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from Belgium?
Reporting on the Latest Frauds, Scams, Fake Lotteries, Spams and Hoaxes

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AV product:

eBay and Classified Ad Scams:
Scammers Posing as Potential Tenants / Renters
...from Belgium?


"i will tell him to send the check ($4500) to you so that you can cash it and deduct the money for the room from it and the remaining you will have to send it to my travelling agent"

Are you looking to rent a house or apartment? Did someone claiming to be from bbb contact you? Note that he says:

"i will tell him to send the check ($4500) to you so that you can cash it and deduct the money for the room from it and the remaining you will have to send it to my travelling agent". 

That's a clue to a scam right there!

Here are the clues that this is a scam:

  1. The potential tenant claims that he or she is not currently in your country.
  2. They want to pay by check or money order
  3. They want to include extra money in the check
  4. The potential tenant wants you to send the extra money from the check by Western Union to someone else.  Western Union wires and Moneygrams are not only untraceable, they're irretrievable.  Once the recipient picks them up (which can be done at ANY Western Union office in the world), the money is gone, gone, gone!
  5. The potential tenant is willing to buy the item sight unseen.
  6. Often, the writing is poor, also.  Often, is it not pathetically bad, it's just plain strange. It looks like it was written by someone who is not a native English-speaker, and writes very rarely in English. This is very typical of scammers, who largely are in Nigeria and have little formal education and probably none in English.

An actual email that illustrate this type of CraigsList scam:

Any highlighted passages below are to draw your attention to typical scam clues:

Email from the victim to CFR:

Was this some kind of scam?

I was advertising a room for rent when I get this email response. The grammar was so bad it took me a few readings to be able to understand what this person was asking, then I began to wonder if this wasn't some kind of scam. I broke down the rest of the message so easier interpretation, and removed the person's name just in case it was legitimate.

Needless to say my response was

"Thank you, no."

Email 2 - from the scammer to the victim:


     how are you doing over there?....thanks for getting back to me........i am _ 28yrs from US..Florida.....but in belgium on a modelling trip cos am a model....i have been there since but i need to get back home that is why am looking for a room so that i can be there when i get a good looking somebody..quiet...easygoing... gentle ...simple......handworking.....i love swiming...going to beach...and at the sametime am  single...

my payment for this room will be through a reputable bank certified check  from a trust worthy client of mine...

and i want you to do me this favour...

he is not from US  i mean my client ......

and he is travelling soon...

and i want to have my money from him before he travel....

and i cant not have this money since am not in the state...

but i will tell him to send the check ($4500) to you so that you can cash it and deduct the money for the room from it and the remaining you will have  to send it to my travelling agent so that he can arrange my coming back ok...

and i want you to deduct 100 dollars from this money after you have cashed the payment from your bank and that is for the runing up and down of cashing the payment..

as for how you are going to have the payment.....

you have to give me this information so that i can have it forwarded to the client so that he can have the payment sent to you by ups courier and i will give you the tracking number so that you can be able to monitor the status of the payment....this is what you will give me below.....

1....the name that will be on the payment 2....the street address 4....state 5....zipcode 6....and a cell phone number

That is all what you need to give to me and you wil get the payment there asap....

thanks for your cooperation and waiting to read from you....

God bless you...


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Names used by scammers in the examples on this page and others often belong to real people and businesses who often have no knowledge of nor connection to the scammer's use of their name and information.  Sample scam emails and other documents are copies of the scam to help potential victims recognize and avoid it.  You should presume that any names used and presented here in a scam are either fictitious or used without their legitimate owner's permission.
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