Report This To Craigslist As Fraud? (long)

SpringcurlSpringcurl Posts: 8,002Registered Users
So I'm looking for an apartment and saw an advertisement for a 2 bedroom for $800. REALLY cheap. I emailed the person and got this response (I don't apologize for the personal names in the email as I think they're bogus):

Hi, I got your mail in regards to my hoUse for rent, but I have been very bUsy with work, it is still available for rent. What really happened is this, am not giving my hoUse out for rent jUst becaUse of money but becaUse of my transfer to the United Kingdom. Am an x-ray welder under ship building, I have been working with Nassco ship building here in united state, you can view site at www.nassco.com , but have jUst been transferred to Japan Ship Centre (JETRO),

I left united state with hope that I will be coming back in month's time, but right now the company have ask me to stay for 3/4yrs under contract with them, that is why I have made up my mind to put up my hoUse for rent to whom ever that will take good care of it.
Also how long do you intend to stay? How soon do you intend to move in?
Section 8 not accepted..


The Address: 103 Salem Street, Wakefield, MA 01880
Rent $800/mo
Beds: 2
Baths; 1.0
FEATURES
Water and sewer, Garbage pickup
AMENITIES
Air Conditioning
Dishwasher
Washer/dryer hookup
Garbage Disposal
Microwave
hardwood floors
off street driveway
Pets Allowed

Available now!!...
As i am not around to show the inside, you can go check out the hoUse and the neighborhood from the outside and get back to me if you really like it for more information.
Please respond ASAP.
Thanks

+447024014525
DIANE HEGARTY
Japan Ship Centre (JETRO)
Second Floor, 6 Lloyd's Avenue, London EC3N 3AX United Kingdom



I thought it seemed a LITTLE weird. All the extraneous company information and the syntax of the letter didn't seem like a native English speaker, but I drove up there and checked out the neighborhood, the house, etc. I peeked inside the windows but really couldn't get a good idea of the layout. There was a "for rent" sign on the outside with a phone number so I took the number down. When I got home I emailed her again and told her that I was interested but wanted to see the inside.

So she then sent me this:

Thanks for your keen interest in occupying my house,
You should count yourself lucky to meet with this offer.Please note there's compulsory security deposit fee to move in and i need someone that is ready to take good care of my house, the rent includes utilities(Water and sewer including electricity) and all amenities inside(Refrigerator, laundry, washer and dryer)...You can get back to me if you are truly interested.

There is no way you can see the inside because i am here with the entrance keys, that is the reason i sent you the physical address in my previous email so you will see it from the outside. Just want to let you know that i will be here for 4 years and i have an intension of buying another home when i return but that should be in the nearest future. like i told you in my previous email that i am not in the states right now that is the reason i am renting it out

MONTH TO MONTH OR YEARLY IS ACCEPTABLE.
RENT: $800
DEPOSIT: $800


Below are the specifications: How ready are you to secure the house now? you know some others are interested but if you are ready to secure it then the screening will count. The house is available for you to move in, so you need fill out this application for quick rental arrangement.

Kindly confirm your interest by filling the form below:

(rental form)

Looking forward to hear from you. Your full information will be used to process all documents that will be coming together with the keys leading to the house and this will come to you through DHL/ FEDEX courier service.

Feel free to call me on my cell phone number to discuss more about the rent. Cell +2347062721166.
Get back to me asap
Thanks

+447024014525
DIANE HEGARTY
Japan Ship Centre (JETRO)
Second Floor, 6 Lloyd's Avenue, London EC3N 3AX United Kingdom


Well, obviously I'm not about to do that. But I did call the cell # and it did say, "Diane Hegarty is not available to take your call..." and it was an American woman's voice.

So either someone (1) hacked into her craigslist acct. or (2) she herself is a scammer or (3) she's stupid and thinks I'd rent a house sight unseen.

Do you think I should report this to Craigslist?


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Comments

  • midgimidgi Posts: 2,409Registered Users Curl Neophyte
    I would. The whole arrangement sounds so shady.
    I just want to do what I want to do when I want to do it.
  • gekko422gekko422 Posts: 4,869Registered Users
    That is actually a well known scam, I would definitely report it.
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  • anonnymouseanonnymouse Posts: 1,340Registered Users Curl Connoisseur
    Yes, I'd report it. No way does that sound real.

    Out of curiosity, did you call the number on the sign in front of the house?

    I also think I've seen a news report recently about just this kind of scam.


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  • SpringcurlSpringcurl Posts: 8,002Registered Users
    Out of curiosity, did you call the number on the sign in front of the house?

    Yes, and that's why I was confused. Because when I called the local number in front of the house, it was an answering machine of the above named woman. So then I thought, did someone hack her Craigslist account and she doesn't even know?
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  • winnie no poowinnie no poo Posts: 33Registered Users
    She could be a scammer. Did she mention anything about a contract/lease? I wouldn't rent without something in writing with signatures. I also wouldn't agree to living somewhere that I had never set foot inside. Plus, if she will be away how will she check that the place is in good condition upon your move out to give you your security deposit back? It sounds way too sketchy to me.

    It's better to be safe than sorry- you don't want to be out $1600. You don't even know for sure that the place is hers or that she isn't scamming other people out of $1600 at the same time.

    I tried Googling the name "Diane Hegarty" and lots of interesting things came up.
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  • SpringcurlSpringcurl Posts: 8,002Registered Users
    I tried Googling the name "Diane Hegarty" and lots of interesting things came up.

    Heh. Yeah, me too.

    I would never rent there now, but I can't help thinking that somehow the REAL person -- whoever that is -- isn't aware of what's happening. The house IS vacant and there IS a for rent sign out front.
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  • SpiderSpider Posts: 3,381Registered Users Curl Neophyte
    Couple of things-
    I would never rent a house that I couldn't see the inside of- it could be filthy, moldy etc.

    If she has this much difficulty showing it to you, how is she going to manage things (as she is the property owner) if something breaks or otherwise needs her attention?

    I guess I don't get the scam part unless she takes your money in advance and doesn't really own the property- in that case you can also check with the tax assessors office for the city/township the property is in and see who is actually registered as the owner.

    But the bottom line is if you don't feel comfortable with a property or landlord- move on. (and do report it to Craigslist to check out)
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  • SystemSystem Posts: 39,059 Administrator
    Someone wants me to rent a house? Ok, come yourself or send someone certified/qualified to show me the home and let me look around. We will sit down and go over paperwork and let me make sure that everything is legit. Not going/can't let me see the inside? No thanks, my pocketbook/wallet is not interested. I'd let them know that I suspect a fraud. They can tell if it's a legit or not and pull it if it turns out to be a fraud.
  • badgercurlsbadgercurls Posts: 3,077Registered Users
    I'm pretty sure this is a common scam, as someone else said. The way it works is that the scammer finds a Craigslist post for an apartment rental, steals the address (and apparently the name?) and tries to rip people off. The super-cheap rent is a big sign of this. I'll see if I can find the article I read about it.

    ETA: Here's a story on Consumerist about someone who found out her apartment was listed in a Craigslist scam.

    ETA2: Here's another Consumerist story on how to spot and report Craigslist apartment scams.
  • SpringcurlSpringcurl Posts: 8,002Registered Users
    I'm pretty sure this is a common scam, as someone else said. The way it works is that the scammer finds a Craigslist post for an apartment rental, steals the address (and apparently the name?) and tries to rip people off. The super-cheap rent is a big sign of this. I'll see if I can find the article I read about it.

    ETA: Here's a story on Consumerist about someone who found out her apartment was listed in a Craigslist scam.

    ETA2: Here's another Consumerist story on how to spot and report Craigslist apartment scams.

    Wow! I'm only glad that I'm skeptical by nature! I did report it.
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  • CurlyCanadianCurlyCanadian Posts: 10,904Registered Users, Curl Ambassador Curl Connoisseur
    Spider wrote: »

    I guess I don't get the scam part unless she takes your money in advance and doesn't really own the property- in that case you can also check with the tax assessors office for the city/township the property is in and see who is actually registered as the owner.

    This happened with my apartment TWICE in Alberta. The first time I got a call at work, the woman said my landlord had given her my number. There was an ad posted on kijiji for my place, super cheap, person had moved to Europe and just wanted someone they trusted in to look after the place till they got back. The woman had only phoned the landlord to see if she could get into a similar place to see the layout.

    The second time, a guy showed up at my door. Turns out him & his girlfriend had been looking for a place, saw the ad for my place and sent the guy a cheque and he was to fedex them keys. When they never turned up, they came to the apartment to see if the guy actually lived there :sad3:
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  • SpringcurlSpringcurl Posts: 8,002Registered Users
    And yeah, look at this:
    Thank you for your interest. I have available the apartment located at 2800 W 44th St, Minneapolis, MN 55410, with 1 bedroom, 1 living room and 1 bathroom, square ft. 911-933. Because I moved with my job in United Kingdom, London, i need money to pay the rent here which is very expensive and that is the reason i want to rent the apt at this low price and to find a good person for it fast. I can rent you the apt for maximum 5 years this is the period i have contract here but i can rent it for a low period too. I`m the owner of the apt and it's exactly like in the PICS. The rent for 1 month is $900 including all utilities (water, electricity, Internet, cable, parking, air conditioning, fireplace, dishwasher, garbage disposal, microwave, refrigerator). 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 compromise.
    Thank you for your interest and wait news from you.
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  • merynmeryn Posts: 1,807Registered Users Curl Novice
    Lengthy, wordy replies are always suspect to me.

    They're wrought with excuses, "this is why's" etc. If someone has a decent product (including a rental) at a decent price, there's no need for this, imo.
  • SuburbanbushbabeSuburbanbushbabe Posts: 15,402Registered Users Curl Neophyte
    Yes. Looks like she's will collect the deposit as a scam.
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  • ZinniaZinnia Posts: 7,339Registered Users
    did the contract require a SSN?

    i thought the scam was getting money and stealing an identity....
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  • RednaturalcurlsRednaturalcurls Posts: 1,814Registered Users Curl Neophyte
    This happened to our neighbor. He had his house up for rent with a realtor and it was supposed to only be shown with the realtor present. We noticed over a span of a little over a week that there were an awful lot of people showing up at his house, peeking in the windows and what not but we never saw the realtor. Didn't really think much of it (we drove by countless houses when we were looking to see if we liked the neighborhood, etc) until a friend of ours had seen the listing for the house on Craigslist and had stopped by to see us because he was thinking of renting and thought it would be cool to have us across the street, but that the posting sounded a little shady. Turns out, someone had taken the legitimate photos from the realtors website and posted them in a fake Craigslist ad for super cheap rent and some story about how the owner was transferred to Africa. The response back to the potential renter asks for all kinds of personal information. We called our neighbor immediately and he had the ad reported and pulled from Craigslist immediately.
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  • SpringcurlSpringcurl Posts: 8,002Registered Users
    Well, I found the number in my phone and called. She's aware of it and she's obviously VERY unhappy with it. She wasn't aware, however, that the scammer had her first AND last name. She thanked me for calling.

    On the plus side, the apartment is still available and I went up and looked at it and fell in love with it. About 60,000 other people besides me are looking at it, so I don't know if I'll get it, but I filled out an application with the hope that I'll get some brownie points for actually taking the time to call her and warn her.
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  • newcurlynewcurly Posts: 1,310Registered Users
    Springcurl wrote: »
    Well, I found the number in my phone and called. She's aware of it and she's obviously VERY unhappy with it. She wasn't aware, however, that the scammer had her first AND last name. She thanked me for calling.

    On the plus side, the apartment is still available and I went up and looked at it and fell in love with it. About 60,000 other people besides me are looking at it, so I don't know if I'll get it, but I filled out an application with the hope that I'll get some brownie points for actually taking the time to call her and warn her.

    Oh, yay! Just be aware that if you move in there, you may have to deal with people trying to look at it, etc as the spammer probably won't stop posting the ad. I've been apartment hunting for months and the same spammer has been posting a very attractive, well-located apartment at a ridiculously low rent apartment over and over for at least the last two months. The best thing you can do is keep perusing craigslist and every time you see her post the ad hit "prohibited" in the box that they use for moderation.
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  • SpringcurlSpringcurl Posts: 8,002Registered Users
    newcurly wrote: »

    Oh, yay! Just be aware that if you move in there, you may have to deal with people trying to look at it, etc as the spammer probably won't stop posting the ad.

    Wow, good point. I hadn't even thought of that.
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  • xcptnlxcptnl Posts: 15,678Registered Users Curl Connoisseur
    Springcurl I know this is an old thread but I immediately thought of you when the local news had a story very similar to yours. 4-5 people were cheated out of deposit $ from a guy in Beverly. He was kicked out of his apartment but then listed it on Craigslist and got deposits from 4 or 5 people and then disappeared. He must have had keys because he showed the apartment to people. Two guys actually showed up to move in. I think he got $1500 or more from each of these people that wanted the apartment. I felt bad for the girl they interviewed - I think she was a college student.
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  • SpringcurlSpringcurl Posts: 8,002Registered Users
    xcptnl wrote: »
    Springcurl I know this is an old thread but I immediately thought of you when the local news had a story very similar to yours. 4-5 people were cheated out of deposit $ from a guy in Beverly. He was kicked out of his apartment but then listed it on Craigslist and got deposits from 4 or 5 people and then disappeared. He must have had keys because he showed the apartment to people. Two guys actually showed up to move in. I think he got $1500 or more from each of these people that wanted the apartment. I felt bad for the girl they interviewed - I think she was a college student.

    I read that and I felt particularly bad for those people because he had a lease and everything for them to sign, so it seemed really legit. Horrible.
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