Wake Forest NC - Beware of the Craigslist Rental Scams

Reblogger Leesa Finley
Real Estate Broker/Owner with RED Properties NC #129285

Craigslist Scam AlertI 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!

Original content by Mike Jaquish NC Broker License #235526

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..
FIRST NAME:_________________
MIDDLE NAME:________________
LAST NAME:__________________
PROFESSION:________________POSITION:__________
HOME PHONE (____)__________
(CELL)PHONE (____)__________
(WORK)PHONE (____)__________
KIDS_____ (YES/NO), HOW MANY ________
PRESENT ADDRESS:_____________________
CITY:_______________
STATE:______________
ZIPCODE:____________
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...
                                    
HOUSE  INFORMATION
Bedrooms: 3 Bedrooms
Bathrooms: 2 Bathrooms
Square Footage:2,707 (Approx.)
Rent per month: $800
Deposit Req'd: $700
Application Fee: $0.00
Parking: Reserved.....
Available:  Now
ADDRESS: Cary, NC
Smoking: Allowed
Lease terms: As long as you wish
 can be reach on my cell phone   +2348024481061 or 01123480244810611
Awaiting your reply soon..
Thank you

.

___________________________________________________________________________________________

Mike Jaquish, REALTOR® 

919-880-2769  www.MikeJaquish.com 

Try my "No Hassle Home Search"  No registration required!

Broker Associate, KELLER WILLIAMS® Realty, Cary, NC

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Rainer
72,353
Jody Lautenbach
Century 21 Premier Associates - Pella, IA

Wow -thanks for the warning - I 've never heard that happening before. We always do everything in person.

Feb 09, 2010 12:49 AM #1
Rainer
311,830
Michael Delaware
North Sky Realty LLC - Battle Creek, MI
REALTOR®, CRS, GRI

Yes, we had the same scam happening with REO listings here in Battle Creek a few months ago.  We kept getting floor calls at the office wanting to rent these two REO's.  The story was the supposed 'owner' was living in London now, and needed to rent their house, thus you had to send the money to London, etc.  We reported it to the local FBI office.

Feb 09, 2010 12:51 AM #2
Rainmaker
786,304
Mike Jaquish
Realty Arts - Cary, NC
919-880-2769 Cary, NC, Real Estate

Leesa,

Thanks for the AR Reblog!  I just received my third call from someone who saw the ad.

Feb 09, 2010 12:53 AM #3
Rainmaker
1,888,022
Tom Braatz Waukesha County Real Estate 262-377-1459
Coldwell Banker - Oconomowoc, WI
Waukesha County Realtor Real Estate agent. SOLD!

Leesa

I had this guy contact myself, and one of my sellers.

Feb 09, 2010 12:56 AM #4
Rainmaker
593,227
Christopher Watters
Watters International Realty - Austin, TX
Austin Realtor (512-829-8000)

I think everytime I make a post on Craigslist I get some scammer emailing me. When I first tried craigslist several years ago I had some scammer email me. I actually thought it was legit. Boy did I learn my lesson. Forunately I didn't give out my information, but I waited for weeks expecting to receive a check for his rental payment of a house he wanted.

Feb 09, 2010 01:23 AM #5
Ambassador
517,209
Stanton Homes
Stanton Homes - New Home Builder - Raleigh, NC
Design/Build Custom Home Builder in North Carolina

I had heard of these, not too surprised that they're hitting this area too.  Buyer beware - there's no such thing as a free lunch (particularly a free lunch that requires a funds transfer). 

Feb 09, 2010 03:22 AM #6
Ambassador
1,151,060
Craig Rutman
Helping people in transition - Cary, NC
Raleigh, Cary, Apex area Realtor

Such a shame that some people would stoop so low as to do this.

Good job re-blogging this to get the word out Leesa.

Feb 09, 2010 07:22 AM #7
Rainmaker
2,693,588
Laura Cerrano
Feng Shui Manhattan Long Island - Locust Valley, NY
Certified Feng Shui Expert, Speaker & Researcher

Leesa, I don't know how people fall for this.   I know the elderly can fall prey but I can't imagine how someone would give out all this information.  It boggles the mind.

Feb 09, 2010 11:13 AM #8
Rainmaker
1,331,888
Michelle Gibson
Hansen Real Estate Group Inc. - Wellington, FL
REALTOR

Leesa - I was recently in the middle of one of these.  People where calling me because when they googled the neighborhood I came up.  This person obviously didn't own the property and told these prospective tenants to mail a cashiers check because they were doing missionary work out of the country and they will then mail the keys. 

Yep, if it looks to good to be true it usually is.

Feb 09, 2010 01:07 PM #9
Rainmaker
575,553
Terry & Bonnie Westbrook
Westbrook Realty Broker-Owner - Grand Rapids, MI
Westbrook Realty - Grand Rapids Forest Hills MI Re

We have had a few try this in our area . You're right if it sounds too good to be true it most likely is.

Feb 09, 2010 02:16 PM #10
Ambassador
3,004,655
Debe Maxwell, CRS
www.iCharlotteHomes.com | The Maxwell House Group | RE/MAX Executive | (704) 491-3310 - Charlotte, NC
Charlotte Homes for Sale - Charlotte Neighborhoods

Hi Leesa!  I just report them to Craigslist and the State Attorney General's office. One time the SAG referred me to the FBI but, since then, they have taken my complaints without further ado.  If you have listings, it's going to happen.  They use your photos, your information, etc.  One lady that I showed a property today said that she saw it listed for rent on Craigslist this morning before her showings to view the home for purchase--I explained that the property is not for rent (just for sale).  She is sending me the information and she is going to report the guy as well.  I think the vast majority of them are from Nigeria that I've dealt with on these scams.

Just as Mike said, If it looks too good to be true, it probably is!

Feb 10, 2010 05:13 PM #11
Rainmaker
635,243
Leesa Finley
RED Properties - Wake Forest, NC
RED Properties - Raleigh NC Real Estate

Jody - It actually happens quite a bit.  This is the first I have heard of it in Wake COunty though - hence, getting this out there for my readers.

Michael - the ol Money to London trick huh?

Mike - absolutely!  It needs to be spread to consumers who may not be aware so thanks for the original.

Tom - so not surprised!

Feb 11, 2010 10:08 AM #12
Rainmaker
635,243
Leesa Finley
RED Properties - Wake Forest, NC
RED Properties - Raleigh NC Real Estate

Christopher - Yes, same here - tons of scam email when i advertise on Craigslist - very frustrating.

Penny - Well, it was nice to think we were immune from some things, wasn't it?

Craig - yep - it is a shame!  People will do anything.

Carole - it is surprised how often it happens.  But, when you have potential tenants that maybe don't have great credit, etc, they'll try anything.  Sucks that they just get scammed.

Michelle - yes, i forgot about the missionary one - funny they are always "out of the country", isn't it?

Terry - wouldn't you just like to round all these guys up and ship them off to an island with no outside contact?

Debe - I am well aware of this happening around the country and how they are doing it.  It was the first that I had heard of it literally "here" and Mike did a great post!

Feb 11, 2010 10:12 AM #13
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Leesa Finley

RED Properties - Raleigh NC Real Estate
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