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July 11, 2017

Was Larceny in Their Hearts?

Filed under: Ken Edelstein — admin @ 9:42 am

Was Larceny in Their Hearts?
The Offer – comes in a bit low for a one page notarization. The package would come via FedEx as a check to the affiant would be given after notarization of the deed. Then scan and email an image of the deed and lastly ship the original. Quite routine; and I counter with a slight increase due to the distant location; adding my “up front” PayPal requirement. The offer came from a state well known for, how can I put it delicately – mischief about making payments.

They Accept – the reply agrees to PayPal with the understanding that the assignment does not go on my calendar until payment is received (more about the “received” soon). About an hour later I receive an email from PayPal about payment being made using an “eCheck”. PayPal also includes the following statement:

“It usually takes about 3-5 days for you to receive the money. We recommend that you wait until the money arrives before shipping items. We’ll email you when this eCheck payment has been deposited into your account.”

Looking deeper – the signature on the received email offer did not include a web address. However the email was from a private domain, sender@whatever.com and I went to take a look at http://whatever.com. I found a nice site complete with a BBB logo proclaiming an A+ Accreditation – as the BBB says “that builds trust”. So, I click on that nice BBB logo.

If it don’t Link, it do Stink – I click the BBB logo and nothing happens! It’s just an image. If you go to http://kenneth-a-edelstein.com and click my BBB logo it takes you to my BBB listing. Well, knowing the address of the site “whatever.com” I go to the local (in their state) BBB and try to find a listing for whatever.com. Nada. It appeared they claimed a rating that does not exist.

My Polite Inquiry – I send an email with images of the BBB logo on the “whatever.com” site and an image of that URL (and the company name) not being found on the local BBB site and ask for “clarification”. As I write this I am really happy the inquiry was Polite! I suspected “fraud” but it’s best to remain civil and give the other side a chance to explain.

My Honest Client – the reply clarifies that the site is new, a branch of their existing (with a BBB link provided) initial site. The link does show an A+ and the same named person as Principal and Owner of both sites. It’s a go! I receive borrower contact info and make the call.

New Trouble – the affiant wishes to change the location from upper Manhattan to a distant address in the next county; somewhere in northern Queens County. I call, and inform that my fee will have to double; and offer an alternative. I give them the suggestion that they look by zip code on http://123notary.com for someone much closer. They agree, I issue a PayPal refund, which should stop the eCheck that was “in progress”.

The Take Away – It “appeared” at first that the client was a bit “shady”. However, when you know only one side, it’s really best to give the other side a chance to explain. I’m glad I did not send a scathing condemnation – I would have appeared quite the fool. Even though the job did not work out this time, I probably have landed a new client. Doing my “reasonable best” for their interests; with due consideration for mine, works for me. Lastly, now having experience with eCheck I clearly state that payment is on my site via PayPal is with a credit card.

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