Who are Pat and Alex and why are they texting people about their homes?

Earlier this week, two separate neighbors received a curious text. A person calling themselves Pat expressed interest in buying their homes.

One from 919-373-6758 read:

“Hey there, so sorry if I have the wrong number. I am Pat and would love to contact [homeowner]. Regarding a property in [homeowner address], in order to determine if there is interest in selling. Do I have the right number?”

the other from 919-769-6879, read:

“Hey there, This is Pat, I am trying to reach out [homeowner – sic]. Regarding a property in [homeowner address], to see if selling it would be an option. You wouldn’t know the owner or would you?”

Both were sent at the same time of day, 9:33 AM, but on two separate days. They were from two different phone numbers as well. Another neighbor received a similar text on Nov 20th, I’m told. (Coincidentally, I’ve been getting and ignoring scammy calls at home from 919-769-68xx numbers for several weeks now).

Being the curious sort, I did a few Google searches for this text and came across a number of similar texts, only from different alleged people. A search of the venerable 800notes.com shows only one other similar text, this one from “Alex” from the number 832-934-9960:

“Hello, apologies if this is not a good number. This is Alex, I am looking for [homeowner]. Regarding a property in [homeowner address], in order to see if selling it would be an option. You don’t know the owner or do you?”

Obviously these are connected. How many people are getting them? How come there isn’t more information about them online? How is it that both my friends got the texts on separate days but at 9:33 AM on those days? And what’s the ultimate goal here? Is this just some bot that is out there, doing data cleanup to match phone numbers with names and addresses?

I’ll keep you posted as I learn more about this supposed scam.

Update 10 Jan:

I found another Internet hit, this thread on the City-Data website. This one’s from someone in Minnesota and dates from November 2018:

Over the past several months, I have been getting texts asking if I want to sell my house in Maricopa County. Each one has a different phone #. each message has a different message. My wife has gotten a couple as well (again, a different phone # and message each time).

Today, I got this one which is pretty typical:
Exact words:
“Hi (and my actual 1st name)! My name is Alex, I’m a local home buyer reaching out to see if you’re interested in an offer for your home on (my actual address)? Thx

I refuse to text back. But a couple of times, I called with my Google Phone # (same phone but with a hidden #) and got a vmail message asking to leave my name and address. I left out the address but gave my google, non-traceable #) and said that I wanted to sell my property”. No response….

I googled the number that came in on the text just today which is 480-531-6397. Another time from 623-295-0692 (he was “looking to buy a house in our neighborhood”). There are other phone #’s. I’m not alone with the 623 extension https://800notes.com/Phone.aspx/1-623-295-0692

Does anybody know what their scam might be? People who have called or texted back haven’t gotten a call back. Something smells fishy.

The most recent entry (again, November 2018) on that 800notes page adds a new name to the mystery, a “Tim.”

Got a text message. Says his name is Tim with Home Buyers. Wanted to see if I wanted to sell my house.

The user “superstition480” on the City-Data thread says the outfit is “1 800 Fair Offer”:

The main company doing this, is called “1 800 Fair Offer”. They illegally robocall consumers trying to buy their houses FAR below market value. The company is owned by an arrogant guy named Sean Terry. This goof actually has videos posted on YouTube to teach his followers how to illegally robocall for more leads. I am in the process of filing a complaint with the Arizona State Attorney General’s office, and am also considering a class action suit against this company for their illegal robocalling.

I’m going to see what I can find out about “1 800 Fair Offer” and if there have been any complaints against them for illegal robocalling/texting.

Shady charity calling from 980-242-3241

I just got a mystery phone call from 980-242-3241, a number allegedly located in Charlotte, NC. A quick Google search shows that it is apparently a fake charity scam, asking for donations for breast cancer research. Comments on the 800Notes.com website indicate that the caller is rude and unprofessional.

If you get a call from these folks simply hang up. Don’t get scammed by an unsolicited phone call.

Blogging answer abruptly ends political survey

There was a long pause when I answered the phone this evening: a sure sign of a telemarketer. The number, 801-823-2033, wasn’t familiar, either. The woman on the other end soon came on, said she was with some survey company (perhaps Opinionology?) and wanted to ask a few questions. I agreed.

“Do you plan to vote for a candidate for president this year?” she asked.


“To ensure we have a representative sample, in what year were you born?” she asked.


“What county in North Carolina do you live in?” she asked.


There was a pause. “Lake?”

“No, Wake!”

“Oh, Wake. Okay.”

There was a pause.

“Do you have a political blog or participate in political blogs?”

I stopped and considered that almost every other post here on MT.Net has something to do with politics. “Yes, I do,” I answered.

There was an even longer pause.

“Thanks for your participation in tonight’s survey. Have a good evening,” she cheerfully said before abruptly ending the call.

Weird. I wonder what it was about writing a political blog that apparently disqualified me as a survey respondent. I also wonder what that says about the respondents who don’t get disqualified.

Universal Survey – 646-467-6665

I got a hang-up voicemail call today from 646-467-6665, a number apparently associated with a company known as Universal Survey. According to the comments at 800notes.com, the company can be rude to the people it calls.

I don’t know whether that’s true or not, but any reputable survey company would scrub its call lists against the national do-not-call registry before calling any number. Our phone numbers have been listed on the Do Not Call list for years now. Therefore, I made decide to tee this company up as my first defendant in small claims court for violating North Carolina’s Do Not Call law.

Tele Europe 2

A friend got a mysterious automated survey call from the phone number 678-253-6210. This supposedly is from an outfix known as Tele Europe 2. According to 800notes.com, many people have gotten hang-up calls from this company and are not happy. If you get a call from this company please let me know.

Another car warranty scam phone call

Just when the phones at MT.Net were no longer ringing with car warranty scams, we got another one this morning. This time it’s from phone number 732-903-0837. Some folks on the 800notes website say it’s a New Jersey company called Motor Vehicle Protection Corporation. That’s who the salesguy said was calling. Could this company be the spawn of Great Atlantic Warranty/North American Warranty Solutions or Automotive Warranty Solutions?

As I’ve long been on the Do Not Call list, it’s time to collect some money from these bastards. Time to see how this works.

Update 11:30 AM: Bah. Looking at the wording on the N.C. Attorney General’s page, the bastards get one free call before I can sic the dogs on them:

If you have received more than one telephone call by or on behalf of the same entity that is in violation of the Do Not Call law, you may go to state court …

How much you wanna bet that the company will then claim a “prior business relationship” based on the first bogus call? This law is toothless!

To recap, the Motor Vehicle Protection Corporation is violating the Do Not Call registry, but they’re doing it below the penalty phase of the law. The company is identifying itself with a live human being, which is a step up from the previous car warranty scams. In essence, the scam continues but with fewer vulnerabilities for state attorneys general to attack. Clever, indeed.

Also for those of you finding this on Google, we received a dead-air call from this number over the last few days. This is likely from the company’s auto-dialer, finding live phone numbers to later feed to its sales queue. Oh, hey! This is where my “more than one” phone call comes into play! I can sue them after all!

Great Atlantic Warranty now North American Warranty Solutions?

Great Atlantic Warranty, the car warranty scammers, has apparently put on a disguise to try to throw search engines off its track. According to this post GAW is now working under the name North American Warranty Solutions. The domain has been active for all of three months. Great Atlantic Warranty’s former website is now a hand-coded page, and (surprise, surprise) it says GAW is out of business!

Great Atlantic Warranty, as a selling agent, has stopped selling new vehicle service contracts. Great Atlantic Warranty has submitted all contract information to the respective warranty plan administrators.
Who do I call if I have a claim?
If you have purchased a contract, please refer to the cover letter you received with your contract, or the actual contract, for the appropriate customer service contact information. If you cannot locate this information, but you have your contract # or Owner ID #, please click on “I have a Contract Number” below.

> I have a contract number.

If there was no reason to be suspicious before, there is now. Can’t say I’m surprised, though.

The good news is that the net is quickly closing around this clown. The gig is up. As Einstein once said, “you can run, but you can’t hide!”

Or was it Thomas Jefferson? I never know.

New phishing scam targets Latinos

Got a hangup call this evening from the number 503-898-9988. No message was left, so its the same M.O. as the car warranty scams I’ve blogged about before.

A perusal of 800notes.com shows the calling party plays a Spanish recording telling the caller he’s won a prize and to press 1 for an operator. I’m not sure what happens next as no one’s posted anything, but it sure sounds fishy. Apparently speaking English to the calling party is enough to get you disconnected, from what people have said.

The calls are targeting the Triangle, Colorado, and the San Francisco areas, according to the posted reports. My Spanish is nonexistent, so I can’t bait these guys like I might’ve done for Great Atlantic Warranty.

If you’ve gotten a call like this, please send me a comment describing your call. And please post on 800notes.com, too!

Car warranty phishers get back to work

Thanksgiving is over now and the crooks at Automotive Warranty Solutions have wasted no time in dialing for dollars again. This morning’s call came from 208-844-6519, a number not yet listed on 800notes.com (it is now…heh). I was betting the number was a fake CallerID and I was right.

I’m thinking of calling Automotive Warranty Solutions’s CEO, Ralph Mancusco, at his home number (561) 865-2294 and giving him a piece of my mind. That wouldn’t be right, though.

During a related search, I found a nice writeup in this month’s AARP Bulletin discussing this sleazy company.