE A BROKER OR AGENT!

Happy Cyber Monday! And some Japanese guy from Canada is buying up the Hamptons!

So today is now something everyone is calling “CyberMonday.” It’s the day that retailers are promoting as the next best thing for the economy since “Black Friday.” It’s the day where America forgets about heading to the mall and instead logs onto their computers and shops! What a nice thing, right?! No fighting over parking or dealing with store employees who are trying to work scanners or fixing there mistakes as they wait for a manager with a “key!” Instead you just go online click a button and voila! Let’s just hope you don’t have a problem. Everyone keeps talking about scam websites. Also, what if it doesn’t fit or its defective!? Yikes, the next thing you know you’re on the phone with “Tiffany” in Mumbai and the problem just got worse!

We all love the internet but it’s a dangerous place and real estate agent’s aren’t immune from all of this either! Take this case in point… I’m minding my own business the other evening, shopping online…. wondering where in the world they find the models for L.L Bean! They all look like my grade school gym teachers (what a great insult! “You could be a model… for L.L. Bean) when I get an e mail for an offer on one of the properties I’m selling. Here it is:

Hello,

I will offer of $485,000.00 for the home. Please send me the contract for me to sign and return immediately this will be my retirement home and it will be a cash buy

1. I will want to close on 22nd December, 2010

2. I want to put down $5,000.00 Earnest money

3. $120,000.00 will be applied towards the closing balance

4. I want to put contingency on inspection on the contract.

My legal name is Jirou Hayashi of 2000 Sheppard Avenue, Toronto Ontario Canada M3N 2J1 and I am single, I will not be in Canada before the closing date to wire the funds to the attorney so I will advice you to send me an attorney information for a check to be drawn to give enough time for check clearance since I won’t be in Canada to wire funds for closing.

Please forward to me a purchase contract agreement in DocuSign format, DocuSign format is an electronic way of signing document. I am presently in a remote Japanese city and will not be able to access any documents in pdf because of no access to printing and scanning machines please note this.

My account manager Mr. Abraham Jacob will Issue payment in US Funds $155,000.00USD for 5,000.00, the will be for earnest money, second deposit of $120,000.00 and the remaining $360,000.00 will be disbursed accordingly.

My rep Mr. Abraham Jacob Esq. can be reach at: 1-647-862-1135, I strongly advice that I need an attorney to represent my interest in this transaction, my lawyer can pay to seller or title company so therefore I would like to deposit all payment with the lawyer.

Please I need the following information for your attorney immediately for payment

Law Firm Name……………………………………………

Law Firm Address……………………………………………….

Law Firm Telephone………………………………………………

Lawyer’s Name…………………………………………………..

Regards,
Jirou Hayashi

What a nice man! He has to be real! His prose sounds like he’s bad with English… like written menu at a certain restaurant I frequented in the city AND he wants an inspection!!! He has to be real! I didn’t even have to show him the house! Ohhhh… if it’s too good to be true maybe it isn’t!?

So I google the attorney’s name and apparently Jirou has been making offers from Florida to California! Go ahead, you do it! On TRULIA.COM there were postings with essentially the same letter I received over and over and over and over again. In fact one poor broker wrote about how her sellers already started moving out of the house!!

Apparently it’s some sort of fishing scam where they acquire information on the seller and then use that to apply for credit cards, loans, etc. Bummer too, I had already spent the money on The Motorized Monocycle from Hammacher Schlemmer!!! ( http://bit.ly/h7rPy9 ) At least there is no gruff looking model like L.L. Bean. Sadness ensued.

Anyway, I’m not alone in the Hamptons. I mentioned this in an e mail to some agents and got back 4 or 5 e mails where Jirou was buying their listing too! Once again, mom was right, if it’s too good to be true it usually is just that! But she also told me I could grow up one day and become an L.L. Bean model. Hmmmmm what was she trying to tell me!?

One last thing! I saw the new musical WOMEN ON THE VERGE OF A NERVOUS BREAKDOWN. It’s been eviscerated by the critics but you know what? It was actually a really enjoyable show! Patti LuPone, Brian Stokes Mitchell and Sheree Renee Scott headline a quirky, ambitious and fun show. I loved the movie version and I think the show, (although the music is lacking) is a worthy follow up. I thought BILLY ELLIOT was awful and it won the TONY! Once again, what do I know.