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 Apartment scam in Brussels, Belgium, Peter Ubachs

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Hello I'm New here!

Joined: 24 Aug 2010
Posts: 1

PostPosted: Tue Aug 24, 2010 6:19 pm Reply with quoteBack to top

Hi folks,

I found this forum by chance and wanted to share this most likely scam (It is one, can someone confirm?) which as I have heard from friends is booming right now: Scamming with apartment/flatshare advertisements. When I put this on Facenook, I learned that of my university alone 4 others of 40 people going abroad this year have had similar attempts and almost fell for them in Belgium, Canada, the US (Boston), Spain.
I fell for the first email and gave him private information, no adress or something similar though, just my plans for the near future. Only the 2nd mail I received was suspicious. I reported the incident to the and immoweb, where I found the advertisement, not sure it will help though.

Its really mean. Anything I could still do about this? Experiences from anyone with similar apartment-renting-scams?

See the stuff here:
Received: by with SMTP id gz18cs37067qcb;
Thu, 19 Aug 2010 10:29:01 -0700 (PDT)
Return-Path: <[email protected]>
Received-SPF: pass ( domain of [email protected] designates as permitted sender) client-ip=;
Authentication-Results:; spf=pass ( domain of [email protected] designates as permitted sender) [email protected]; dkim=pass [email protected]
Received: from ([])
by with SMTP id l13mr11277532anq.238.1282232537804 (num_hops = 1);
Thu, 19 Aug 2010 08:42:17 -0700 (PDT)
DKIM-Signature: v=1; a=rsa-sha256; c=relaxed/relaxed;; s=gamma;
DomainKey-Signature: a=rsa-sha1; c=nofws;; s=gamma;
MIME-Version: 1.0
Received: by with SMTP id l13mr11277532anq.238.1282232537798;
Thu, 19 Aug 2010 08:42:17 -0700 (PDT)
Sender: [email protected]
Received: by with HTTP; Thu, 19 Aug 2010 08:42:17 -0700 (PDT)
Date: Thu, 19 Aug 2010 18:42:17 +0300
X-Google-Sender-Auth: qORG5V_H_h53pPdr_hyBQMgx7pY
Message-ID: <[email protected]>
Subject: =?UTF-8?Q?RE=3A_Immoweb_=2D_Interest_in_a_=22To_rent=22_ad=E2=80=8F?=
From: Peter Ubachs <[email protected]>
Content-Type: multipart/alternative; boundary=0016e68bd3feef59a7048e2f06ee

Content-Type: text/plain; charset=ISO-8859-1


My name is Peter Ubachs and I received your email of interest for the rental
of my apartment located in Avenue Emile Max 86, 1030 Schaerbeek.
I'm looking for someone to live in the apartment, as soon as possible,
because my company has won an auction for a big construction project in
Liverpool, United Kingdom. I'm a project manager in civil engineering, so my
accommodation period here will be very large (more than 4 years).
I would like to know a little something about you, like how many persons do
you intend to live in my apartment, for what period, etc. I must tell you
from the beginning that I don't have a problem if you are a student and I
don't have a problem with pets.
Now I am going to tell you something about the apartment and myself so we
can get to know each other.
The apartment is furnished, but I have the option of sending all my
furniture into my private storage if you want to bring your own (no extra
costs). The rent for 1 month is 475 EUR (for the whole apartment) including
all utilities (water, electricity, internet, cable, parking).
About myself, I am 30 years old and as I told you I am a project manager and
my job even though it pays very well takes all of my time. I bought this
apartment while I was working on a 4 year contract in Belgium.
You can move in the apt in the same day when you receive the keys. The only
problem is that I`m the only person who has the keys but I hope that we will
find a solution.
Thank you for your interest and looking forward to a future collaboration
and friendship.
Please contact me directly:
[email protected]<>

Best regards,
Peter Ubachs
PS : Here are more pictures of the apartment :

Next email was:

Delivered-To: MY [email protected]
Received: by with SMTP id in9cs203340qcb;
Tue, 24 Aug 2010 02:02:51 -0700 (PDT)
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Tue, 24 Aug 2010 02:02:50 -0700 (PDT)
Return-Path: <[email protected]>
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by with ESMTP id q33si18280051waj.62.2010.;
Tue, 24 Aug 2010 02:02:50 -0700 (PDT)
Received-SPF: pass ( domain of [email protected] designates as permitted sender) client-ip=;
Authentication-Results:; spf=pass ( domain of [email protected] designates as permitted sender) [email protected]
Received: from SNT132-W13 ([]) by with Microsoft SMTPSVC(6.0.3790.4675);
Tue, 24 Aug 2010 02:00:56 -0700
Message-ID: <[email protected]>
Return-Path: [email protected]
Content-Type: multipart/alternative;
X-Originating-IP: []
From: Peter Ubachs <[email protected]>
To: <MY [email protected]>
Subject: =?windows-1256?Q?RE:_Immowe?= =?windows-1256?Q?b_-_Intere?=
=?windows-1256?Q?st_in_a_"T?= =?windows-1256?Q?o_rent"_ad?=
Date: Tue, 24 Aug 2010 09:00:56 +0000
Importance: Normal
In-Reply-To: <[email protected]>
<[email protected]>,<[email protected]>
MIME-Version: 1.0
X-OriginalArrivalTime: 24 Aug 2010 09:00:56.0218 (UTC) FILETIME=[DCEB17A0:01CB436A]

Content-Type: text/plain; charset="windows-1256"
Content-Transfer-Encoding: 8bit


Thanks very much for your reply, I can see your willingness to rent the flat.
The apartment will be ready for you (already furnished, new duvets, covers, blankets and everything), you will need only to receive the keys and the contract to check it, and see if you like it. I shall be renting you my home, please take care of the flat like it were your own.
I am giving you the flat in trust so please don't disappoint me. I promise you that you will love the apartment.
I am in Liverpool now but I found a way for us to complete the deal safely and fast, if you move fast as well.
Obviously we need a way to complete this process, that will allow us to make sure we receive what we are after. In order to do that I have found a way for us to complete the deal safely and fast. I left the keys and contract of the apartment, already signed by me, at a escrow company called MoneyBookers They will handle the transaction (payment and delivery for us).
We will use this company just for this time so we can trust each other.
Please let me know if you are still interested to rent my apartment and if so, i will be in contact with Moneybookers to initiate the exchange procedure (keys and legal documents / security deposit).
Just so you understand, this is the procedure:

-You give me your name and address and I will contact moneybookers, and make all the arrangements for the transaction to be set up;
-Moneybookers contacts you and gives you instructions;
-You pay moneybookers agent assigned with our transaction the amount of EUR 950 (it represents the first month of rent + one month as a guarantee that you'll get back at the end of the contract);
-Monkeybookers sends you the keys and the contract;
-You have 14 days to inspect apartment since the arrival date;
-If you want to keep the apartment, they give me the money, and we go on from there;
-If you do not keep the apartment, you give the keys/contract back to moneybookers and you get your money back.

This will be in writing in the moneybookers contract I will sign.
The MoneyBookers fees will be paid by me when I will initiate the procedure, you will have to pay for the money transfer fees when you will have to pay the moneybookers agent.
I will wait your quick reply and if you agree, I will need your full name, shipping address and your daytime phone number and I will initiate the moneybookers transaction.
If you want to continue I will also send you a copy of my ID's for reassurance. You have copies of your own's please send them to me too.

Thanks again for your time and look forward to hear from you soon.
PS: I don't get any money until you sign the rental contract in case you like it after the visit.

Best regards,
Peter Ubachs
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Not quite a Newb

Joined: 24 Aug 2010
Posts: 53
Location: dodging gridbugs

PostPosted: Wed Aug 25, 2010 7:23 pm Reply with quoteBack to top

looks like a pretty convoluted header. and who the hell is russelldavid? i would be highly suspicious no matter WHAT the circumstances. but the apparent path of the email rings some bells.

perhaps someone with more knowledge or experience witht his sort of thing could shed more light. but at the moment, with the info provided, i call shenanigans.

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Joined: 20 Aug 2010
Posts: 226
Location: On the prowl

PostPosted: Mon Sep 20, 2010 1:28 pm Reply with quoteBack to top

Hello and welcome Schlafesbruder,

Damn if the scammers are targeting the Belgian immo-sites, nothing is safe anymore (well it wasn't anyway, I guess).

I have friends looking for houses on that site, thanks for the warning !
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Master of Master Baiters

Joined: 03 Nov 2010
Posts: 902
Location: Munching vegetables and hopping around

PostPosted: Thu Nov 04, 2010 11:23 pm Reply with quoteBack to top

Someone I know was considering moving to Brussels and also found, via immoweb, an advertisement for an apartment to rent at a very low price. The owner claimed to be working abroad and would send the keys only after receiving a first month's rent and security deposit. Obviously, my friend decided not to pursue it because it didn't make sense to send money without ever having seen the apartment.
Another place where it wouldn't surprise me to see similar scams existing is Argentina (Buenos Aires) - there is a high demand for short-term apartment rentals for people coming from abroad, so I wouldn't be surprised if something similar has developed or develops there. I don't know of any particular cases of it, though.
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Baiting Guru

Joined: 12 Dec 2007
Posts: 4816
Location: Connecting my chair and keyboard

PostPosted: Thu Nov 04, 2010 11:44 pm Reply with quoteBack to top

It's a classic R4R (room for rent) scam. Great price, suspiciously convenient absentee landlord (who doesn't want to even meet his new tenants to do the deal?), 'escrow' service will just be straight payment with faked emails to throw you off the scent, etc.

If he's for real, what's the project in Liverpool (a city with many builders and project managers already) with which company? Then look up the company in the phone book and speak to the guy direct - not a problem if he's for real, right? But he isn't, he's a crook very likely in a cafe in Lagos (statistically likely!)

Anything that leaves you feeling wary, listen to those feelings. A real renter would appoint an agent and not be so darn cheap and stupid enough to include all bills, etc. Literally TOO GOOD TO BE TRUE!


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