Dissecting a Rental Scam Email

October 15, 2008 at 6:16 pm | Posted in Tips to Avoid Scams | 10 Comments
Tags:

There are commonalities with all rental scam emails. Below are some tips when dissecting a rental scam email.

  1. Does the email start out with Sir / Madam?
  2. Are there misspellings in the email?
  3. Are there character mistakes in the email? i.e Hello,my nameis Susie.
  4. Is there excessive capitalization?
  5. Does the email reference God, UK, Cashiers Check, Doctor, Nigeria, Reverend, etc.
  6. Is the email from a free email provider. i.e gmail, yahoo, aol, hotmail.
  7. Does the email refer to another person or agent?
  8. Does the email reference wanting to move in site unseen?

If the email has a majority of these commonalities, then the chances are very good it is a scammer. If you are unsure, it is best to not reply to the email.

About these ads

10 Comments »

RSS feed for comments on this post. TrackBack URI

  1. Great site! I would also add if the renter wants to send you a cashier’s check or money order for payment, and it is for more than the agreed on amount, and you are supposed to wire that “overage” to someone then it is a scam.

    Shawn Mosch
    Co-Founder of ScamVictimsUnited.com
    There is strength in numbers!

    Connect with us through
    http://www.retaggr.com/page/ShawnMosch

  2. Vacation rentals of south florida is a company to be aware of.They take your deposit and then demand more than agreed to.If you dont comply they keep your deposit .Its seems thats there shake and they squeeze you just before you leave.buyer beware

  3. Hey here is one I just recieved. Sounds to good to be true. the email was from amanda_hymas@yahoo.com Please let me know what you think…

    Hello Codi,

    Thanks for your response concerning my ad. The house is much available for now and it’s a 2-bedroom home. There are 1 full bathrooms and 1 partial bathroom.I’m the owner of the home and I and my wife just moved out recently because we came over to Africa for the Holidays and my Hospital’s Project,Doctors without Borders and we would be here for least a year to contribute in our own little way to the service of mankind. The decision to give the house out for rent is because of this project.

    The house is in perfect condition that’s why we want someone responsible to be there in our absence. We are more interested in the state of the house in our absence than the cash. We would be very pleased if you took the house as if it were yours. So for now, we are here in Nigeria, West Africa, our new house. We tried looking for an agent to leave the keys with we couldn’t get any,we were not comfortable/satisfied with the previous one,whose sign post might still be there. Due to our absence we have decided to make some compromise,which we very much feel is to your favor,as we indeed understand the peculiarities of our absence and we know you would find our terms and conditions acceptable.We are only willing to give the house out to a lovely and caring family, so if you know you can’t give the house the neatness it deserves please don’t contact me. However, if the reverse is the case, get back to me on how you could take care of our house or perhaps your experience in renting homes. Hope you are okay with the monthly price of $595 and a security deposit payment of $500 with hydro, heat, laundry facilities, air-condition and a dishwasher. I am looking forward to hearing from you ASAP.

    Kindly confirm your interest by filling the form below:

    TENANT RENT APPLICATION
    FIRST NAME:__________?
    MIDDLE NAME:__________?
    LAST NAME:__________?
    PROFESSION:__________?
    PHONE:
    (CELL)PHONE__________?
    (WORK)PHONE__________?
    (HOME)PHONE__________?
    KIDS _____ (YES/NO), HOW MANY ________
    PRESENT ADDRESS: _____________________
    CITY: _______________
    STATE:______________
    ZIP CODE: ____________
    HOW LONG? ___________IF RENTING
    WHY ARE YOU LEAVING__________?
    IF THIS HOUSE IS BEING GIVEN TO YOU,
    HOW LONG DO YOU INTEND STAYING? ____________?
    WHEN DO YOU INTEND MOVING IN? ______________?
    IF YOU HAVE A PET,
    NAME OF PET: _____________?
    KIND OF PETS: _____________?
    HABITS
    DO YOU SMOKE ______________ ?
    DO YOU DRINK ______________?
    DO YOU WORK LATE NIGHT? ____?
    HOW SOON CAN YOU COME UP WITH THE DEPOSIT ?______________________

    Looking forward to hearing from you with these details so I could file it in case of issuing the receipt for you and contacting you and also so we can discuss on how to get the documents and the keys across to you. You can reach me on +2348097044314,please do not add an extra +1,make sure your line allows international dialing,so you can call for more details.

    Thanks and we’re hoping to welcome you to our house in our absence.Find attached some pictures of the house,you could also drive by for confirmation(1002 Winslow Avenue, Richland WA).i hope you get to like it.

    Regards
    Dr.Amanda Hymas

    • Amazing I just found a house I was looking for on Craigslist and answered the ad. The reply is almost the same as above except it was a Dr. Peter Quinn who had suddenly been called to go to Africa with Doctors Without Borders. The Tenant Rent Application is the same as the one sent to me.

  4. I am looking for a house to rent in panama city florida.. I was on craigslist and this is what i found..

    Hello,

    Thanks for your email, I personally own the house, we want our property to be well taken good care, and there are some Precaution in which i do give out to tenant willing to rent my house which brings about safety of a home, so please don’t be offended. But if you are still capable of renting my house the precaution goes this way..
    You must keep my house clean including the surrounding, you must know the way in which you use the stove so as to avoid fire outbreak,you must not disturb the neighbor. We decided to rent out the property due to our transfer to (West Africa) on a Missionary Work because, in a church here named World Mission, so we are renting it out since we need someone to take good care of the property on my absence.
    Have this in mind you must know the kind of person that i am. Nevertheless i am giving you this Precautions because of what corresponded between me and my last tenant. the keys and documents are with us here in West Africa … so i will need to ship them to you before you can occupy the house but you can drive by the house anytime to take a look.

    Pets are Welcome!!!
    Living Building Square Footage
    Number Of Bedrooms: 2
    Number Of Bathrooms: 2
    Rent: $700
    Deposit: $500

    Property Address: 1305 Calhoun Avenue, Panama City FL 32401

    SO IF YOU ARE REALLY INTERESTED I WILL WANT YOU TO FILL THE RENT APPLICATION FORM BELOW.
    ****RENT APPLICATION DETAILS****

    Please if you are ready now to occupy the house kindly provide the information below for record purpose
    PLEASE TELL US ABOUT YOURSELF
    Full Name__________? Home Phone ( & nbsp; )__________?
    Date of Birth__________?
    Other Phone ( )__________?
    Current Address__________?Apt#__________? City__________? State__________? Zip__________?
    Reasons for Leaving__________? Rent $__________? Phone ( )__________?
    Are you married__________?
    How many people will be living in the house__________?
    Do you have a pet__________?
    Do you have a car__________?
    Present occupation :__________?
    Do you agree to pay the payment before you move in:__________?
    Earliest possible date of deposit and first month rent payment:__________?
    How soon do you want to receive the keys__________?
    Move In Date__________?
    Your Family Pictures__________?
    Are you a section 8 applicant :__________?
    Do you work late night :__________?
    Do you smoke :__________?
    Do you drink :__________?

    Looking forward to hearing from you with all this details so that I can present it to my family, pray over it (because I consult the Almighty God before making any decision and if accepted, and have them stored in my file for the purpose of issuing the receipts to you and contacting you. Await your urgent reply so that we can discuss on how to get the document and the keys to you, please we are giving you all this based on trust and again I will want you to stick to your words, you know that we are very far apart now and only putting everything into God’s hands and hope that you will not let us down.The house will be available for rent for a period of five and a half years so you have a choice of deciding how long you intend staying there. For more inquiries email me ,

    Thanks and God bless you.
    Ashley M Washington
    you can rech me at +2347045698588

    So my question now is what do i do with it? It looks like an obvious scam when i read it i was like… wow what in the world kind of whack job is this? The address exists, and it is available for sale not for rent.

    • I just received this!

      Hello Tenants,

      May the good Lord we worship bless you as you live in my house.. I receive your mail indicating your interest in my home for rent and i hope you are serious about this. Please let me know when you are ready to move in and also indicate if you can take good care of my home cos i made up my mind to sell the house until my lovely wife advised that we keep it for future purpose. right now we are renting and not selling but we would like to leave it into a good hand. I want my property to be well taken good care of, and there are some rules and regulation in which I do give out to tenant who are willing to rent my house so please don’t disrespect my order but if you are still capable of renting my house the rules and regulation goes this way, You must keep my house clean including the surrounding, you must know the way in which you use the stove so as to avoid fire outbreak, you must not disturb the neighbor. I decided to rent out the property due to our transfer to (Louisiana) on a Missionary Work by my church here, so we are renting it out since we need someone to take good care of the property on our absent. Don’t be surprise if you find the home with another site and deference price, I have plan to rent it through Real estate before, but they are not serious simply because they have a lot of house to lease out and they added some money to the rent while there commission is not fair. Have this in mind you must know the kind of person that I’m nevertheless I am giving you this rules because of what corresponded between me and my last tenant. the keys and documents are with us here in Louisiana… So I will need to ship them to you before you can occupy the house But you can drive by the house anytime to take a look at the area and surrounding, You can also peek through the windows if you don’t mind. For now we are looking for 4 or 5 years lease or rather lets us know how long you wish to stay.

      Attn : The rent are including the Utilities are intact such as Dishwasher,Dryer, Electric Stove, Fridge, Washer,Air Condition,Sewage,Trash,all included in the monthly rent,as i am in a governmental programmer that sponsors my utilities on monthly basis etc.

      Please note that, we are a kind and honest family,that spent a lot on property that is available for rent, so in one accord,we are soliciting for your absolute maintenance of this house and want you to treat it as your own. We want you to keep it tidy all the time so that we shall be glad to see it whenever we are around on a visit.

      House Address : (9018 Slayton Dr, Austin TX 78753)

      =============================
      PROPERTY DESCRIPTION………..

      Number of Bedrooms: 3
      Number of Bathrooms: 2
      Pets are welcome!!!
      Rent: $690
      Refundable security Deposit: $690

      If you are really interested in renting my home then answer the rental application questions below.
      1. Your Name and Names of people moving in with you____________?
      2. Age and sex of each person________?
      3. Your current house address / Cell number / home number_______?
      4. Why relocating________?
      5. Occupation of each person_________?
      6. Personality of pet : __________?
      7. Do you have a car, how many_________?
      8. When do you plan to move in, please write exact date______?
      9. How often do you do your current house cleaning__________?
      10. Can we trust you and our house safe keeping in your hand?
      11. You smoke and drink? (We just want to know don’t get it twisted) no hard feelings.
      12. Intended length of lease___________?
      13. Are you ready to put down the refundable security deposit before getting the keys today or not:_____________?

      Thanks and God bless you.

      Regard,
      Ruth L Browning.

      !!!!!!Straight Fraud!!!!!

  5. I got such an email recently: Do you think it’s a scam?
    Sent from raymondaustin614@yahoo.com

    Thanks for your mail and also for contacting me on the house, I am Diane M Silva, the owner of the house you are making inquiry of. I must confess to you that you are a lucky tenant. Presently my house is still available for rent for $700 (rent already includes utilities). Due to our present location, we have been transferred from Work to Western region in Africa, i am an x ray welder, and i was transferred here under Niger dock plc. My wife came here to join me with my kids after some months i was transfer, I will be here for 5 years. My Father is ill and he has gone to Germany for surgery. So my wife had to come along with the keys and all the documents to the property because my father is not around for now. It is not share accommodation, it’s all for you and your family.

    Please i want you to note that i spent a lot on my property that i want to give to you for rent, so i will solicit for your absolute maintenance of this house and want you to treat it as your own, It is not the money that is the main problem but i want you to keep it tidy all the time so that i will be glad to see it neat when i come for a check up. I also want you to let me have trust in you as i always stand on my word.

    This is the address of the House (106 Sciarappa Street, Cambridge MA 02141)

    It has a dramatic entry foyer with ceramic floor. Extremely spacious rooms throughout with lots of big windows. Nice and light! New neutral paint and some newer carpet…..Very quiet, low traffic area. New fridge I believe its absolutely a perfect home for you and your family.Utilities include Water,Trash,Sewer,Gas Etc….

    SO IF YOU ARE REALLY INTERESTED I WILL WANT YOU TO FILL THE RENT APPLICATION FORM BELOW.

    RENT APPLICATION FORM.
    FIRST NAME:__________?
    MIDDLE NAME: ___________?
    LAST NAME: _____________________?
    PROFESSION:______________________?
    PHONE CELL: ______________________?
    PHONE HOME:_______________________?
    PHONE WORK:________________________?
    PRESENT ADDRESS:________ ?
    HOW LONG:________?
    MARRIED:__________ ?
    SPOUSE’S NAME: ________?
    CHILDREN:_________ ?
    HOW MANY:________ ?
    AGES:__________________?
    PETS:_________ ?
    NAME OF PET
    KIND OF PETS:__________________ ?
    HOW MANY?_______?
    HABITS
    DO YOU SMOKE______________ ?
    DO YOU DRINK______________?
    DO YOU WORK LATE NIGHT?____?
    YOUR EMPLOYMENT
    EMPLOYER:_______________________?
    EMPLOYER’S ADDRESS:_____________________?
    SUPERVISOR:_________?
    BUS. PHONE:________?
    HOW LONG ON PRESENT JOB: _______ ?
    SPOUSE’S EMPLOYMENT
    EMPLOYER:_______________________________?
    EMPLOYER’S ADDRESS:_________________?
    SUPERVISOR::____________ ?
    BUS. PHONE::_______________?
    HOW LONG ON PRESENT JOB: _____________?
    REFERENCES
    PERSONAL REFERENCE: _________________?
    PHONE: _____________________?

    The Landlord is authorized to use the information provided herein to conduct any and all investigations as deemed prudent by the Landlord.

    The house is available for rent at the moment so you are free to move in as soon as you wish to. A Deposit of $500 (which happens to be the security deposit) is required before moving in. Arrangements on how to get the keys and other necessary documents delivered to you. The house will be available for rent for a period of 5 years so you have a choice of deciding how long you intend staying there.

    Landlord,
    Diane M Silva.

    • Ok, it is a scam. Here is the next step:
      From: Raymond Austin

      Sent: Wednesday, May 23, 2012 3:31 PM
      Subject: Give me a call as soon as possible

      Hello …,

      How are you today i hope all is fine? i want to let you know that my family and i have been discussed on the issue and we have thought over it, we have decided to let you have the house but you have to promise us that you will take good care of the house for us, you can only view the building but you can’t go inside the house right now cause the keys and document to the house are all with me down here, please again make sure you take good care of the house so that i might be glad when coming at the end of April. 2013 to visit you. However if you are ready to rent the house now, then that will not be a problem but we will advice you due to a responsible person like you, to be able to afford the (first month rent $700 and security deposit which is $500)We also want to call you to a notice that we will have to send the keys and documents to the house address you gave us via DHL or FED EX express delivery which ever one you want, and you will be making the payment via western union, We will like to know some more few things from you and which are

      Question ?
      1) How long do you intend to live in the house?
      2) Are you ready to rent now and when do you want to move in?
      3) When do you intend making the payment so that i can forward you the detail that you will be making the payment to?

      RE-CONFIRMATION OF THE DELIVERY ADDRESS:
      FIRST NAME:
      HOUSE ADDRESS:
      MOBILE NUMBER:

      Here are the contents of the document:
      1) Entrance and the rooms Keys
      2) Paper/Permanent house form (Containing your reference details)
      3) The house documentary files…
      4) Payment Receipt……..
      5) Full address and description of the house.

      So i want you to get back to me with the following so that i can send to you the information that you need to make the payment to me, and i will be forwarding your information to any of the shipping company you want, so i hope to hear from you soon, you can also call me on this number +2348029503881 OR 0112348029503881.

      NOTE THAT THE SECURITY DEPOSIT IS REFUNDABLE IN-CASE YOU DON’T LIKE THE HOUSE.

      Please note that the deposit made is fully refundable should in case you finally gain entrance into the house after receiving the keys and documents and feel unsatisfied or uncomfortable with the interior, but i am giving you a benefit of doubt that you will love everything about this lovely and beautiful home and is ready for move in. The deposit will be refunded in less than 24 hours after you request for it. You are advices to act fast on this so you don’t loose the house to other interested applicants…Give me a call as soon as possible.

      Thanks and Remain Blessed.

  6. This was too good to be true.
    __________________________________________________________________

    Thanks for your email. The house is still available. I decided to rent the house because we are going to spend more time here in Abuja, about 4 years. I must confess that I am very new in this landlord business. I and my wife own the house located at (205 Cedar Lane, Clemson SC 29631). Due to my job as a civil engineer, I works for a France company called VINCI CONSTRUCTION CO, and now i have been transfer to West Africa. I spent less time in the States so I could not get a hold on any Realtor to handle this rent issue, although it was when I knew how long we are going to stay in Africa that I decided to rent out the house. However,the initial plan was to sale out the House. which I tried, but sometimes the agents inflates the prize and it takes longer to sell.The house include the utilities like Heat, A/C in wall/window, Hydro, cable, Garbage Disposal, Fireplace , Fridge, stove, Dishwasher, Dryer, Breakfast Bar, Dining Table and Sofa Set,Refrigerator,Canopied deck overlooking nature.,internet access e.t.c. because of this reason and more we need a responsible person that can take very good care of it as we are not after the money, but want it to be clean and for you to take it as if it were yours. I hope you will promise me to take very good care of my home, also i will be coming once in 4 months for visit to see how you are taking care of the home, and if any thing need to be repair in the home, i can fix it back!
    Information about the house below:
    The rent is: $500 Security Deposit: $500
    This 3 bedroom home
    Pet are also Welcome.

    SO IF YOU ARE REALLY INTERESTED I WILL WANT YOU TO FILL THE RENT APPLICATION FORM BELOW.
    RENT APPLICATION FORM.
    Name (First name/ Middle name/Surname ) : __________?
    Phone # : __________?
    How many proposed occupants : __________?
    Present Address/City/State : : __________?
    Please describe Breed, size : __________?
    Personality of pet : __________?
    Preferred move in date : __________?
    Intended length of lease: __________?
    Are you ready to put down the security deposit payment: __________?
    Length of previous tenancy : __________?

    Comment: YOU CAN ONLY DRIVE BY AND SEE MY PLACE FROM THE OUTSIDE, BUT IF YOU DRIVE BY THE HOME YOU MAY SEE A SIGN THERE, YOU HAVE NOTHING TO WORRY ABOUT IT BELONGS TO OUR PREVIOUS AGENT SO YOU HAVE ABSOLUTELY NOTHING TO WORRY ABOUT AND YOU DON’T HAVE TO CALL THEM BECAUSE THEY DON’T HAVE ACCESS TO THE HOME ANYMORE! IF YOU ARE INTERESTED IN RENTING GET THE TENANCY RENT APPLICATION FORM FILLED OUT AND SEND IT BACK TO ME. ALSO YOU CAN CONTACT ME AT +2348165123066 or +2347045669610
    Regards,
    Chad B Carson

  7. Thank you for maintaining this website. I got this email and at first I nearly believed it but my wife quickly recognized that this was “too good to be true”.

    Hello,

    We are pleased that you have an interest in our house, Our lovely home is still available for lease and we want responsible adults/family who are neat and also believe that they have what it takes to take care of our house as if it were theirs. My wife and I initially had it up for sale but had a change of mind in leasing it out ourselves because the agent that was in charge of our rental property was asking too much of an agent fee and also making it difficult for people who cannot afford the rent, stay away from renting my house.

    The reason why our house is up for lease is because I got transferred from my place of work to Atlanta ,GA , I will be away with my family for at least 4 to 5 years because of the love I have for them, I have decided not to sell our house and also assuring them that we only have few years to spend here and will be willing to lease it out to person/family who is willing to assure us of taking absolute care of our home and pay their rent on time. I will start by telling you more in regards me and my family. I have a daughter named Leslie (20yrs) who attends University of Atlanta ,GA as a medical student, she has a lot going for her and she is also down to earth in all that she does to keep us happy and when she is back home on vacation, she also assist her mom in the house work when am at work. I work as a Robotic Programmer & Welder/Fitter here in Atlanta ,GA and got married to a lovely wife who is a member of Joyce Meyer Ministries . We will be very pleased if we can find the right tenant to rent our home, a person who is a clean freak and does not tolerate anything that has to do with dirt… we also would like to know more about you and your family, your renting experience and how long and when you plan moving into our home. These 3 bedrooms and 3 baths home are very specious and neat.Sqft:1,603

    Below is the rental property address:
    House Address

    542 N Citrus Ave #17
    Los Angeles, CA 90036

    Monthly Fee ; $1300
    Security Deposit: $1300

    Available :Available Now for move in.

    So pls get back to me today.
    I await your reply ASAP.

    The rental fee is inclusive with utilities and my home available as at this moment.
    God Bless you
    Danny Nelson & Family
    dannynelson674@yahoo.com


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

Create a free website or blog at WordPress.com. | The Pool Theme.
Entries and comments feeds.

Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 32 other followers

%d bloggers like this: