Yup, recently I found out that one of my recent, but old rental listings was turned into a scam on Craigslist. I’m not sure why people choose this as a profession, but I think people who do this are the scum of scum. Just Saying. I thought I might use my blog to show people what one looks like and possibly make it a learning experience for someone.
Just recently, I was contacted by 2 people who almost got scammed by this, and they followed up to see if it was too good to be true. It had the correct address in the listing so the prospective tenants looked it up in various other locations and found out that I was the listing agent. If you search long enough you can find out that I had the exclusive agent although the listing is all over different websites .Both People reached out to me in confusion I was asked a lot of questions that made me uncomfortable, but i guess they are protecting themselves since they aren’t even sure i’m reputable. I read the original email by the scammers and i noticed that they said that they were cheated by their listing agent (read below) and that might deter from someone reaching out to me because they think i’m the deceptive one.
Here is the original email response from the scammers (with location, phone #’s and names omitted) the description is pretty much the same that I wrote. My personal thoughts are in red. This message below is in response to the original ad after this kid replied to the listing. I do not have the original listing link unfortunately. I didn’t include the email from the scammed kid, but I feel bad that he went as far as he did.
Thanks for the interest you have shown towards our House for rent.We are pleased that you have an interest in our house, Our lovely home is still available for lease and we want responsible adults/family who are neat and also believe that they have what it takes to take the house.I am currently living in (West Africa Nigeria) for a Missionary Project prayer crusade (the first warning sign, missionary project and Nigeria) I came over here with my wife and daughter we decided to stay here for few years because we like it here and its warm, We will be very pleased if we can find the right tenant to rent our home, As soon as we are settling down here, I had a thought of selling the house so I have to look for an agent after getting one, we got a deal but later he try to scam us and forge some documents to win the house because we send the keys to him and we later go to court and get the house back. (great use of english here and agents don’t do this, that would make the cover of the Boston Globe). We would have given the same agent this job, but want to rent the house out ourselves and I do not have anyone in the area I can leave the keys behind with. If you notice the price we are offering is far below normal price (warning sign #2) and I this is enough for you to know that we are not after the rental fee but the entire care for the property. I know there is no way we can be sure that you are the right person to live in the house because we would not be able to meet physically (warning #3) before sending you the keys and the documents to occupy the property. The property is available for as long as you want and if you drive by the house you may see a sign there, you have nothing to worry about it belongs to my former realty so you don’t have to call them because they do not have access to the house anymore.(warning #4) due to my transfer and I will be here for as long as 5 years that is why am renting out my house so if you belief you can take good care of the house and handle it like yours then I will be more than happy to let you rent the house if you can promise me & my family that you will sure take very good care of the house for us as if it was your own.The house is located at:(The Real Address Here) St Apt 1 Boston, MA .This 3 bedroom and 2 bathrooms (only 2 beds)Nice size family house on a quiet tree line street area.The rent is $900 monthly (really $3700) including utilities and $600 for security deposit.built-ins and arched doorways.Kitchen is bright and cherry with all wood cabinets and plenty of counter space. Open dining room and large living room.with about ~1,500 sqft (no 1500 sf unit would ever rent for $900 in the back bay, not even close)
Below is the Rental Application form, fill it and get back to us, I can see your willingness in leasing our home and hope we will never have regrets in leasing our home to you.
BELOW IS THE RENTAL APPLICATION FORM (nobody puts an application form in a few lines like this)
PLEASE TELL US ABOUT YOURSELF?
HOME PHONE ( )_________?
CELL PHONE( )____________?
DATE OF BIRTH___________?
OTHER PHONE ( )__________?
REASONS FOR LEAVING?______________________
ARE YOU SINGLE OR MARRIED__________?
HOW MANY PEOPLE WILL BE LIVING IN THE HOUSE___________?
DO YOU HAVE PETS___________?
DO YOU HAVE CARS___________?
IF THE HOUSE IS BEEN GIVEN TO YOU,HOW LONG WOULD YOU LIKE TO STAY_____________?
MOVE IN DATE___________?
ARE YOU READY FOR THE DEPOSIT___________? (what? you mean are you ready for the scam? who asks this?)
WHEN DO YOU WANT TO RECEIVED THE ENTRANCE KEYS/DOCUMENT___________?
Perfect location on charming (real address here), steps to the Prudential Center, the Green Line, Copley Place, and Back Bay Station. This spacious parlor duplex features a large master bedroom on the upper level. The lower level has a large 2nd bedroom, guest bath, and an expansive living/dining/kitchen area with full height windows. The eat-in kitchen opens onto the patio and features granite counters, stainless steel appliances w/gas range, and cherry cabinets. W/D in unit and Central Air.Must see to believe! My husband would like to speak with you over the phone also,you can reach him anytime on (they list 2 international #’s here which is also skeptical)
God Bless You and your entire family.
(they used my real owners name here which is creepy that they found it)
This was the 2nd Follow Up Email
1)Entrance and the rooms keys
2)Paper/Permanent house form(Containing your details)
3)The house documentary file
My husband would like to speak with you over the phone also,you can reach him anytime on (they give 2 phone #s here, both international and i wonder if they lead to a real person…but i’m not going to test it) you let me know the best time we can reach you. Do let me know if you are ready to move forth so that I can forward you the rental agreement and the details you will use to make the payment to us.I will be looking forward to hearing back from you again,thanks for being so honest with us and God bless you abundantly. (and bless you scumbags too)
So pls get back to me today.
I await your reply ASAP.
The sad thing is that this was an 18 year old kid who was looking to move to Boston. He had a budget and was doing a year abroad at an amazing non-profit company. He filled out their application and almost went through with it until his mom got involved. Personally i can’t ever imagine someone falling for this, but they do!! These Ass Faces put a big damper on my day and made me lose a little faith in humanity. I just want to do my job and maybe help out someone in the future. Happy Craigslisting!!!