Email Scam Surfaces Using Slain Agent’s Name
July 28, 2017
Real estate professionals in New York and Arizona say they have recently received an email from a real estate professional in Jacksonville, Fla., who was offering them a referral. The problem is that when they Googled the agent’s name, they discovered she had died a month ago.
The email sender claims to be late real estate professional Mary Anne Rolnick, 76, who was murdered inside her home in June. Rolnick’s son, Scott Rolnick, has been charged in connection with her murder.
Nancilee Holland, a real estate professional in Westchester County, N.Y., says she received one of the suspicious emails recently.
“It said, ‘My name is Mary Anne Rolnick. I am a real estate agent from ERA American real estate. I have a client who is interested in buying a property in your area of expert (sic),’” Holland says. Holland says the message made her suspicious because of its typos and several pieces of key information were left out of the message. She did a quick Google search of Rolnick’s name to discover she had been murdered.
“It just rubbed me the wrong way, because my very first thinking was to send a response saying, ‘Sure, send them my way. I’d be glad to assist them,’” Holland says. “But then I took a second look and kind of looked at this and thought, ‘No, something’s not right here.’”
At least one other real estate professional in Phoenix has come forward, saying she received a similar message from a sender claiming to be Rolnick.
The Better Business Bureau in Jacksonville urged the email recipients not to respond to the messages.
Source: “Emails From Sender Claiming to Be Slain REALTOR® Concern Peers,” News4JAX (July 17, 2017)
Updated: September 18, 2019