Las Vegas realtors ‘catfished’ by man posing to be a wealthy buyer

LAS VEGAS, Nev. (FOX5) – Several real estate agents in the valley are saying they’re being targeted by a man posing to be a wealthy homebuyer but then backs out of deals leaving everyone scratching their heads as to who he is and what his motives are.

To catfish someone is to lie or hide behind another individual’s identity. Within this past month-and-a-half more than a handful of realtors say, they dealt with a man posing to be part of a wealthy and well-known family in the valley. None of them could verify if he was or was not part of the family – but all could confirm he wasted time.

Michele Dugan has been a local real estate agent for almost 25 years. Three years ago her sister Tricia Morgan-Tilley worked alongside her, together they’re Sisters Selling Vegas under Realty One Group.

The man had the sisters write an offer on a $1.5 million dollar house he will pay in cash. The offer got accepted without ever showing proof of funds.

“Normally we don’t like to present offers without- if it’s a loan client having an approval letter from the lender and if it’s a cash client having proof of funds. But we didn’t have that. We pushed for the proof of funds, many, many times and didn’t get it and by that time we already had a signed offer so we had to move- we had to act. And when we acted they never asked for it- the listing side. They must’ve seen the name because they never even asked us any questions they just said- yes the seller accepts,” Dugan said.

They opened escrow but never received the money. He even requested a home inspection but the inspector never got paid. The sisters, sellers agent and home inspector were left scratching their heads. The seller’s agent tried to contact him.

“So they tried a couple of times the ways we gave him, both text and email. And pretty quickly they got back to my sister and said the number has been disconnected,” Morgan-Tilley said.

Now the sisters want to warn other realtors.

“I’ve never had an artificial buyer, I’ve never had that happen. And it just tells me with social media and with these electronic times and with the valley growing, that’s something we have to pay attention to,” Dugan said.

And they’re not the only ones. Melissa Croysdill, a local realtor, known 8 other agents with similar stories.

“You have to be very careful with identifying theft and things like that but never somebody having me do some much work being so persistent, and lying with so many details all to still not know to this day what the end game was,” Croysdill said. .

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