There have been alot of responses to Fred's article about the rental scams on Craigs List. Many people have remarked about the gulible people who respond to them. One of my listings was hijacked from Trulia and I responded to it to be able to see why I was getting so many phone calls, people looking in the windows and leaving notes in the mailbox. This is the response I received:
Thanks for your interest and sorry for the late response was due to my wife illness but i thank GOD she is getting better. I must confess that I am very new in this landlord business. However, My name is Michael simpson, I own the house located at (524 Columbia Ct, Sarasota, FL 34236). Due to my job as a missionary worker, we are going to stay in Baltimore MD,USA for an international Christian Followers crusade.that I decided to rent out the house and i will be here for (2-3 years).. However, the initial plan was to sale out the house. Which I tried, but sometimes the agents inflates the price and it takes longer to sell i am telling you this in case if you find the house on another website, that is the old advert. because of this reason and more we need rental agreement with a responsible person (With good credit) that can take very good care of it as we are not after the money , but want it to be clean and for you to take care of it as if it were yours. The rental fee is included in all utilities and Appliances,you would not make any extra charges.... Air Conditioner Dishwasher Walk-in Closet Refrigerator Vaulted Ceilings Washer/Dryer Cable etc...
Address: 524 Columbia Ct, Sarasota, FL 34236
Pets are Welcome!!!
Security Deposit: $650
Living Building Square Footage: 1,107
Number Of Bedrooms: 3
Number Of Bathrooms: 2
PLEASE TELL US ABOUT YOURSELF
1)Your Full Name:
2)Your Full Address,City,State,Zip Code:
4)How many people will be living in the house:
5)Do you have a pet:
6)Do you have a car:
9)How long are you willing to stay in the property:
10)When are you ready to Move In:
11)How many months rent can you pay upfront:
12)Earliest possible date of deposit:
14)A picture of occupant:
15)Picture Of Driving License?If Available:
I hope to read from you with more information. Thanks for the time and energy writing me, My regards to your family. For more inquiries, Here is my cell phone number which i roamed so i can receive international calls, call or text me ASAP (I have removed)
Yesterday is history, Tomorrow's a mystery, TODAY'S a GIFT, that's why it's called the present!
The religious tone of the the email and the illness thrown on top of it probably swayed many of the respondents and made them believe they were working with the actual owner fo the home. It is not that they are gullible, it is just that they have no reason based in experience to doubt that the ad is real. It makes me so angry to know that innocent people have been abused by these scammers but all I could do was educate each one of them who contacted me and explain to them why they should never fall victim to one of these ads.
Trulia finally took it down after about 10 days of back and forth emails and notifications with them. I will be so happy to get this house sold and hope to do so before the next scammer seizes it.