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House renting scams

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House renting scams

Old 07-21-16, 01:50 AM
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House renting scams

In my efforts to finally get the hell out of this apartment, I've been checking out houses in the area for rent. Craigslist has a number of listings that look like obvious scams, as they use the same stock photos (usually a REALLY nice looking kitchen) with text on top of them, and they mention some deal about renting to own. I've just ignored those.

There were 2 others though that I was doubtful about as the rents were pretty low (less than what I'm paying for the apartment), but I figured I'd look into those. I emailed them and here's the text of the first reply I received:

Hello Tenant,

It gives me great joy to know that you have interest in my lovely house,its still very much available for rent and ready for immediate occupancy. I am sure you would be asking yourself why my rent is low, that's because i am not too keen about the amount in renting the house out but to whom i am renting the house out to. My intention is to rent my house to someone that is responsible and be ready to take great care of the house as if it were his or hers. I am very certain that you would love the comfy of the house.

I would like you to know that i am giving this house out for rent because i have been posted to Pennsylvania as an Pediatrician (kid's doctor) and would spend couple of years before i would be through with my assignment here. So my family and i have decided that we would be moving to our other home in Seattle, Washington when we get back to the states,i would like you to complete the tenant application form below and please be honest with these details to enable us choose the right tenant.

LOCATION: (REMOVED TO PROTECT THE GUILTY)
Rent Per Month: $850 (Including Utilities)
Security Deposit:$700 (Refundable)

HOUSE FEATURES:

Large 3 Bedroom With Living Room,2Bath
High Ceilings
Stainless Steel Appliances
Formal Dining Room
Separate Kitchen,
Brand New Cabinets,
Electric Cooker,
dish washer & Refrigerator
Washer and Dryer in the house also.

COMPLETE THE TENANT APPLICATION FORM BELOW:

RENT APPLICATION FORM.
FIRST NAME:__________?
MIDDLE NAME:__________?
LAST NAME:__________?
PROFESSION:__________?
PHONE:
(CELL)PHONE__________?
(WORK)PHONE__________?
(HOME)PHONE__________?
KIDS _____ (YES/NO), HOW MANY ________?
PRESENT ADDRESS:_____________________?
CITY: _______________?
STATE:______________?
ZIP CODE: ____________
HOW LONG? ___________IF RENTING
WHY ARE YOU LEAVING__________?
IF THIS HOUSE IS BEING GIVEN TO YOU,
HOW LONG DO YOU INTEND STAYING? ____________?
WHEN DO YOU INTEND MOVING IN? ______________?
IF YOU HAVE A PET,
NAME OF PET: _____________?
KIND OF PETS: _____________?
HABITS
DO YOU SMOKE ______________ ?
DO YOU DRINK ______________?
DO YOU WORK LATE NIGHT? ____?
HOW SOON CAN YOU COME UP WITH THE SECURITY DEPOSIT AND HOUSE RENT___________

After i have received these details above, i would discuss with my wife and let you know my terms and how we would conclude the Lease process so you can move into the house asap. Contact me on this number (Not gonna give that out here)...

Best Regards
Dr John Anderson & family.....
I hadn't heard of this sort of reply before and thought it a bit weird, I didn't reply to them but kept the email. Today I saw another listing, again for a rather low price, and emailed about it getting this very similar reply:
Hello,

Thanks for your interest and inquiries about Our house. Yes Our house is still available for rent quite and safe, we are looking for a responsible person/family to occupy and maintain the house now that we are not around. My Husband and I just traveled to Lagos Nigeria for a program called SERVING IN MISSION (SIM), you can view the link for more info: (http://www.sim.org/index.php/content/our-purpose).
We will be away for Four years or more that is why We have made up Our mind to put up Our house for rent to whomever that will take good care of it. However, Our initial plan was to sell the house but it was not successful because the Realtor raised the price which made it difficult for Us to sell before leaving (name of city), So you ignore the sign post because We have stop dealing and contacting the Realtor for too much fees We paid and the Realtor was trying to rip Us off.

We have a cordial relationship with the neighborhood as it is a neighborhood where,everyone keep to themselves go about their business without interference from anybody and we expect that as you move in.

We left behind some Facilities and electronics which include the rent, and a DVD player, air conditioning, alarm system. The kitchen is fully equipped with all necessary cooking utensils, a refrigerator-freezer, four-hob and oven, microwave,dishwasher and washing machine, My Computer Connected with Internet Access Also the keys to the House are right here with me, and the house documents. Which I can send to you after all necessary agreement has be accepted. Also I will like you to know that the rent charges is not really the issue ,but your absolute maintenance of my House is most important thing

HOUSE DESCRIPTION:

House address : (Probably a bad idea to share that here!)
4 Bedroom 2 Bathroom
Monthly Rent:$820
Security Deposit: $500 (Security Deposit is Refundable)
Utilities included in monthly rent
Pet: Accepted.
SO IF YOU ARE REALLY INTERESTED I WILL WANT YOU TO FILL THE RENT APPLICATION FORM.
RENTAL APPLICATION FORM

FIRST NAME: __________________
MIDDLE NAME: __________________
LAST NAME: __________________
PROFESSION: ________________
PHONE (____) __________ (WORK)
PHONE (____) __________ (HOME)
MARITAL STATUS: _________
KIDS _____ (YES/NO), HOW MANY ________
PRESENT ADDRESS: ___________________________
CITY: _______________
STATE: ______________
HOW LONG? ___________IF RENTING
WHY ARE YOU LEAVING?________________________________________
CURRENT RENT: _______
PREVIOUS ADDRESS: ___________________________
CITY: ________________
STATE: _______________
HOW LONG? ____________ IF RENTING, APARTMENT.
WHY DID YOU LEAVE? ______________________________________
PREVIOUS RENT: _______
IF THIS HOUSE IS BEING GIVEN TO YOU,
HOW LONG DO YOU INTEND STAYING? ____________
DO YOU AGREE TO PAY THE DEPOSIT BEFORE RECEIVING THE KEYS:-------------
HOW SOON DO YOU INTEND MAKING THE PAYMENT?
WHEN DO YOU INTEND MOVING IN? ______________
*PETS*
IF YOU HAVE A PET,
NAME OF PET: ______________
KIND OF PETS: _____________
WEIGHT: ___________________
HABITS
DO YOU SMOKE? ______________
DO YOU DRINK? ______________
DO YOU WORK LATE NIGHT? ____

I CERTIFY that answers given here in are true and complete to the best of my knowledge. I authorize investigation of all statements contained in this application for tenet screening as may be necessary in arriving at a tenant decision. I understand that the landlord may terminate any rental agreement entered into for any misrepresentation made above. you can bring in your stuffs and items, only inform me about your move in.

Please make sure this questions are fill correctly because the best way you answer with your comment will impress me the more to accept your applications.I know you would want to see the house before making any kind of rental payment , which is understandable.We can make arrangement for the keys and documentation including an Authorization letter to be shipped to you, this will give you the opportunity to view house. You can text me on (Sorry, you'll have to write this guy yourself if you want the number).
Regards.

Rev. Moses & Felicia Thomas And Family
Naturally the mention of Nigeria was the main tip-off here. I did a bit of Google searching and found stories of people getting replies much like these. Some of them asked for money up-front, these didn't but I figured if I replied to them even for fun they'd spam the hell out of me. The other stories mentioned that they used houses that really were up for sale or rent, but obviously weren't really the owners.
Old 07-21-16, 02:07 AM
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Re: House renting scams

Craigslist is a cesspool of scammers.
Old 07-21-16, 07:57 AM
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Re: House renting scams

I'd forget Craigslist and look in your local newspapers. I'll go a step further than PhantomStranger and say that Craigslist is a cesspool. I had my dealings with them, never again.
Old 07-21-16, 08:13 AM
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Re: House renting scams

Yeah get off craigslist and get on some real rental/buying sites.
Old 07-21-16, 10:31 AM
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Re: House renting scams

Originally Posted by PhantomStranger View Post
Craigslist is a cesspool of scammers.
Closing thread.
Old 07-21-16, 10:38 AM
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Re: House renting scams

Originally Posted by Alan Smithee View Post
The other stories mentioned that they used houses that really were up for sale or rent, but obviously weren't really the owners.
This appears to be very common, as it was mentioned to me multiple times when I was looking for a house to rent.

Only use the legitimate sites for your city/area.
Old 07-21-16, 10:42 AM
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Re: House renting scams

You're on Facebook. Check out some local swap/shop pages. They might be called something different out there. I've seen people post that they're looking for a house to rent in a certain price range. Maybe post a status on your Facebook page saying you're planning on moving to a house and if your family/friends know of any places.

You know how they have those apartment rental booklets at stores? Maybe they list houses too. Or maybe a realtor that deals with rentals.

I would assume your city has a housing authority office. They might have listings.

Is there a part of the city you want to live in? Drive around it and look for "For Rent" signs on the yard. This will also get you outside in some sun and fresh air.

Or just move to the PNW and contact kvrdave.
Old 07-21-16, 11:17 AM
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Re: House renting scams

Use Zillow or Trulia. Craigslist sucks.
Old 07-21-16, 11:49 AM
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Re: House renting scams

I'm actually in my current place that I found on Craigslist and I'm very pleased. I'd say try to find a place that doesn't give those form replies and get a normal conversation going.

I also didn't fill out any kind of application before I agreed to anything.
Old 07-21-16, 03:26 PM
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Re: House renting scams

I actually got my job from a Craigslist posting, and they regularly use it to put ads out. (And it's not a fly-by-night organization.) I've had at least one other job in the past as a result of Craigslist also. Of course it's still a cesspool. I think they've been charging for employment ads now just to get rid of the scammers (they used to have stuff that promised employment IF you sent them money for info for example.)

I'm wondering what these people were trying to get from me though? The other stories say they asked for money via wire service or something like that and then turned out to not be connected with the property, but the messages I got just sound like they could potentially steal my identity or something. I should send them some fake info just to mess with them, but I'd have to make a new email account to do that.
Old 07-21-16, 03:56 PM
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Re: House renting scams

Send them some DVDs instead.
Old 07-21-16, 05:09 PM
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Re: House renting scams

They're not asking for me to send anything- but it would be funny if, given how they said it was more important how someone takes care of their house than how much rent they pay, if I messed their house up (even though I'm REALLY gonna try not to!)

I've tried walking around looking for "for rent" signs but haven't seen any. It looks like you have to check ads to find houses for rent. I may still not be making enough yet to afford the ones I'd be really happy with either, in which case I'll just have to keep the apartment clean a bit longer and hope they don't finally just kick me out for being here too long...
Old 07-21-16, 05:13 PM
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Re: House renting scams

Well.. it's better than this..

Hello,

Thanks for your interest and inquiries about Our house. Yes Our house is still available for rent quite and safe, we are looking for a responsible person/family to occupy and maintain the house now that we are not around.

Unfortunately I don't have the keys so you'll have to sort of break in. It's OK. We'll cover that cost to replace whatever door you kick in or window you break.

We take payment in iTunes gift cards only so make sure, on the night of the 1st each month, to deposit them at a special drop off location we will name later. Come alone.

There's an area in the backyard that looks like it may have been recently dug up. We did that for sprinkler repair. You may also find out that the previous owners disappeared one night and are yet to be found. That's sad. Anyhow.. please don't dig up the "sprinklers".

Enjoy your new home!
Old 07-21-16, 05:17 PM
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Re: House renting scams

I could live with that, as long as they fixed whatever I broke to get in the first time. I liked how many of those form letters say they've left a DVD player for the tenant to use, it likely wouldn't meet my standards and I'd end up throwing it out! Would be nice to not have to buy a fridge or washer/dryer though. The fridge in my apartment will likely be dumped when I move out, so thinking of asking if I could buy or just take it with me.
Old 07-21-16, 06:43 PM
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Re: House renting scams

Originally Posted by Alan Smithee View Post
I may still not be making enough yet to afford the ones I'd be really happy with either, in which case I'll just have to keep the apartment clean a bit longer and hope they don't finally just kick me out for being here too long...
So...your apartment is clean now? How'd I miss that bit of information?

Please post pics!
Old 07-21-16, 09:43 PM
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Re: House renting scams

Originally Posted by PhantomStranger View Post
Craigslist is a cesspool of scammers.
Yes, but they are all hot and single women. Right?
Old 07-21-16, 09:45 PM
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Re: House renting scams

Originally Posted by EddieMoney View Post
Send them some DVDs instead.
Send them pictures of your current apartment and ask if they have any objection.
Old 07-24-16, 01:10 PM
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Re: House renting scams

Got another one, the ad looked legit too:

Thanks for the email. I Chris Baez, i own the wonderfully home you are making Inquiry about . And I also want you to know that it was due to my work transfer to Williamsburg,Virginia that made me and my wife to leave the house with an intention of giving it out for rent. I am looking for a responsible person that can take very good care of it as we are not after the money for the rent but want the property to be kept clean at all time as it is our hard-earned property. If you are honestly interested and will absolutely maintain my property,(treating it like it belongs to you) as i hope i can put my trust and confidence in you because i will come to check on my property yearly. I earlier wanted to sale the house (this is why there is still a for sale sign in-front of the house) but had a second thought to rather put it up for rent, you are welcome to the house at your convenient but you will only be able to see the property from the outside for now and do get back to us me soon as that is done OK..Presently, We are here in Williamsburg, Virginia on a new work i just secured.The house vital informative documents and the entrance keys to the house are with me, for we try to look for dependable agent to handle the rent but could not find due to the limited time we had before leaving .

UTILITIES : Laundry, Electric Range, Electric Heat, Master Bedroom, Playground, Car Park.AMENITIES: Air Conditioning, Patio/Party Deck, Cable TV, Ceiling Fans, 24 hours Internet service, Dishwasher, Fire-pit,Garbage Disposal, Microwave, security alarm, Pets Friendly, Refrigerator, Washer / Dryer.

Security Deposit : $800
Monthly Rent : $900
PETS ARE FULLY WELCOME
House Address : (Probably not a good idea to include that here!)
Lease Term : As long as you wished

CONTACT ME : (removed)

SO IF YOU ARE REALLY INTERESTED I WILL WANT YOU TO FILL THE RENT APPLICATION FORM

RENTAL APPLICATION FORM

Rental/Lease First Name :
Rental/Lease Last Name:
Rental/Lease Spouse Full Names:
Rental/Lease Kids Full Names:
Rental/Lease Relatives or Friends Full Name:
Rental/Lease Mobile/Cell Number:
Rental/Lease Telephone Number:
Rental/Lease Present House Address:
Rental/Lease Present Work place name and Address:
Rental/Lease Present work Tel. Number:
Rental/Lease Numbers of Cars:
Rental/Lease Pet type:
Rental/Lease Do you agree to pay deposit before receiving the keys:
Rental/Lease proposed date of Move in:
Rental/Lease months budget to deposit before move in:
Rental/Lease Reference contact info:
Rental/Lease present Landlord Contact Info:
========================
___________________________________________________________________________________________
I CERTIFY that answers given herein are true and complete to the best of my knowledge. I authorize
investigation of all statements contained in this application for tenet screening as may be necessary in
arriving at a tenant decision. I understand that the landlord may terminate any rental agreement entered into
for any misrepresentation made above.you can bring in your stuffs and items, only inform me about your move in.

Signature________________Date________________
Please get back to me today with a reply,

Regard and God bless you,

Chris Baez And Indira Baez

CONTACT ME : (phone number removed)
Old 07-24-16, 01:19 PM
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Re: House renting scams

I wish I lived in a land of "24 hours internet service"

Old 07-24-16, 01:34 PM
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Re: House renting scams

Alan, just pony up the cash and use a rental service.
Old 07-24-16, 02:52 PM
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Re: House renting scams

Originally Posted by Alan Smithee View Post
The fridge in my apartment will likely be dumped when I move out, so thinking of asking if I could buy or just take it with me.
Why would you want a fridge that you say is due to be dumped? I think it is time to confront the fact that your new space will not be a cure to your hoarding problem, because you refuse to let things go. Wanting to bring seemingly worthless appliances into your new place is about as clear an indicator of that as there can be. I myself have a tendency to hang on to stuff, so I try to go through a few times a year and purge things I don't need. I think it is time you had someone help you do the same.
Old 07-24-16, 03:40 PM
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Re: House renting scams

Why would you want a fridge that you say is due to be dumped?
So that I wouldn't have to buy a new one- it still works. Many rental houses don't include a fridge.

And I just got ANOTHER obvious scam reply- this time I created a new gmail account and replied filling out their "rental application" with a fake name and address. We'll see where this goes.
Old 07-24-16, 04:02 PM
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Re: House renting scams

You must be looking at shitty rental houses if they don't come with fridges.
Old 07-24-16, 04:40 PM
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Re: House renting scams

If you need to, just get a basic fridge (no ice/water in door) at a used appliance store. Might even have a limited warranty. Should be able to find something decent for under $200.
Old 07-24-16, 05:09 PM
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Re: House renting scams

Been playing with some European-sounding guy on my ce phone, calling from Georgia. He wants me to send his "assistant" the $800 deposit via Moneygram, then he will mail me the keys. He asked me to hang up and text him my address so I sent him a made-up one, he's anxiously awaiting my money now. Wondering if he gets impatient later if I should just cut him off, call him out as a scammer or play dumb and lead him on a bit more.

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