I have always heard of the scams in other parts of the country but just today my friend, Mike Jaquish, has confirmed that this incidious scam has now hit our local real estate market.
It would appear that we aren't just winning millions in the lottery anymore or a foreign diplomat needs our help and will pay us unthinkable money to help them.......no, now the scammers are after any amount of money they can get.
So, please take a few minutes to read through Mike's post on this latest scam to arm yourself with the knowledge to NOT be taken advantage of. If you are looking for rentals the best place to start is with a bonafide professional like Mike or myself - while Craigslist can and does provide valid listings you just can't be too careful these days!
The message below was forwarded to me by a very nice young lady who had called about renting an Active For Sale listing I have.
IF it was for rent, and it is NOT, market rental would be in the $1300-$1500/month range.
The Scammers put it on Craigslist at $800/month.
That is a clue.
"If it looks too good to be true, it usually is."
I like the lease terms: "As long as you wish."
Yep, once we steal your $700 deposit, you can have the place forever. If you can convince the rightful owner to move out.
The sad thing is, people fall for these scams, and they are typically people who are counting every penny and cannot afford the loss. People wire money out of the country to rent homes they have never been inside. From people they have never met. And the money is gone, never to be recovered.
The best thing to do is avoid, ignore, report, and move on. The young lady answered the ad out of curiosity. I hope she drops it.
I have heard stories of people baiting the scammers, and taunting and abusing them via email. And I have heard anecdotal tales of criminals following up and attacking respondents to these ads.
Caveat Emptor Maximus!
From the Criminal Minds:
Thanks for the email and it is my gladness hearing from you. I am the owner of the house you are making inquiry of... Actually i resided in the house with my family, such as my wife and my only daughter before and presently we had packed due to my transfer from my working place and now situated in the( West Africa) My real intention was to sale the house, so l listed the property with realtor agent but my wife advice me not to do that, and l have asked the agent to remove the sign board in front of the house, l got a call from him that he has move down to UK. So l ask him to send back the keys/paperworks of my house to me in my present location., I decided to put it on rent and also put it in craigslist for rent for a year leasing and presently my house is still available for rent.Including the utilities like hydro, washer and security, it is furnished but if u which to move in with your furnishes no problem.
Pls i want you to note that i am a kind and honest man and also i spent a lot on my property that i want to give you for rent, i will want you to take absolute maintenance of my house and want you to treat it as your own, money is not the most important thing but i want you to keep it tidy all the time so that i will be glad to see it neat when i
come for a check up.
SO IF YOU ARE REALLY INTERESTED I WILL WANT YOU TO FILL THE RENTAL APPLICATION FORM BELOW........
Also, Pls let me get this answer..
HOME PHONE (____)__________
KIDS_____ (YES/NO), HOW MANY ________
HOW LONG DO YOU INTEND STAYING?____________
CURRENT RENT PAYMENT:____________
WHEN DO YOU INTEND MOVING IN?______________
DO YOU HAVE A PET:_____________
NAME OF PET:_____________
IS THE RENT FEE AVAILABLE NOW?______________
REASON FOR MOVING OUT?______________
KIND OF PETS:_____________
DO YOU SMOKE?______________
DO YOU DRINK?______________
TAKE NOTE: YOU CAN ONLY DRIVE BY AND SEE MY HOUSE FROM THE OUTSIDE AND IF YOU ARE INTERESTED IN
RENTING GET THE APPLICATION FORM FILLED OUT AND SEND IT BACK TO ME SO THAT I CAN SHIP MY KEYS TO YOU FOR YOU BE ABLE TO GO AND LOOK AT THE INSIDE OR MOVE IN IMMEDIATELY. I WOULD HAVE REALLY LOVE TO SHIP THE KEYS TO SOMEONE IN STATE BUT I DON'T HAVE ANYBODY THERE RIGHT NOW AND I DON'T WANT TO MAKE USE OF ANY THIRD PARTY THAT IS WHY AM HANDLING MY PROPERTY MYSELF.
Looking forward to hear from you with all this details so that i can have it in my file in case of issuing the receipt to you and contacting you.Await your urgent reply so that we can discuss on how to get the document and the keys to you. Note that the keys and documents of my house is with me here in West Africa... Please we are giving you the house 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...
Bedrooms: 3 Bedrooms
Bathrooms: 2 Bathrooms
Square Footage:2,707 (Approx.)
Rent per month: $800
Deposit Req'd: $700
Application Fee: $0.00
ADDRESS: Cary, NC
Lease terms: As long as you wish
can be reach on my cell phone +2348024481061 or 01123480244810611
Awaiting your reply soon..