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 Help? Possible Rental Scam?

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Nevermind1984
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Joined: 08 May 2008
Posts: 3


PostPosted: Thu May 08, 2008 1:34 pm Reply with quoteBack to top

Hi All,

I am very new to this, I found this website when I was investigating internet scams yesterday as i recieved a email that I thought was too good to be true.

Basically I am trying to rent out one of the rooms in my house. I have advertised this on the internet, and recieved a email from someone abroad telling me that he definetly wants to rent the room out and wants to send me a cheque to secure the room, as he will be arriving next month.

It definetly looks like it could be a scam however i'm not entirely sure, i don't want to post the email here just incase it is legit, instead i was wondering if I could PM someone thats been here a little while to see their opinion on it, and if it is a scam, some advice on how to continue from there. Can someone help?

Thanks,

P.s... Love the site, its a really good idea!!
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Tsnerd
Man in a Bunny Suit


Joined: 14 Jul 2005
Posts: 41


PostPosted: Thu May 08, 2008 1:40 pm Reply with quoteBack to top

It will be a scam...what person would rent an apartment sight unseen, especially from overseas?

You would receive the check and deposit it. Shortly thereafter, this person would contact you and explain that for some reason or other, he wasn't going to be able to take the apartment, and ask for a refund. He might even offer to let you keep some of the money for your troubles.

You would wire the money to him, and then at some point further down the line, you would be notified that the check was no good/stolen/counterfeit, and the bank would come after you for the money. In the meantime, the scammer would have moved on to someone else with the same story.

Good catch, and I'm glad that you questioned this. I would suggest just telling this person that you've already found another renter.

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Nevermind1984
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Joined: 08 May 2008
Posts: 3


PostPosted: Thu May 08, 2008 1:43 pm Reply with quoteBack to top

So theres no way I can have some fun with this?

The money that I will be recieving from him would be a deposit so if he does ask for it back i will just refuse as its a deposit.


Last edited by Nevermind1984 on Thu May 08, 2008 1:45 pm; edited 1 time in total
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Yastreb
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Joined: 04 Apr 2006
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PostPosted: Thu May 08, 2008 1:43 pm Reply with quoteBack to top

If it's a scam, then it would play out in two ways (based on what I've read about such).

The first would involve a cheque made out for more than the agreed-upon rental. You'll be asked to remit the difference, by Western Union, to a third party (most likely).

The second is simpler - the cheque arrives, and you bank it, but within a day or two you are told that the new tenant can't make it, and he wants you to remit the money, often by Western Union.

If the first happens, just reply that you've found another tenant, and destroy the cheque. Don't bank it. In the second case, if a cheque arives for the real amount, hold off for a few days and see if he asks for a refund. If so, destroy the cheque.

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PostPosted: Thu May 08, 2008 1:58 pm Reply with quoteBack to top

Nevermind1984 - Do not bait these people with your real name, address, or email. They may live nearby or have friends who do. Don't forget these people are criminals. If you want to play with this particular check scammer, get a new email addy, a new apartment (fake address), and respond with a generic reply. They reply to hundreds of emails, so I'm betting they wouldn't even notice that they never sent the first email to your fake email character. Then, if they reply back, it's fun time! Very Happy

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MyMyselfAndI
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PostPosted: Thu May 08, 2008 2:02 pm Reply with quoteBack to top

Tsnerd wrote:
It will be a scam...what person would rent an apartment sight unseen, especially from overseas?


I have actually done that... We spent five months in LA three years ago and needed an apartment rather than a hotel as that gets very expensive for five months. However, we went to www.apartments.com and contacted a large apartment complex there with lots of photos etc. of the apartments. However, if someone offers to rent an apartment from something like Craiglist or whatever it's called without seeing it then I'd be concerned. We didn't pay any deposit until we got to LA so anyone offering to pay upfront I'd consider dubious.

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Nevermind1984
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Joined: 08 May 2008
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PostPosted: Thu May 08, 2008 2:12 pm Reply with quoteBack to top

Thanks for the advice, I guess as i am using my real email at the moment its probably a bad idea to try and bait him, however as im not entirely sure about it being a fake and the email did seem fairly genuine, I might tell him to send the cheque and see what happens. Is this a really bad idea?
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Donato
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Joined: 07 Jan 2007
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PostPosted: Thu May 08, 2008 2:17 pm Reply with quoteBack to top

If he has ANY of your real life details-WALK AWAY

Sign up for a mentor-learn how to bait safe and read all the stickies TWICE, then consider baiting lads. NOT BEFORE!

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Jayhawk
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PostPosted: Thu May 08, 2008 2:20 pm Reply with quoteBack to top

There's a (very good) television show on the Showtime network called "Dexter." In this show the hero, Dexter, is a serial killer that works for the Miami Police Department, but he only kills other serial killers. He follows what he calls the "Code of Harry" in that he makes absolutely sure that the person he is going to murder is in fact a serial killer.

I bring this up because I don't think you've given us (or me at least) enough information to make the judgement on if this is a scam or not. How much does this person know about your room? Has he seen photos? Does he know the location? If I was moving to a strange country and needed someplace to stay immediately I could see making a decision based on photos/location. Especially if it is for a short stay. It certainly does smell like a scam, but I'm not ready to put the "scam" stamp on it quite yet.

Like others have said, if it is a scam he will either send you more money than you asked for (and request you wire the difference back to him), or he will decide a few days/weeks later that he doesn't want the room and ask you to return the money.

If you are uncomfortable with him and have others renting the room then by all means tell him no, however in my mind the "Code of Harry" hasn't been satisfied enough to tell me that this is a definite scam.

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GomerPyle
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PostPosted: Thu May 08, 2008 2:31 pm Reply with quoteBack to top

Yes Nevermind1984 - depositing a counterfeit cheque is always a bad idea,

I have known people get arrested on the spot, and even if you can satisfy the police, or a jury, you will have lost a lot of time, money and grief over some slimeball scammer.

If you think he may be real, why not ask him if it's work or pleasure, If it's work mention that you need references from whoever will be employing him locally - so get him to tell you who it is. If he's a tourist ask him where he'll be going as you may be able to get some discounts.

The scammers we deal with tend to use scripts and are often not so polished once you ask them unexpected questions and they tend to give themselves away.

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sheboppe
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PostPosted: Thu May 08, 2008 6:24 pm Reply with quoteBack to top

Nevermind1984 wrote:
I might tell him to send the cheque and see what happens. Is this a really bad idea?


It is a very bad idea if he has your real address or that is the address that you planned to give him to send the check to.

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coyote
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Joined: 01 Feb 2008
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PostPosted: Thu May 08, 2008 6:57 pm Reply with quoteBack to top

I always run a credit check on anyone I lease to.
I have found from experience it is worth the small fee involved.
If they are not willing to supply the information necessary for the
credit check, I would lease to someone else.
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MyMyselfAndI
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Joined: 09 Apr 2008
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PostPosted: Fri May 09, 2008 9:19 am Reply with quoteBack to top

coyote wrote:
I always run a credit check on anyone I lease to.


I believe that anyone moving to the U.S. from overseas won't show up on the credit check. The apartment complex I moved into when I first moved to LA did a credit check and I came back with 'no credit history available' or something along those lines. Someone about to move to the U.S. won't have a social security number or anything like that.

That said, if I'd rent out an apartment or room to someone I'd automatically rule out certain nationalities if approached by them before they were in the country... I'd say if it's someone from a Western country then there's less to worry about but why would anyone offer to pay anything at all before actually getting there? That's putting yourself at great risk in case the person letting out the apartment does a runner.

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"WHAT DO YOU MEAN BY 50 DOLLARS????ARE YOU SURE THAT YOU KNOW WHAT YOU ARE DOING OR DO THINK THAT YOU ARE SELLING FOOD ITEMS IN THE MARKET OR DO YOU THINK THAT YOU ARE DEALING WITH A PERSONAL BANK." - 4lh4ji C0mp0a0reu director B4nk of 4frica
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GomerPyle
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PostPosted: Fri May 09, 2008 10:14 am Reply with quoteBack to top

The ideal alternative would be to ask them to make a SWIFT payment to your account but that would mean divulging your banking information to a stranger.

I would ask him to make a deposit to you by Western Union (to show that he is serious and to enable you to feel confident to hold the room) and then pay the balance, in cash, when he arrives.

If he is from West Africa he'll know all about Western Union, but in any event, you won't be turning down a real opportunity and any scammer will let go at that point.

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Fake sites killed 1 x Australia 9 x United Kingdom 3 x 168 X Closed lad accounts Easter Egg 2011
Pith Helmet - the 'Asparagus Kid' - Accra to Lome - You Must surly Die in The Name Of Jesus Christ
Pith Helmet - Steve - Lagos to Accra
Pith Helmet - Frank - Lagos to Cotonou - co-bait with the vampire
Pith Helmet - Shorty - Lagos to Cotonou - My Agro Base farming where i rearing chicken and other animals was set ablazed overnight and we do not know who is actual behinde all these evils! -
I and my crew was locked up for 3 good days….They wanted to charge us to court but later we are fined an huge amount of money…I asked them why did they arrest the men, they started laughing and saying all sorts mockering words! -
…because now, am left with nothing and remember i told you my Guy (Joe) gave up earlier this morning
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Miss Behaving
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PostPosted: Fri May 09, 2008 2:03 pm Reply with quoteBack to top

Hi Nevermind1984, did you get quite a long letter from the prospective tenant? If so, try googling some of the phrases from it. You may find he has sent this letter 1000s of times or replied to threads with it, or miserable victims have posted the letter up.

Rental scammers dodge questions about themselves or have unrealistic answers. If you ask for more information a scammer will be sketchy - he can't be bothered making up stuff. He wants to get to the bit where he sends you the bad cheque.

If you want to bait there are thousands of other lads out there, including lads who can send you many many many fake cheques to Eater-approved anonymous drop boxes. Twisted Evil

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