Consumer Fraud Reporting
For Rent Scam
Reporting on the Latest Frauds, Scams, Fake Lotteries, Spams and Hoaxes

Home Email this page GovernmentAgencies Recognize a scam Report a Scam If you are scammed Your wallet is stolen? Prevent scams Free Publications Recommended Feedback to CFR Glossary Search Credit Card Rights Bookmark and Share
 

Up

Recommended:
books


Recommended
AV product:

Classified Ad Scams
http://www.craigslist.org/  and  http://london.craigslist.org/

Newspaper classified ads sections, including their online versions, and new websites like Craig's list and other online classified advertising websites have made it much easier to sell and buy articles from exercise equipment, jewelry, to automobiles and even houses. But sometimes the seller has nothing to sell (except a fraud) or the buyer is more interested in passing a bad check than buying your articles!

What can you do to defend yourself against the scammers on Craigslist? The best approach is to be cautious, and learn how they operate.

Below are two email response from "David Rapheal"  who replied to a rental ad on Craiglist. His email sounded very fishy to the seller (with the house to rent). He noticed another name was used in the email, "Shawn Nickolas".

What are the clues that this is a scam?

  1. First, you will notice the syntax and grammar.  Not only is it 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.
  2. Next, he wants to write a check in excess of the required amount. Why? That makes no sense at all. If he hasn't got a bank account, he could always pay in cash or get a money order.
  3. Then, he wants the "excess" from the check sent BACK to him via Western Union! Alarm bells should be going off by now.  Western Union 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!
  4. And then there are the little clues; signs like the strange name change.  First he's "David Rapheal", then he's suddenly Shawn Nickolas, supposedly in England, yet the first name has an American spelling and the last name is spelled more like an Eastern European or Germanic origin.
  5. Look at the huge number of misspellings, poor punctuation and made-up words ("underlisted"?).  Again, this is typical of the scammer filth who live and operate in Nigeria.

Here are 3 actual emails that illustrate this type of CraigsList scam:


Email 1 - from the scammer ("David") who responded to the ad:

--- David Rapheal wrote:

Hello

I came accross the posted rent advert.i ll like to know if its still available.I am in london as at now where i just finished my degree programme and relocating.kindly email me again with the below details so we can proceed and have some things done concerning the Rent.

Kindly email me with the following below....

1. RENT FEE\MO ?

2. MOVE-IN DEPOSIT ?

3. ADDRESS OF THE PLACE FOR RENT ?

4) WILL YOU TAKE A CASHIERS CHEQUE FOR MOVE-IN DEPOSIT?

5. HOW LONG RENT LEASE DO YOU REQUIRE?

6) DO YOU HAVE PICTURES ?

7) HOW FAR IS THE STORES , BUS-STOP & TRAIN STATION FROM THE PLACE?

I will be expecting to read answers to the above

questions asap.

Cheers


Email 2 - from the landlord (who is legitimate) to the scammer ("David") who responded to the ad:

David,

1. RENT FEE\MO ?

$650/mo. utility included.

2. MOVE-IN DEPOSIT ?

$350.+ reference & background ck.

3. ADDRESS OF THE PLACE FOR RENT ?

will provide later for safety reason.

4) WILL YOU TAKE A CASHIERS CHEQUE FOR MOVE-IN DEPOSIT?

Yes.

5. HOW LONG RENT LEASE DO YOU REQUIRE?

Min, one year.

6) DO YOU HAVE PICTURES ?

see attachment

7) HOW FAR IS THE STORES , BUS-STOP & TRAIN STATION FROM THE PLACE

1/2 mile.

Where would you be working?

When are you planning to be here?

Tim


Email 3 - From the scammer to the landlord (the intended victim)

Thanks for the quick response. I will be gladly like to inform you that my dad aftermuch agreed to pay the requested amount of { $1000 PAYMENT FOR THE FIRST MONTH RENT AND ITS DEPOSIT STARTING FROM MY MOVING IN DATE WHICH WILL BE ON THE 20th OF july and my staying will be for a year,which will also be paid on the first of every month.Also it might be of your interest to know that a check will be issued to you in an excess amount, in which the excess fund of 'after you might have deduct your original amount will be sent to me via western union transfer. The excess amount is meant for my travelling allowance,feeding and other expenses.

kindly get back to me with the underlisted information so that the payment can be issued out asap.

NAME ON CASHIERS CHECK

FULL CONTACT ADDRESS

HOME PHONE NUMBER

MOBILE PHONE NUMBER

Also i will be moving into the apartment on 20th OF july and will be very honoured if you could furnish me with the req uired details so that we can proceed on payment.I am coming from the uk , England . Am 24yrs and i studied fine and creative art from the LONDON METROPOLITAN UNIVERSITY which i have graduated,i do not drink nor smoke.i look forward to meeting you. All necessary paper works will be treated when i arrive and set to move in. here is my present address below and my details..

1.Shawn Nickolas

2. 95 Westbourne Park,
    Villas, London W2 5ED
    United kingdom

 


Copyright CFR 2005, 2006, 2007, 2008, 2009  - Definition of scam, fraud, etc.Legal disclaimer / corrections / complaints  -  Privacy Policy
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.
Email us at: