Out of state number, but local address for house wash

Got a text today from an out of state number asking for a house wash to be completed in the next couple days. Confirmed that the house was indeed local to me and sent over an estimate. After sending the estimate I noticed the house has been on the market for about a month and that it’s going to auction Saturday. Haven’t gotten the go-ahead to clean it yet from the customer, and there are various reasons why the number could be from out of state, but in the back of my head I’m feeling like this might be a set up or scam… does this sound fishy or has anyone heard or dealt with something like this before?

Call the realtor to see who owner is or if he ordered. Sounds like a scam


Forgot to add, checked the county auditor site and the owner was an elderly lady… my naive self is assuming she passed away and a family member out of state is taking care of things. I will call the agent tomorrow, wasn’t sure if that would be kosher or not.

I was going to recommend what @Racer said, and what you already did. Had to do it a week or two ago.

Position it properly:

  • that it mirrors a common scam
  • that you wanted to check so as not to impede on their (or their client’s) turf, if it was inded a scam
  • that if it was you wanted to make sure that they were aware.

Then you’ve been a professional looking out ofr other professionals, to a realtor (who it’s always good to have a reason to call). Take those lemons and squeeze out some lemonade!

Just tell realtor that you got a call about washing house from so and so and was checking to see if legit. One way to tell always is price it 3 times higher than it would normally be. If they say that’s fine, you know it’s a scam.

It’s a scam, I get those at least once a month. Sometimes if I feel froggy I will hunt down the realtor and let them know, they’re always surprised and thankful.

There’s a simple way to weed them out, I always tell them I need the actual owner of the house to be present. The responses are priceless, I really look forward to getting them.

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Have gotten weird stuff like this. I always ask to speak with them over the phone instead of text or email. You’ll figure it out quickly if they avoid that.

That being said, have definitely done work where the kids of an elderly parent set up a roof cleaning from out of state and other stuff, so for me, a phone call clears it up pretty well.

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Did they ask if you take credit cards as payment? That’s a sure fire way to tell it’s a scam

No, there was no mention of payment… he just wanted an estimate and to see if I would be able to do it this week. I contacted the listing agent and they said they don’t know anything about it. Haven’t heard back from the guy… doubt I will, but not sure what the angle is if it is a scam.

They get you lined up, then ask if you’ll pay the cash-only landscaper $500 and add that + some amount for your trouble to the bill. You hand the “landscaper” (which is the scammer) the $500 and next thing you know the entire payment gets reversed/bounces. Best case you’re out the time + the cash…

Wait… you mean to tell me that’s not how you guys are running your businesses? When I was purchasing a bridge, I was informed by a well-to-do Nigerian Prince, that this is the way.


I’ve told them more than once that we’d be happy to accomodate, but our terms are full upfront payment in spanish doubloons, delivered to my office at precisely 1:42am during a fuill moon. If they can do that, and the exchange rate holds up, we’d be happy to get the work done…

I did an analysis of incoming text messages to the business lines two years ago. Out of 200+ text messages in a year, exactly 2 were from customers. The rest were the same EXACT scam. Always from someone who is on mission in Africa, in the hospital with lung cancer, deployed in the military etc.

Solution - I turned off text messaging to the business numbers. Haven’t had a single one since. People can still text the cell that we actually do business on, but not the actual business number.

I’m still unsure of he angle, I get what you guys are saying… and in those cases it makes sense, but there has been no mention (as of now) of paying other contractors or being unable to meet at the property. Since it didn’t ring a bell for the relator, I’m now thinking this may be a potential buyer looking to line things up once they purchase. Either way I haven’t heard back from him so it’ll be interesting to see if/when things play out.

I would say the majority of my clients text or email, rarely my phone rings, but when it does it’s spam.

That’s insane! We do a lot of volume, and use a ton of texting from a dozen different tracking lines (I just checked the stats, over 200 msgs rec’d last week). I get maybe 1 every month or 2.

They don’t mention any of that until later… when you’re emotionally and time invested in the job, and less likely to write it off. If it’s via text from someone out of town, and the home is on the market, 99% it’s a scam. If it was a potential buyer, the listing realtor would probably at least know the name from a showing… and I don’t know anyone that would be getting washing quotes before putting in an offer on the house… if it was a new roof or HVAC system, maybe, but washing doesn’t move the needle enough to be bothered about until the deal is pretty much done.

Makes sense, the house is being sold as-is at auction this weekend… so who knows

Get these frequently, the new scam is I’m a cop and works nights or in the service and out of the country. Usually simply ask them when they can be there and they never reach back again. Had one scammer contact me twice with two different names from the same phone number. I like Racer’s idea, calling realtors and getting your good name out is never a bad idea.

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I’ve not met a single realtor yet that wasn’t an absolute coyote that didn’t look at me and my business like a lizard looks at a heat source. They sounded good in theory a
When I first started but now I kind of recoil when they call because they are so over the top rediculous :joy:


One better (or worse)… same number, 2 different names and 3 different addresses (MT/OH/MD). I just kept telling him that was out of our service area until he finally got the neighboring state, that was when I started playing the Doubloon game…