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 Is this a scam? It's tough to tell...

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skeelo58
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Joined: 05 Dec 2008
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PostPosted: Fri Dec 05, 2008 7:29 am Reply with quoteBack to top

So I listed my apartment on Craigslist (trying to move out, so I can get a place with my cousins). I got an email from "Ravi" yesterday, and this is what it said

Hi,
My name is Ravi and im a male age 30 moving to fargo on Dec 6th which is this saturday. I am a consultant and will be working in fargo for a while i guess. At present im in Washington DC and will get there on 6th. So if you could share some more info of the appt like some pictures that would be great.

thanks
ravi


Now, on first read, I thought it was a typical Craigslist scam, but then I read it again. His english is fairly decent, and not nearly as bad as other scammers on C/L. Also, he doesn't offer me money or anything, he simply just wants some pictures of my apartment.

I replied back to him, telling him the details of the apartment, how much rent is, etc. His next email was this....

thats fine
can i come and see the appt this sunday? Are you still living there? did you sign any lease ? I would appreciate if you could give me your phone no where i can reach you.

thanks
ravi


Once again, he says nothing about money, although this time he asks for my phone number to discuss the apartment (a reasonable request for someone looking for an apt I guess). I didn't give him my number, as I am still kind of weary of this whole thing.

I told him a few more details about the apartment, and told him I would be home all day Sunday, so that he could come check out my place. He replied:

sunday morning 11 am would be fine please send me your address

Now, this is when my scam radar started going off again. Nobody would say "Sunday morning, 11 a.m." I did give him my address (just in case it is a legit offer). Was there any harm in giving this guy my address if it turns out to be a scam?

This one is really tricky. It seems like it could quite possibly be a scam, but then again, it doesn't contain all of the broken English, or offers of money like all the other scams.

So what does everyone think? Is this legit? Or is it a scam? [/b]

Also, I find it suspicious that he wouldn't already have a place lined up. He would have obviously known he was being shipped out from DC to Fargo, so why wouldn't he have had a place picked out already? Instead of "moving to fargo on the 6th, and I want to check out your apt on the 7th".
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MasteMind
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Joined: 17 Nov 2008
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PostPosted: Fri Dec 05, 2008 8:12 am Reply with quoteBack to top

Some people just don't plan ahead or the was some trouble with his first choice. I see no scam alarm in this.

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skeelo58
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PostPosted: Fri Dec 05, 2008 8:17 am Reply with quoteBack to top

OK cool. Better safe than sorry. If it is legit, and he wants my place, than awesome. If it is a scam, then it kinda sucks he is wasting my time. Thanks for your help!
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bombardier
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PostPosted: Fri Dec 05, 2008 1:40 pm Reply with quoteBack to top

This reads pretty normal to me, certainly not a typical format.

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falnsb
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PostPosted: Fri Dec 05, 2008 1:45 pm Reply with quoteBack to top

Quote:
Nobody would say "Sunday morning, 11 a.m."


I don't see why not. It sunds quite normal to me.

I think you'll find the writer is an Indian, probably well educated and most likely a programmer or something hence the quick fire, sloppy but correct English.

I don't think it is particularly suspicious.

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Albator
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PostPosted: Fri Dec 05, 2008 1:52 pm Reply with quoteBack to top

As everyone already said here, no scam alarm for me...

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spot
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PostPosted: Fri Dec 05, 2008 2:50 pm Reply with quoteBack to top

he says that he is in Washington DC .....what do the e-mail headers tell you ?

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Dorothy
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PostPosted: Fri Dec 05, 2008 3:14 pm Reply with quoteBack to top

As others have said, if it's a scam, it's not typical. He should have been trying to send you a check already. It's also not a big deal to ask who he works for, and verify the company is legitimate.

It's not necessarily unusual to arrive without housing lined up. Note he says he will be in Fargo "for a while" which sounds like an open-ended temporary assignment. Chances are his company is putting him up in a standard or residence hotel. When temporary reassignment and/or a contract of a few months to a year is involved, companies may book hotel reservations for employees, but the assignment will include a housing stipend. If they don't want to stay in the hotel, the employee can find alternate housing and use the stipend to pay for it instead of the hotel.

If the company won't pay to send the employee out prior to the relocation to look for housing, the employee will often wait until they arrive to find housing rather than personally absorb the costs of a plane ticket and search before arriving. I have a friend who has moved from one contract to another for years--and every time she has moved, she has found housing after arrival because the company wouldn't fly her out in advance.

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high-seas-piracy
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PostPosted: Fri Dec 05, 2008 3:48 pm Reply with quoteBack to top

Post up the email header and let someone do a trace on it. That should give you a good clue as to whether it is legit or not.
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firepilot
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PostPosted: Fri Dec 05, 2008 5:52 pm Reply with quoteBack to top

No one in their right mind would move to Fargo in the winter, must be a scam. Kidding...

I actually moved to Fargo in the winter once, moved from Kona Hawaii to Fargo ND. Talk about a bit of a temperature change in February.
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manbiteslion
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PostPosted: Sat Dec 06, 2008 11:08 pm Reply with quoteBack to top

I reckon you're just fine, nothing to worry about, sounds just like Indian English, and the scenario of a temporary IT contract would fit the bill entirely.

Apologies if I'm wrong, but hopefully you've found yourself a professional, affluent tenant Smile
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Murry Guru
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PostPosted: Sun Dec 07, 2008 2:23 am Reply with quoteBack to top

I dont know what it is but it doesn't quite seem right to me either, use caution here as you always should.

If he does turn up on Sunday you will have your answer Wink

I presume you have checked the headers, Googled the email address and the phone number already, if not, do that, your answer should be in there

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PostPosted: Sun Dec 07, 2008 9:48 am Reply with quoteBack to top

I don't like the look of it and I certainly wouldn't advise you to let your guard down.
From what I've seen before it looks like the early stages of a check scam.

Possibly the guy is genuine but I'd watch him like a hawk and if he comes at you with a check and asks for any refund on it, tell him where to get off.

One thing that stands out to me is the use of "appt" instead of "apt" for the abbreviation of "apartment". When I deal with African check scammers on this type of format, they nearly all use the former instead of the correct "apt". This could be because West Africans don't have apartments - they have "flats" as in the UK and so aren't used to the proper abbreviation.

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GeorgeBush
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PostPosted: Mon Dec 08, 2008 2:34 am Reply with quoteBack to top

I am surprised by some of the responses here! This sounds like total BS to me, beware and be careful!. This guy is just not right...

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Pandora
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PostPosted: Mon Dec 08, 2008 2:47 am Reply with quoteBack to top

do you have a gun? If he does just throw a pistol in your waist band and cover it with a shirt and keep a safe distance from him...
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Murry Guru
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PostPosted: Mon Dec 08, 2008 3:01 am Reply with quoteBack to top

Seeing as we are pointing out concerns

"a male age 30" wouldn't most native english speakers say "a 30 year old male / man)

"I am a consultant" the most popular profession of male scammers (besides scammer)

"will get there on 6th" could be a typo but where is the word "the"

"share some more info of the appt" "of" or "about"

Other than that he is pushy and asking lots of questions that are not really relevant about the house.

If I was going to live there site unseen I would be asking things like;
How far to the local pub / shops / schools / Western Union
Do you have a dishwasher
What are the neighbours like.
How far from public transport or the place he is going to be working

If this is real, a man with nowhere to live will want to get in fast and he would be using his time trying to find out that the place is right for him before wasting his time going to see it, he appears to have made his mind up without knowing all of the important things.



I am presuming the appointment date has come and gone, any update on what happened?

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PostPosted: Mon Dec 08, 2008 3:17 am Reply with quoteBack to top

Don't give him money until you see the whites of his eyes. Very Happy

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PostPosted: Mon Dec 08, 2008 3:19 am Reply with quoteBack to top

Just to mention. My partner is Indian and he talks just like that. I agree that the person is probably speaking English as a second language, and the name Ravi does sound Indian.

I'm really curious to know how this one turns out? I hope you'll keep us updated! Very Happy

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PostPosted: Mon Dec 08, 2008 3:26 am Reply with quoteBack to top

So far, my scam alarms are not going off either.

Schedule the appointment. If he shows, and the conversation gets to rent amount, tell him rent is payable in cash. Accept no checks. Accept no money transfers.

However, the "out of town" part is suspicious. I bet he won't show up and then e-mail an excuse - and then the fake check part comes in.

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skeelo58
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PostPosted: Mon Dec 08, 2008 4:23 am Reply with quoteBack to top

Good news!!!! It wasn't a scam. He actually showed up. He was a very nice guy. Sounds like he is gonna take my apt!

Glad it wasn't a scam Smile
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PostPosted: Mon Dec 08, 2008 4:33 am Reply with quoteBack to top

Happy to hear it turned out OK, the caution is well warranted with the amount of scams we see.

Even though you have met him please be especially careful if he gives you a cheque Wink

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PostPosted: Mon Dec 08, 2008 4:46 am Reply with quoteBack to top

Don't accept any cheques.

Make sure rent is paid in cash anyway.

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skeelo58
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PostPosted: Mon Dec 08, 2008 5:45 am Reply with quoteBack to top

Well he's not actually going to be renting FROM ME. He will just be signing a new lease from my landlord. Basically as soon as he does that, I'm gonna move out.

I just needed someone to fill my apt so that I can move out, as I still have 8 months left on my current lease.
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falnsb
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PostPosted: Mon Dec 08, 2008 8:17 am Reply with quoteBack to top

As a matter of interest, is he an Indian, or at least from the Indian subcontinent? There are several pointers to this, the name Ravi being just one.

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YOU BASTED PIG HOW CAN YOU DO THIS TO ME I AM NOT SCAMMER

You are the pertetic fool with no ambition, you wasted our time, by doing this.
You white are reaping what you saw, by enslaving our forfather. if you like publish all your head white still fall for our trick, fool, is better you work with me because am demmm rich.
EAT SHIT IF DO NOT HEAR FROM YOU. MIND YOU YOUR NAME IS WITH MY SPIRITUALIST, YOU ARE ALREADY A MUGU.

you are a fool, your four father first scammed our four fathers. came to africa and stole our rich heritage. suffered us as slaves and killed us like ants. it is time to get back all what your four fathers stole from our four fathers.
we will not stop untill the europeans, americans etc . come begging for forgivenes.
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skeelo58
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PostPosted: Mon Dec 08, 2008 3:08 pm Reply with quoteBack to top

Well he said he is originally from California, but lately has been living in Washington DC. He spoke English very well, so I'm not sure if he grew up in India at all? He's definitely Indian though haha. He does have VERY slight Indian accent, most likely picked up from his parents.
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