Mark Thomas Agent Manager
Victim Location 10116
Total money lost $2,000
Type of a scam Rental
On July 8,2020, I asked my friend * (a 82 years old lady) about studio in her neighborhood in the area of Ocean Grove, NJ. I stayed with her for a few days around 5 yrs ago. I know her studio & like it very much.
On July 13, 2020, my friend * replied me the studio manager’s text number, ************.
On July 14,2020, I texted a message to the studio manager to ask the price of the studio. The Agent Mark Thomas replied me via his email with the following message: “THE PRICE FOR THE STUDIO AT OCEAN GROVE IS $40,000 WITH SERVICE CHARGES”.
I tried to get further information, such as : address, square feet, etc. but, no response from the agent at all, instead, he sent the following message: “I NEED A QUICK RESPONSE FROM YOU BECAUSE WE HAVE A LOT OF CLIENTS WHO ALSO NEED THE STUIDO”.
I told the Agent I received my green card last April, and I am stuck in ****** due to Covid-19, my flight was canceled on March 30, 2020. I stand by to return back to USA till now. But I will be ready for the money ($40,000) for his further feedback. He said the studio only is paid by cash.
Finally, the agent replied me me his facebook page for more details
So we start to talk the studio in details via messanger service.
On July 16,2020, the main points between our conversations were summarized as below:
1. 656 square feet
2. ** ********* ***,Ocean Grove, NJ 07756
3. The studio is in a perfect condition to move in.
4. The seller want to relocate to another state
5. My 82 years old friend * told him about me, that’s why he has to give me his page to talk better about the payment.
6. The agent raised up the price from $40,000 to $80,000 due to include renovation fee and furnitures fee, such as bed, chair, table etc..
7. The agent showed me 4 photos of the studio.
8. No monthly fee ( no HOA fee, no property fee, no insurance fee)
9. I asked the agent a similar studio on Zillow, why the price is much higher and need to pay monthly fee? What the current market price of the studio, but, he did not answer me.
10. I asked for a copy of his business card. I also talked to him the listing price $80,000 is too good to be true. I will have my agent friend to contact him to buy this studio.
On July 17, 2020, I received agent’s business as the file attached.
1. Due to my agent friend in Seattle, she can not deal with the NJ area. Also my friend told me this agent is fishy, & suggested me to cancel the purchase. So I took her suggestion.
2. I explained the Agent I am outside the USA, even my 82 years old friend * who is willing to help me to process all the documents, but I don’t feel it is right to do so. So I told the agent, I will give the chance to the rest of candidates. In the near future, after I returned back to US, & this studio is still available at ********* *****, I definitely contact him in person.
3. The Agent want me to trust him, he said “
You can buy the studio and i can help you maintain the house till you have the chance coming to the state”
“Mrs * told me not to sell the house to bo one except you……. She even talk to the owner on your behalf”
“You can still make a deposit payment of the studio so when you come back to the state you can make the balance payment for the studio”
4. The agent gave the final price from $80,000 to $60,000, I asked for $50,000. (Due to the first time he said $40,000)
5. The Agent said NO PROBLEM & asked me making the full payment or a deposit payment. I replied to make a deposit first, then I will make a full payment after I return back to USA I will visit the studio in person. Finally, we agree to pay $2000 as the deposit.
On July 19,2020, the Agent asked do I have Paypal account? I don’t have it. The only way to pay the deposit is via international cable transfer.
The agent provide the following account information:
Bank name___Wells Fargo
Routing ****************** Account number___ ********** Name___***** * ******
Bank address___ **** * ******** ****** ** ***** Home addresse___210 N Maguire Ave #315, Tucson, AZ 85710
On July 20, 2020, I transferred $2000 successfully via cable transfer at **** ************* ********** bank, Taichung, Taiwan.
On July 21,2020
The agent received $2000 successfully. But on July 22, 2020, the Agent want me to pay more $3000 as the deposit in order to have the studio. His message below:
“Xxx The $2,000 was received and I want you to know I spoke with the owner of the house and he has he would only receive a deposit of 10% of the house.And you made a deposit of $2000 which is not up to the 10% so you will have to make the rest payment into the owners direct account”
“So you will have to make a deposit of $3,000 to make it 10% so we can proceed”
I argued with the agent this is totally different from what we had agreement. So I rejected to pay it. I criticized him as a dishonest person and a liar.
Now I am 100% for sure this is a scam. I think my 82 years old friend’s messaged was hack. I doubt the liar behind the stage is the same person for playing the agent and my 82 friend’s roles.
The agent later send me a receipt of receiving $2000 deposit, and wait for me to send $3000 deposit again. Of course, I won’t send him any penny anymore!
In sum, please guide me how to report this case to the police. Please help me to get my deposit $2000 back.
Tks for your concerns!