This story may have been dropped from your copy of December’s Commonwealth Online e-newsletter, which was sent out today. Ergo, we post it here for your reading pleasure:

The U.S. Treasury Department has put out a notice for brokers and REALTORS®: Watch out for scam buyers using fake government bonds to buy homes.

If a buyer tries to use a ‘personal promissory note’ or ‘private offset bond’ to buy a home,” writes the Treasury’s Office of Inspector General, “the matter might be an attempt at fraud.”

The basis of those bonds actually has some amusement value. According to the scammers, in 1933, the federal government somehow went bankrupt and converted the bodies of its citizens into capital value by trading the birth certificates of U.S. citizens on the open market. Hence, “personal promissory note.”

We expect our members to know a fishy situation when they see it, but this one’s so far out in left field we thought you ought to know about it.