Do You Think This Is A Scam?



Do You Think This Is A Scam?


I know this is far afield from standard “Blogging Protocol”, but I wanted to get the AR community’s feedback and opinions on this one.  I thought it rather suspicious and felt I should bring it to your attention.


These  Renter inquiries supposedly came from two different people within just a few days on a recent rental ad I posted on Craigslist.


Renter Inquiry:



This is _________ a Researcher from Italy, i am searching for an apartment to rent, i saw your apartment on am interested and i will like to ask you if it's still available or not.i am waiting to hear from you and I would like to make an enquiry of the duration in which you want to let the apartment, preferably 6months/ 12 months. If you require any specific information, pls let me know or you can call me on my cell phone, please dial as presented for Italy calls or leave a voice message . {+0112348069166203}

Give me the detail of the fees.

1- Security deposit fee ?
2- Monthly rent fees ?
3- Utilities if applicable ?
4- Dimension/measurement of the unit {s} ?
5- Crime rate of the area where the apt is located ?
6- Park lots if any ?
7- If the unit is Furnished or Unfurnished ?
8- Total Move in fees ?

Thank you.

My reply:


HI _________,


Move in requirements 


1- Security deposit fee ?   $500
2- Monthly rent fees ?      $1200
3- Utilities if applicable ?  $-100
4- Dimension/measurement of the unit {s} 14'6"x36'0"
5- Crime rate of the area where the apt is located ? Very low
6- Park lots if any ? Private carport. Quiet corner lot with room for 2 to 3 vehicles
7- If the unit is Furnished or Unfurnished ? Some furniture, stacked Washer & Dryer, gas oven and 4 burner stove
8- Total Move in fees ? 1st & last months rent plus a security deposit.


Renter  Response:


Hello,  I really appreciate your efforts to answer those questions as regard the house.. My Research project commence in Sept 10 but i'll be in states on or before. It's an individual research to improve my commence
knowledge and understanding on Crime, Delinquency & Female Criminology.. I want to compare and contrast Crime in the United states to crime in Italy and the rest of the world. I'll not be working with any Organization or group of people in the states except for my Respondents. I am a family oriented man with a very Good record
and reputation.. I want to sign an agreement of 1year with you and I am ready to offer you the first month rent fee + the first month security deposit fee to secure the house prior to my arrival to the states by Certified American Check, and on my arrival, i'll pay for the remaining 11months by cash. Forward the lease agreement/application form for my Review. In my opinion, appending signatories should be done properly and at best physically when i get to the states and also the back ground check. But i can assure you that i have a very good employment record. Forward your

PHONE # .................
for onward check payment.

Renter  Response:


 I understand that the house is Unfurnished, I'll be making arrangement with a furniture company over there in states to supply some exclusive furniture into the house, because transporting furniture across-board will not be easy and it'll be too expensive. I want you to send the measurement/dimension of each section of the house to determine the size and amount of Furniture that'll be supply into the house. My Furniture company will fix a delivery date and time that will be convenient and you'll be at the property on the delivery day to monitor the delivery and set-up of my furniture. For my flight booking, email me the nearest Airport close to your house or close to the property. I'll be responsible for all Utilities.
Thank you and God bless.

R_____________ {PhD.}
Professor of Sociology
University of Italian Studies for Foreigners of Siena

University of Milan
Department of Sociology


Renter  Response:


Thank you so much John for the information and also for choosing i and my family as your potential tenant....the payment information as been forwarded to our trustee there in the states who will process the payment as soon as possible which you will probably receive this week, a tracking number will be sent to you for confirmation of payment..i have sent your email address to  my furniture company they will contact you as soon as possible.


My  Response to Renter:


Hi _____________, I think there may be a misunderstanding. I am actually still interviewing potential tenants and have not as yet made a decision. Additionally, I am also entertaining the possibility of selling the casita instead of renting. 


I also received another rental inquiry from Scotland that I thought rather timely,  and coincidentally suspicious. I think you should know that you have some interesting competition. Please do not move forward with any plans yet. I will let you know if I plan to select you as the tenant. 


San Diego California rental






Good day. I am very much interested in your rental. I read through the details on craigslist and i am highly interested in renting it. I work with the united nations development program(UNDP) Edinburgh Scotland and i just got a transfer that is bringing me down to San Diego California in the states. I would be arriving with my wife. we just got married and have no kids yet. I do not smoke neither do i keep pets so i am sure you would not have a problem with me.

I would be in the states in 2 weeks time but would really appreciate it if you can hold the place for me till i get there.
My transfer would be for a period between 3-6 years, so i would definitely be renting for more than a year. But we can start by signing a 1 year lease. I would also prefer to pay for the whole year upfront cause i travel a lot and might not be available all the time to pay monthly. But if paying for the whole year upfront is a problem, then perhaps we can figure out a way to do a month to month payment. I would also bring all proof of employment(letter of employment and letter of transfer) with me, and show them to you on my arrival.

If the rental is still available, i would like you to take it off the market and further showing. Please let me know so that we can make further arrangements can be made for a holding deposit to be sent to you so that you can secure it for me till i arrive.
I sincerely look forward to hearing from you.




My Conclusion?


This sure smells of a SCAM to me. Since sending the inquiry from Scotland to the Inquiry from Italy I have yet to hear back from Either of them.


What’s Your Opinion?


Posted by

Why To Choose Us?

John DL Arenden, Broker 

TAG Real Estate Sales & Investments

TAG (The Arendsen Group) Real Estate Sales & Investments is a full service, one-stop, turnkey, family owned and operated real estate brokerage, General Contractor, Manufactured Home Contractor, Developer, Investor, Property Manager, Interior Design, Engineering, architectural, Landscape design, Expert Witness, Consulting, Curative Title and Troubleshooting company with over 100 years of combined experience in the San Diego real estate sales, construction, design & development arena.





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Ron Marshall
Marshall Enterprises - Saint Michael, MN
Birdhouse Builder Extraordinaire

Oh, yes.  I am sorry.  But, I have seen these before.  You have been hand-picked.

Oct 10, 2011 10:29 AM #1
Lisa Dunham
Alexandria, VA
Associate Broker, Alexandria Virginia Real Estate

SCAM! You need not waste any more time conversing with these people.   

Oct 10, 2011 10:33 AM #2
Valerie Spaulding
Windermere Peninsula Properties~Allyn~Belfair~WA - Belfair, WA
Allyn-Belfair-Hood Canal-Local Expertise!

SCAM and now there is a new one working its way through where the scammer is using the owners real name from the county records and these so called "owners" are collecting holding fees, security deposit and rent and then split....uggghhh makes things a nightmare for all and more work for property managers to really sit up and pay attention and make sure you are dealing with legitimate owners and renters...

Also so one with my daughter that was on craigslist that she inquired about and they wanted her to MAIL her funds in in certified funds and then they would MAIL her a key!   Glad she talked to mom first!!!

Oct 10, 2011 10:39 AM #3
John DL Arendsen
Crest Backyard Homes "ADU" dealer & Contractor

Ron, Thanks 

Thank you Lisa, You firm up what I've already found out.

Wow!! Valerie, this is really bad. So much for Public Information. What is one to do nowadays with sooooo much corruption? 

Thanks God one of my kids had the presence of mind to smell a rat. Here I'm the RE broker and property mgr who should have smelled it first.

Oct 10, 2011 10:54 AM #4
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John DL Arendsen

Crest Backyard Homes "ADU" dealer & Contractor
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