Scams on Craig's List

eBay and Classified Ad Scams:
Scammers Posing as Potential Tenants or Renters
Craig's List, Room for Rent

Scams and scammers using these names: Bibiana Fernandez, Debbie Johnson, Janet Scott, Ray Bella, etc.
"take the check to your bank immediatly and withdraw the require fee for my fligth ticket which is $1950"

Are you looking to rent or lease a room or flat (apt) Did "Bibiana Fernandez" claiming to be American, but temporarily out of the country, contact you? Note that this person says:

"take the check to your bank immediatly and withdraw the require fee for my fligth ticket which is $1950". 

That's a clue to a scam right there!

Here are the clues that this is a scam:

  1. The renter 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 renter is willing to rent without even seeing the property.
  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.
  7. Scammers also often babble on about irrelevant issues(their mother, their family, their life history, their hobbies, their religous fervor, a sob story about being an orphan or having survived abuse or a terrible disease) none of which have any significant bearing in the business transaction. Why they do this, we can't say.  Perhaps in their sick little Third World minds, this engenders more trust.  It is a clue, though since westerners (rational, educated ones) rarely do this.
  8. Their name does not match their culture or native country - for example, how many Spanish women do you know, named "Sandra"; or Africans named "Fred", etc. It's another attempt to sound familiar, to "con".

Actual emails that illustrate this type of CraigsList scam:

Notice the many errors common to scammers, starting with pathetically bad spelling, grammar and syntax. Not only are scammers too dumb and lazy to work an honest job, they also are too dumb and lazy to use a spell checker. They almost always have a sob story, notice the tales of woe, being born struggling orphans, fearing god, blah, blah, blah... Mother Teresa would have a hard time keeping up with the acts of selfish devotion to helping others that these "saints" claim to have done.

Another claims to be from the U.S., but spells words like, program in the foreign English way (programme)

Notice how the facts don't add up: one scammer claims to being born and raised in Arizona, but he speaks pigeon English.  He also claims a BS in Computer Science, but refers to "soft wares", rather than "software" (which is both singular and plural, and without a s space).  He also claims to be in Spain at the moment, but he is using a Yahoo email address from the UK.  Heard enough yet?

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


Below are a series of emails that the would be victim "Jennifer" received from a number of scammers, in response to her advertisement on Craig's List, offering a room to rent.

Email 1 - from the scammer:

from  debbie johnson <debbiejohnson16@live.com>    Dec 4 
reply-to  debbiejohnson116@yahoo.com  
date  Dec 4, 2008 8:55 PM  
subject  Room/Shared  
mailed-by  live.com  

Hello,

 I read your ad on craigslist.com,and this is why i am getting back to you, i am interested in knowing the availability of the place and i will also want to know more about the neighboourhood ,the place and the utilities included...?

My name is  Debbie Johnson,I am a Nurse with humanitarian assistance,I will be 28 by the 25th of next month,i love to live with clean people,caring,responsible,neat type. I'm 5"7' straight,i am presently  in south Dakota(U.s) now ,I will love  to move  in as soon as possible, but it all depends on the availability of the room,I speaks French and English, so you have the chance to learn french ,i am an interesting person to live with,I'll let You know more about me if i am to rent the particular room that you have to offer

I will be anxiously waiting for your  email and i want you to know that i really need the room now and i am the serious type paying rent as long as i am okay with the place and people that i'll be living with.

Kind Regards,

Debbie.

And

from  Debbie Johnson <debbiejohnson116@yahoo.com>    hide details  Dec 5 

 reply-to  debbiejohnson116@yahoo.com  

 to  JENNIFER SMITH <victimsemailaddress@yahoo.com>  

 date  Dec 5, 2008 3:46 AM  

 subject  Room Availability...  

Hi ,

Thanks so much for replying my email,I really do appreciate it,. I would have loved us to see before making any plan  but i really have alot of things to do right now,But will be okay if you can tell me more about the place and you,as my uncle is presently sick and i have to go see him,but really want to hold a place down...

More about me again:

I am a nurse..I am the neat type,I like honest,responsible,trustworthy and hardworking people while I dislike lazy,messy,uncaring people and I love pets so much,am quiet and easy going person to live with. I'm 5"7' straight.  i like tourising and,i don't keep late nights neither will i have overnight guest around, but i am okay if you do,I was born and bread in france as there was where i had my university education and stays with my uncle there!! I lived all my life way in paris before coming down to SD,I was in my final year when  my mum died,i  lost my dad before i was born,I grew up with  my uncle after my mum died...I ve also wanted to be in the medical way since i was born,I served in the Paris Red Cross for 8 months,we have  involved in projects that includes orphans,orphanages,heart related diseases in children betweeen the ages of 4-10yrs .

Ambition and Work :

I was looking to move over to your state because i understand that i'll be doing good overthere as i ve been told by my uncle's friend who ones live overthere..And i will be working with any hospital around as i am also making enquires about that now... Am sure You 'll really like the person that i am ,because i will also do the dishing if you like,I work when i am to and relax when i am to,I also like sharing my thoughts also....paying rent on time will not be a problem as i will also be making the rent fee before the month ends......

Right now,I ve the support of my uncle about my well being,so you shouldn't be bothered about if i am competent of paying the rent I must confess am comfortable with the price and I will  want to secure the place down before my arrival so i will want you to tell me all about the place,as i can't see it before my arrival but the pictures...I also will want you to know that i have my car that i will be coming over with,and little of my furnitures,please let me know if there will be room for them..

With all that i ve said above,I have told you more about me...Let me also know how i can go about securing the place down before my arrival as i will also be busy from next week preparing to come over  and let me know if you can take off the ad off the site as i am going to secure the place with a deposit.

Feel free to ask me any question and as i ve said,i am looking to move in by t he first week in next month,but want to secured it now

Thanks..

Here is a reference of my past landlord when i was in France....antrasana@yahoo.com

Debbie.

Email 2 - from another scammer:

from  Ray Bella <anndrazninn@gmail.com>    hide details  Dec 5 

 reply-to  raybella10@yahoo.co.uk  

 date  Dec 5, 2008 11:50 AM  

 subject  STILL AVAILABLE TO RENT???  

Good Day                      

My name is Ray Bella, I came across your Advert on craigslist.org and am extremely interested about the place for rent cos i see you are a very well kind hearted and easygoing person to get the place from....Please if you don't mind I will like to have answers to the following questions below:

i)I will like to have the rent fee per month plus the utilities

ii) I will like to have the description of the Place, size, and the equipments in there

iii) Also I will like to know if there is any garage or parking space cos I will have my own car come over

iv) I will also be coming with some of my furniture,that is if it is allowed,like bed,book shelf and shoe's rank etc

v) I will also l ike to know if I can make an advance payment ahead my arrival that will be as a kind of commitment that I am truly coming over and for you to hold the room down for me

vi) If the #5 questions is YES, I will like to know the total cost for the initial move as in first month rent and if you accept deposit

vii) I will like to know the major intersection nearest to your neighborhood. Like shopping mall, bus line e.t.c

LASTLY:I will like to know more about you and also I will like to have your pics as for me to know how you look like.

Here is all I can say about my self for now

I am 32 years old and I work full time, Monday through Friday and have weekends off except for once a month.I'm from spain, my Dad is a Spanish Man while my Mom is an American,I was born and raised in Tucson Arizona, but presently i'm in Barcelonia, Spain on a business trip for more than 4 months

I am a professional, A Computer Consultant and I deal in various kinds of computer applications and soft wares. I graduated in the Arizona State University (ASU) 4 years ago and I have my B.sc in Computer Science... I am not really a sports person, BUT I do love Hockey Games, I am a very out going person and fun to be with. I do play the Organ and piano, and i have both piano and Organ there at my house. I am not a drinker and I don't smoke and I don't do drugs. I would like to go out with you on weekends and weeknights when I am free. I like going to movies, concerts, plays, I like camping, hiking, bike ridding, swimming, and I love to travel

I am a very dedicated individual who is totally committed to human development, friendly, very trustworthy and value relationship. I am a laid back person, I love traveling, sporting and Enjoy meeting people around the world. I am an easy going person and look forward to meet kind hearted, loving and caring person that is very responsible and understanding, someone I can really get along with. I will take my time to get you one of my pics in my next mail for you to know how I look like, I am sure you will like me

 I will be moving to back to the States fully to live for the rest of my life and start Another space of my own business as a Clothing Consultant ( I have my resume). I will be staying in your Place as long as the lease is drawn

I should be arriving to the State before 15 - 20th

I need answers to my 8 questions above as soon as possible so as to arrange for you to get the money prior for my arrival to retain and consider the room is mine.. I will be making this advance payment ahead my arrival so that you can be rest assured that this is real since I am not in the state presently. If you think I will be a good applicant to you and you are interested in renting the place to me

NOTE: Kindly address all emails to me directly to my private email box at raybella10@yahoo.co.uk Thanks and have a good time.

Best Regards,

Ray Bella

Email 3 - from another scammer:

 

from  Janet Scott <janetscott002@yahoo.com>    hide details  Dec 5 

 reply-to  janetscott002@yahoo.com     

 date  Dec 5, 2008 8:11 AM  

 subject  I NEED AN APT/CONDO/ROOM!!!  

Hello,

     my name is Janet scott,a young humanitarian officer and student from US currently based and working here in Asia. I saw your advert online that you have a room/house/apt for rent, pls I would like to know if the space is still available......i want to relocate to the state for a year for my  Vacation and to carry out some Research programme..i am 26yrs of age and i want to know if the room you advertised is still available.....also I want you to let me know your rent and your mode of payment.....

I will be looking forward to hear from you ASAP....

please get back to me

Best Regards

Janet

Email 4 - from the scammer:

 

from  Bibiana Fernandez <b.fernandez17@hotmail.com>    hide details  Dec 18 (1 day ago) 

 to  victimsemailaddress@yahoo.com  

 date  Dec 18, 2008 1:17 PM  

 subject  PLEASE ACT FAST ON THIS TODAY  

Hello

I am so glad that the payment has been delivered to you by now because i just got the package tracked and finds out that it has been delivered and was being dropped at the Delivery Location at your front door  .

So now,what i will want you to do immediately,and i mean today is for you to get the sum of $1950 send to the below information whose name and address will be given to you below and then keep the rest to yourself until i request for it okay .....

And you just have to try your possible best you could do in order to get the money send today so that i wont loose the contract am coming to do over at the state , please take the check to your bank immediatly and withdraw the require fee for my fligth ticket which is $1950 because that $1,950 is the rest of the fee that is left for my Flight Ticket fee to be completed the check was delivered to you it is for the amount of $3,425.26. and i don't want to loose my  fligth tommorrow that's why i will want you to act fast on getting the money send to my travel agent via western union money trasfer today and i know that western union will request for the sending fee use it out of the money today and when i arrive to state i and you will be able to seat down and talk in person just try all your possible best to get the money send today in order for me not to loose my fligth and my contract am coming to do in state  and when my boss gave me a call today he asked of my delay to the state and i explain the situation of things to him he said if i dont arrive at the state by this friday there is no other remedy for me than to loose my contract at the state , so to avoid this you have to try your possible best in order to get the money send today ,i will be greatful if you could do that .

 And i will also want you to know that as soon as i arrive at the state,i will be so glad if you can come pick me up at the Airport but if you think that you wouldn't be available for that,it is okay by me i am going to find my way okay.

And i will also want you to remember that the money will be sent to the below name and address Via Western Union Money Transfer Immdiately you received this message okay.

Once again here is the name and address inwhich the money will be sent to Via Western Union  Money  Transfer Okay........

His name and address is as follows okay..............

 Here is all what they need at any western union location when you want to send the money to my travel agent for the receiver's information becuase western union did not required street address if you want to send money

Name : Clifford  Harriman

City : MILO

State: ME 

Zipcode :04463

COUNTRY : Usa

And as soon as you are through with the sending of the required money,kindly get back to me with  the necessary Western Union Informations such as the following.........

MTCN..............

SENDERS NAME............

RECEIVERS NAME........

AMOUNT SENT........

So all of the above information will be awaited from you later today as soon as you must have been through with the transfer of the $1950 to the above name and address okay.

I await the neccessary Western Union information in your next mail later today

   Best  Wishes

     Bibiana

and then:

from  Bibiana Fernandez <b.fernandez17@hotmail.com>    hide details  12:27 pm (11 hours ago) 

 to  victimsemailaddress@yahoo.com  

 date  Dec 19, 2008 12:27 PM  

 subject  make sure you get the $999 send online today and you will send the rest tommorrow  

Hi, Thanx for all your elfort over me in order for me to arrive to state by this weekend and not to loose my contract am coming to do in state.

 Well i just got the package tracked rigth now and it was been delivered at your front door so all i will want you to do now is to immediatly call the western union and transfer the $999 so by tommorrow you send the rest so i can be able to arrive to state by tommorrow just make sure you get the $999 send to my travel agent today and by tommorrow you will send the money

Once again here is the name and address inwhich the money will be sent to Via Western Union  Money  Transfer Okay........

His name and address is as follows okay..............

 Here is all what they need at any western union location when you want to send the money to my travel agent for the receiver's information becuase western union did not required street address if you want to send money

Name : Clifford  Harriman

City : MILO

State: ME 

Zipcode :04463

COUNTRY : Usa

And as soon as you are through with the sending of the required money,kindly get back to me with  the necessary Western Union Informations such as the following.........

MTCN..............

SENDERS NAME............

RECEIVERS NAME........

AMOUNT SENT........

So all of the above information will be awaited from you later today as soon as you must have been through with the transfer of the $999  to the above name and address okay.

I await the neccessary Western Union information in your next mail later today

   Best  Wishes

     Bibiana

 


 

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