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Real Estate Buyer Enquiries and the Internet Charlatans

by Marquette Turner Luxury Homes

in Expose, Real Estate Radar, Variety

[podcast]https://marquetteturner.com/audio/091008_Internet Charletans.mp3[/podcast]

I recently received enquiries for two properties from a potential overseas buyer. Both properties are in New South Wales and have substantial price tags. Doing what any good agent does, I responded to the enquiry, advised the price of the properties and asked a few extra questions to qualify and validate the enquiry.

I believe it is important you read the response – it is clearly showing that scammers are now going to new lengths, targeting high end properties and the sites they are appearing on:

Capt Sven Gosnell capt.svengosnel@yahoo.com


I know this letter may come to you as a surprise but i believe it is only a day that people meet and become great friends/business partners. Before Proceeding, i wish to introduce myself; I am Capt Sven Gosnell, with the United Nations troop in Iraq on war against terrorism. Our mission is to help beef up terrorist targeted states, mostly the United States and the European Union on the war against terrorism.

I was the one that contacted you as regards to you property listed for sale, which I have gotten response to my enquiry from you.

I believe you will maintain the trust and confidence of what i am about to reveal to you. As I wish to utilize this opportunity to relate business with you. On the 17th of January this year, It happened that I went for this raid of terrorist here in Saqr, Iraq with the men in my unit and luckily I recovered a Box containing the sum of USD14.7 Million, because the terrorist keep most of their money in boxes at home for evil activities which they normally get through illegal deals on crude oil. Based on the suffering we undergo in this evil land here some of us do meet such luck. So I decided to take it as my share for my stress here in this evil land filled with suicide bombers. I deposited this box of money with the RED CROSS OFFICE informing them that i am making contact for my receiver/beneficiary of the box. It is now under my power to approve whoever that will come forth for the box of money.


I wish to use part of this money for property investment and with intention to make payment for your property listed as I told you above from the money which we will discuss once we agree to accomplish this deal together on how we are to go about the due documentation of the papers and change of ownership papers as well. I will also be interested to invest on stock fish as well.

Instead of allowing these terrorists to get the money and spend it on purchasing arms illegally from Russia and North Korea, it is better channeled to saving the world. So I need someone I could deal with on trust and that is why i contacted you. If you accept, I will put you forward as the beneficiary of the Box/funds and transfer the money to you because as a uniformed person and I cannot be parading such an amount so I need to present someone i can trust as the Owner/beneficiary.

I am a marine officer and I have 100% authentic means of transferring the money through diplomatic courier service. I just need your acceptance and all is done. I have all the needed logistics in place so you have nothing to worry about. Please if you are interested in this transaction, then, I will give to you the complete details you need for us to carry out this transaction successfully as all you need is to follow my instructions and directives.

I believe I can trust you. Where we are now, we can only communicate through our military communication facilities which are secured so nobody can monitor our emails, then I can explain in details to you. I will only be able reach to you through email for now, because our calls might be monitored, If you are interested to work with me, then let me know so we can proceed as time is very important to me. This money is my life and i am willing to give you 10% of the total sum when the money arrives under your custody. I wait for your response so we can proceed immediately. In less than 7days the money should be in your safe custody, and then i will come over to meet when we are out of the military base as I will be tendering my voluntary resignation letter once I am sure you are in custody of the Box. For the purpose of confidentiality, i prefer if you are only interested and to also keep this confidential even if you are not interested please.

Capt.. Sven Gosnell.   

NOTE: Please i will be able to call you once i get access to the satellite communication gadget here in our camp. Also give to me detailed description of the House and required documents to procure the house.”

On a pure factual basis, there are a number of incorrect facts in “Capt Gosnell’s” enquiry. How many can you spot?

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{ 22 comments… read them below or add one }

alexander21 October 10, 2009 at 7:10 am

Thank you for posting this example. Today we actually received exactly the same email from “mr. Gosnell” translated (by google, I guess) in German. So now I know for sure it is fake.

simonturner October 10, 2009 at 7:26 pm

This Captain in Iraq is certainly very busy! We actually got 10 enquiries for 10 different properties last night, all from another “Captain” in “Iraq”. The sad thing is we know people who've been fooled by these emails.

jameswilliams90 October 10, 2009 at 8:01 pm

I shake my head when I hear that anybody is fooled by this type of approach. Sadly it only takes one person to be sucked-in by these con-artists to make it all worthwhile.

My parents taught me well. I was always taught “If it sounds too good to be true, then it most likely is.”

simonturner October 10, 2009 at 8:15 pm

James, we met a poor unfortunate owner recently who'd received a similar email and they're still hanging out for the funds to be transferred!

jameswilliams90 October 10, 2009 at 8:46 pm

I guess you call that a 'cold lead'.

mamasaidbecarefulofthatgirl October 20, 2009 at 8:09 am

It arrived to me too in… Andorra

simonturner October 21, 2009 at 3:55 am

Unfortunately, I think we'll both receive many more!

miepmiep November 7, 2009 at 12:31 am

Are you a JENMAN APPROVED agency?

simonturner November 7, 2009 at 5:41 pm

Clearly not.

miepmiep November 7, 2009 at 11:04 pm

What a pity …..

simonturner November 8, 2009 at 2:34 am

Please tell us more – happy to broadcast your thoughts

miepmiep November 8, 2009 at 10:56 am

I just finished REAL ESTATE MISTAKES and DON'T SIGN ANYTHING, both by Neil Jenman. They are fascinating. I fail to understand why so many estate agents are unwilling to guarantee what they promise.

simonturner November 12, 2009 at 7:05 pm

He does raise some important issues, but they can be overly focused on scare tactics to ultimately encourage people to use his agency's. There's a lot of marketing spin but also some very useful points. Like with most things finding a healthy balance is the ultimate goal.

What sort of things particularly are you thinking that agents should guarantee? Can you name some specific promises so I might better be able to give my thoughts?

Thanks again.

I was that truth November 14, 2009 at 10:50 pm

I ve got two more:

“Dear,I got your e-mail, I will pay cash for your house Property. with you, but I have a suggestion for confidential business proposal for you, I’m gen raymond odierno, the troops in Iraq, you know, we have here in Iraq to raise money for Europe, because, as a soldier, we are not authorized as a bank, because the war in Iraq,…”

“I am Col. John Robinson, with the United Nations troop in Iraq on war against terrorism. Our mission is to help beef up terrorist targeted states, mostly the United States and the European Union on the war against terrorism….”

miepmiep November 15, 2009 at 4:24 am

I think agents should guarantee that I do not pay them a commission unless they sell my house for they price they quoted to me! I also do not want to be tied up. when another agent manages to sell my house, I do not want to be paying TWO agents. And finally, I do not want to see my house over-exposed, at MY expense, just because the agent wants to advertise their company at expense.

simonturner November 19, 2009 at 7:45 pm

I couldn't agree more re the advertising element. As for the other comments, I can see Jenman's mantra coming through. Of course you wouldn't want to pay 2 agents, but that's expressly made clear in agency agreements (I should add that when you refer to being “tied up” that are pro's and con's. Having more than 1 agent, for instance, doesn't mean that you get 2 agents working 100%, it usually means you'll get 2 agents working at 50% of effort. If a vendor doesn't put their full support behind an agent they're unlikely to reciprocate, particularly when they may not get paid.

As for the price an agent quotes you, it is only an estimation based on recent sales and short of having a crystal ball it's pretty difficult to guarantee a price (again, this is made clear on agency agreements). Unlike other countries, Australian agents are not valuers. Ultimately you don't have to pay a fee for service unless you accept the price offered.

As you can see there's lots of arguments to be paid and there's no hard and fast rule. Jenman's mantra raises some valid points but doesn't necessarily provide all the answers.

simonturner November 19, 2009 at 7:46 pm

Another General and Colonel – wow! They're very busy. We got offered 4 billion dollars today!!! I never cease to be amused.

miepmiep November 30, 2009 at 9:31 am

Then why are there hundreds of people claiming to have lost thousands and thousands of dollars to so-called professional estate agents? Don't tell me Jenman's book is a lie?

simonturner November 30, 2009 at 6:24 pm

When you say “lost”, can you be more specific?

simonturner December 1, 2009 at 2:24 am

When you say “lost”, can you be more specific?

Terry October 3, 2012 at 5:41 am

I just received the following email by Capt. Harry Edmond to purchase my property:

Dear Terry

My name is Capt. Harry Edmond, I am an Officer with the United Nations troop in Iraq on war against terrorism. I have been deployed to your country and I need to secure properties over there. I am interested in the property you listed on http://www.privatesale.co.za and wish I to contact you to know if your property is still available for sale?
Get back to me on my private email: capt.harryedmond@hotmail.com
Look forward to hear from you.

Best Regards,
Capt. Harry.

JOSEPH ABRAHAM January 23, 2013 at 5:14 pm

Properties are available to the requirements. If interested
kindly get in touch with us.

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