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 Roommate Scam?

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tkd1002
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Joined: 24 May 2009
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PostPosted: Sun May 24, 2009 9:13 pm Reply with quoteBack to top

I put an ad out on Craiglist to rent a room out of my 2 bedroom apartment. A guy from Australia answered and came by to meet me and see the place yesterday. He's 23 (same age as me) and said he works in finance and moved out to the US 6 weeks ago for his current job. Today, he's coming by to sign the lease but said he doesn't have checks yet (claims they don't use them in Australia and Bank of America hasn't given them any yet) and will give me rent when he gets them.

I called Bank of America and I guess it's up to the individual banking centers to determine if checks are automatically given when opening a new account. The move in date isn't until June 15 so it should be enough time for the banks to clear the checks before he moves in. Also, he wouldn't be getting a copy of the lease until the checks clear.

Does this sound legit? I actually met him and he seemed normal and is willing to sign a lease. Are there any scams like this? I guess the worse that could happen now is I have to find another roommate if he doesn't pay but what about down the road?

I've read about roommate scams but usually it's only online e-mail stuff without actual contact. I've never anything where a guy would go so far as to see the apartment, let alone sign the lease. Plus he seems pretty young so I guess I don't expect people to be doing this when they're 23 or so.
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Master of Puppets
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PostPosted: Sun May 24, 2009 9:16 pm Reply with quoteBack to top

Erhm.. I believe a lot of the nigerian scammers start in college or something, so age isn't really a valid excuse for him not being a scammer.

But ehm... How long can banks take to get these checks? He's already been there for 6 weeks right? Where has he stayed during that time, how did he pay for that?

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Yastreb
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PostPosted: Sun May 24, 2009 9:17 pm Reply with quoteBack to top

Quote:
Today, he's coming by to sign the lease but said he doesn't have checks yet (claims they don't use them in Australia


FWIW, that's a complete lie as we do use cheques in Australia. I don't know why he'd do that, or what he gains by this supposed stratagem.

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tkd1002
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PostPosted: Sun May 24, 2009 9:20 pm Reply with quoteBack to top

He says the company which he works for paid for his visa and moving and offered corporate housing for two months until he finds his own place.
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manbiteslion
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PostPosted: Sun May 24, 2009 9:24 pm Reply with quoteBack to top

If they don't do cheques, take CASH or blow him out. If he's for real, he'll get cash to you.

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tkd1002
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PostPosted: Sun May 24, 2009 9:58 pm Reply with quoteBack to top

I found his myspace and facebook profile and they seem legit. Would scammers go through the trouble of setting up this kind of information? Would they use real e-mail addresses from actual people?
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Master of Puppets
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PostPosted: Sun May 24, 2009 9:59 pm Reply with quoteBack to top

Yes.

But then again, lad profiles might show terrible signs of lad-ness.

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PostPosted: Sun May 24, 2009 11:20 pm Reply with quoteBack to top

I don't know how it works in the US, but over here (UK) you can get a banker's draft from your bank for a small fee or as manbiteslion said - cash.

If he's legit he'll find a way to pay.

As a landlord myself, I wouldn't sign a lease with anyone unless a) they've paid the deposit and b) I've got references.

If I was you, I would ask to speak to his employer for a reference and if he gives you a phone number check it with directory enquiries. I've had idiots in the past try to give their mate's mobile number as their employer.

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Tom_Phillips
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PostPosted: Mon May 25, 2009 1:21 am Reply with quoteBack to top

I am from Australia, and basically we don't use cheques much at all. I am not saying we don't have them in our banks, we do, but I don't use them, and have never been offered a cheque book. Main reason is that you really can only use cheques to pay for bills, most people renting won't accept a cheque, they require cash or a direct transfer into your account, and if you try to pay at a shop with a cheque they will laugh at you, no one uses them in day to day life.

If the guy you spoke to had an Australian accent then I think you can safely assume he is for real. I mean what has he got to gain by moving into your house? Just tell him you need the cash up front or something if you are really worried, but otherwise I don't think you have a problem.

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bumsnacks
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PostPosted: Mon May 25, 2009 3:42 am Reply with quoteBack to top

I work here in the US for a financial institution, and they will (even for a small fee) give him a bank check made out to you. Or he can withdraw the cash and give it to you. I wouldn't let him move in without legititmate cash changing hands. It is your show, you are in control. As a way of scooting things along, you can tell him until you get the cash, you will entertain other people to rent the apartment.
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weareborg
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PostPosted: Mon May 25, 2009 3:52 am Reply with quoteBack to top

Odd saying. "money talks and no one walks"

If he can't pay you with cash, you don't want him. Frankly there's no way a perfect stranger would get inside my home. You could arrive home one dark rainy night to find the complete house empty.

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