The new craigslist scam...on rent
Interesting. I just got a couple of e-mails from women in the U.K. saying they would love to become my roommate. One said she was a model. Here's the first e-mail she sent.
Hello, I am interested in renting your room. Here is a little info about myself. I am Donna and i am 29 years old.Am a Canadian but at present i'm in England,but I'lll be coming over to The United States in a couple of weeks. Consequent to this and in order to make settling in much easier and quicker i am searching for an accomodation early and i saw your ad on the
site and i want to make reservations for your apartment. I can assure you that you will not have any regrets letting out this apartment to me & having me as a room mate.I am an introvert by nature & i get along much easily with most people.I will be coming over alone,with no family or pets. I do not smoke and i drink very lightly. My reason for moving is because i have three job offers which i am undecided which to choose & the pay is very good. I'm a model and just got some new contracts and dont intend to spend more than 1-2 months in America. Please reply me as soon as you read this email.I ll be waiting to hear from you. Kindly contact me via email. Also if you have a yahoo messenger you could add me.My yahoo id is donnagill_1 and email is email@example.com so you could add me.Or call me +447024076192Thank you once more Yours sincerly Donna
I admit I was curious but it was like she hadn't really read my craigslist posting because I say in ALL CAPS "this if for MAY MOVE-IN." So I wrote "her" back saying "hey this is for May only, like I said, and it's a year lease, not just a few months."
This is verbatem the e-mail sent back.
Hello XXX (My name),
Thanks for your reply & agreeing to share room with me, I intend to move to the states in April 1st.I am willing to pay the $800 rental. Well i'll need your favour on something which would also serve as my means of payment. My Boss owes me some funds and i told him that i've secured a room ,he agreed to pay up and said he'll inform his partner in Canada to send a cashiers check to you. Send me your full names, address and phone number to send the payment get across to you. Once you receive it, kindly take them to your bank & have them cashed. From this you can deduct the total amount for the room & in due course of time i will forwardto you my name & address to have some of the balance sent back to me. With this i will be able to buy my ticket & pay for freight fee that will be bringing my things over. The remaining i will pick up when i arrive. I wont be bringing much over as i intend to buy most afresh there. But my PC will be coming with me surely & other personal belongings.Thank you so very much for understanding and the opportunity given me to be your roommate.
i hope to hear from you soon.
Yours with all sincerity
Um...yeah. Okay. Fool me once on these things. I've placed my guitar up for sale on craiglist a lot (no one ever buys it) and every time I do you get those people who always send those really poorly written e-mails "Hi I will pay you for it. Im dealer in UK. Send cashiers check with expenses." If you haven't heard of these scams it's totally phoney. Right up there with the perenially Nigerian looting-the-country e-mail.
I just had no idea people were now trying to do it with RENT. I mean, unlike a seller selling an object where at least they expect to be paid, trying to get someone to mail you money so that they can become your roommate is even weaker. Why not just come out and say "I'm a Russian in the Ukraine and I need money because my economy is piss-poor. I could make a huge song and dance about pretending to be an African looting Nigeria or a Canadian model or I could just ask you to send me $500 American dollars. What do you say?"
While I'm sure people fell for the selling-things scam at first (or once in a great while) who in their right mind just sends money to a stranger who is then supposidly going to live with them? I guess it costs nothing to try but wouldn't it be better to put effort into cultivating this scam? The e-mail was written like he never read my ad, which I'm sure the scammer on the end didn't.
Then a few minutes later I got another e-mail that seemed like a pitch for the first. Of course it could be legitmate but again, notice she says she need to move in RIGHT AWAY even though I spell out it's a May move-in, and then says she only wants to stay for 7 months although I clearly say it's a year lease. My guess is that if I respond I'll get another one of those "oh and can you mail me airfare first. I will totally pay you back."
Hi, I saw your profile and I want to be your roommate.I am Rose Becca 31.I work in the UK for a footwear manufacturing company, I will be moving to the US to work on some project. How much is both the deposit and the first month rent I need to pay before I can move in? I want this space very urgent atleast before 28th of March. and I will like us to conclude soon so I can move in my things, I will be staying for 7 months, depending on how the 1st 5 months go. I will be moving to the US alone in the meantime, my family will not be moving in with me.Thanks, I awaits the price list of the deposits and and first month
UPDATE: So far this is pretty much my most popular blog posting. I posted one other example of this scam as well before I gave up. I think I got about 5-7 of these scammer e-mails when advertising my apartment. Although, it's possible at least one or two had been legit, they were just bruque people. Not all of them were as crudely written as the some. I too wrote back a highly moralizing e-mail to the first scammer about how theft is no way to earn a living, even if you are poor. I used to do that to the people who wrote who wanted to "buy" my guitar, but after a while you get tired of it. It's like shouting into a void. I don't know why these e-mails make me so sad about the human race. I guess it seems so personal yet impersonal. There's a human being at the end of that badly composed piece of writing. I do wonder a lot who that human being is and what his life is like?