My wife and are looking for a new place in San Diego and of course we head to Craigslist to see what’s available. Today we found an ad for a place that looks and sounds perfect – maybe too perfect. It was about 10-20% under the average cost for the area and had great photos. It seemed like it just maybe was too good to be true, but we emailed for more info anyway.
The response we received was obviously a scam to me. But, I am sure this is going to catch many people off-guard because it was done decently well. Everything seemed relatively fine up until we received the following email. I’ve added emphasis to portions of these emails where I immediately throw up red flags and scream “SCAMMER!” (besides the obviously broken English, which is always a big red flag).
Update: Oh, and we also signed up for a credit check service to keep our identity protected, and I highly recommend you do too.….
Here’s what we got…
Thanks for the email. Am the owner the house and I am a construction engineer, also i want you to know that it was due my transfer that made me and my family to leave the house. I want to give it out for rent and I and my Wife is for a responsible,dedicated,committed and trustworthy person that can take very good care of the as we are not after the money for the rent but we want it to be clean at the time it is rented out and the person that will rent it to take it as if it were its own. So for now,we have moved to West Africa into our new house and also with the keys and documents of the apartment is with us, we try to look for an agent that we can give this documents and keys before we left but we were unable to to get one. That is why we took along with us the documents and keys of the apartment.So I hope you will promise us that you will surely take good care of take very good care of the apartment once you rent it. So get back to me on how you could take care of our house or perhaps experience you have in renting an apartment. And the apartment is going to be available for rent for the next 2 years. and the apartment has the following features embedded inside. A well presented apartment with bedroom, ample embedded closets and one complete bathrooms. An area of study, with WI-FI Internet service,telephone service, a hall-dining room and a kitchen totally equipped with electrical oven, microwave, washing machine, refrigerator, washing machine and dryer. The hall-dining room is totally outer and has ample large windows with to the terrace where you can enjoy the wonderful views of the apartment taking advantage of the light in the apartment. Also it has a system of refrigeration and heating in all the apartment being able to enjoy the temperature you wish at any moment. It has a private parking in the same property. Await your swift response as soon as possible.. And if you are really sure that you want the apartment for rent then fill out the rent application form that is attached to this email and get back to me with the filled rent form via email as soon as possible.Then we can arrange on how the keys and documents of the apartment will be sent over to you DHL via express courier service.
RENT APPLICATION FORM
Date of Birth:
Length of Employment:
Employer Address & Contact Information
1) Your Full Name
2) Phone Number
3) How old are you?
4) Are you married?
5) How many people will be living in the house?
6) Do you have a pet?
7) Do you have a car?
9) How Much will you Deposit? up one month rent
I hereby represent that all of the above information is true, accurate and complete, and hereby of the authorize verification over items, including but not limited to the obtaining of a credit report/and or recovery of monetary claims, and agree to furnish additional credit references on request.. i want you to know that i can send you the keys until i have my advance for my apartment, when i have the month paid i will send the keys to you to go and see the apartment if you like good , then if you don’t like it i send back your money and you send me back my Keys. I have attach the pictures of my house.
DATE……. APPLICANT SIGNATURE/NAME……….
I hope to read from you as soon as possible.
And this same day, we received a response back from another scammer with a slightly different email:
I am Mrs Maria Sarah, the owner of the house you are interested in. Actually I resided in the house with my family, presently we had packed due to my transfer from my working place and now situated in Nigeria, and presently my house is still available for rent for $900 (per Month) including the utilities like hydro, washer, electricity, Internet Ready and security, it is unfurnised. Moreso Now,I have been Transfered to West Africa , Nigeria and i will like you to get in touch with me for more discussion as with the keys and the document to the house. Pls i want you to note that, i am a kind and honest man and also i spent alot on my property that i want to give you for rent, so i will solicit for your absolute maintenance of this house and want you to treat it as your own is that taken, it is not the money the main problem but want you to keep it tidy all the time.
N.B:Note that i am in West Africa and will not be able to show you the house, below is the address of the House you tcan go and check the exterior part of the house for and the mode of payment will be through WESTERN UNION only.
BELOW IS THE ADDRESS TO THE APARTMENT
4260 Palm Ave
San Diego, CA 92154
FEEL FREE TO CALL ANY TIME AT MY CELL +2348029475189 Or 0112348029475189
So if you are interested in the House you get back to me by filling the Rent Application Form below okay……
RENT APPLICATION FORM
1)Your Full Name :
2)Your Full Address & Phone Number:
3)How old are you?
4)Are you married?
5)How many people will be living in the house?
6)Do you have a pet?
7)Do you have a car?
9)How many months contract?
Looking forward to hear from you with all this details so that i can have it in my file incase of issuing the receipt for you and contacting you.
Await your urgent reply so that we can discuss on how to get the document and the key to you, please we are giving you all this base on trust and again i will want you to stick to your words, you know that, we do not see yet and only putting everything into Gods hand, so please do not let us down in this our property and God bless you more as you do this.
Thanks and God Bless You
Renters looking on Craigslist, beware. And sign up for a identity protection service like we did (click this link) ASAP.