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Man scammed by ‘online realtor’ in bogus home sale

An “online realtor” fooled a man into thinking he had a purchased a home when he really hadn’t, the Bridgewater Police Dept. said.

The victim reported the incident to police after he entered the house and another realtor told him he didn’t belong there, according to investigators. The man believed he had purchased the home and was cleaning the inside “when the actual realtor showed up to [the] house and told him he had not purchased the home,” Bridgewater Police said in a Sept. 10 tweet.

Lt. Robert Bailey said no other information would be released because he is trying to protect the identity of the victim.

“By policy I cannot respond on open and active cases,” Bailey said in an email to Boston 25.

Boston realtor Mike Urban said it appears to be a highly unusual case.

“I think it’s pretty wild that somebody could purchase a house and perhaps not sign anything in front of a notary or virtual notary,” Urban said. “How do they get access to the house? Unless this was some massively elaborate [scheme], somebody knew what they were doing in terms of real estate, in order to know how to do this.”

Urban said potential buyers should always make sure they’re talking to a licensed agent, stick to reputable sites for listings, contact the selling agent if they have questions, and know exactly who they’re talking to.

“‘I think you’ll easily be able to tell. Unless they’re extremely elaborate [in the fraud], you’ll be able to tell if they’re legitimate or not,” Urban said.

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