Home » Rental-Units » Rental Scams on Craigslist – Landlords Beware

Rental Scams on Craigslist – Landlords Beware

Thief2If you thought the scams being run on Craigslist were just on ripping off prospective tenants as we talked about before here, you are missing the other side of the coin. Landlords are in just as much danger.

The new scam involves renters sending fake cashiers checks and money orders. The landlord is thrilled to receive the money, deposits it, and then something happens to blow up the deal. It is not until the landlord has refunded the money do they find out that the cashiers check was fake and they are on the hook to return the money.

The scam artist is long gone before the landlord finds this out.

The ICC continues to receive complaints about potential renters who have written counterfeit checks to cover deposits only to back out of the agreements and ask for refunds, investigators say.

In another common ruse, scammers duplicate legitimate real estate postings, often using the brokers’ real names, but re-post the ads using fake e-mail addresses.

When potential renters or buyers request information via e-mail, the owner asks them to send money. Sometimes, the scammers claim they are doing missionary work and the money is sent to destinations in foreign countries, investigators say.

More at  Mlive.com.

If you are a landlord and have come across one of these scams, put the email in the comments. The previous post for tenants has saved many families thousands of dollars and many headaches by helping each other out.

And if you have been ripped off, file a complaint here with the IC3.

Thanks

100 comments

  1. I also got the raceparts guy from England:

    Hello –
    Thanks for the details provided, I'm really interested in renting the property and I'm OK with the price. Currently I'm in England, United Kingdom, I assemble racing car for 'Raceparts Grosvenor Limited'. My company is sending me to the states to buy some car parts and once I buy the car parts, I will ship them to the UK. I will be coming to states with my fiancee and both of us will be living in the property together.

    I spoke with my company about the price required to move into the property. They have agreed to issue out the payment for the first month and the security deposit. We will be staying in the property for 12 months which we can extend the contract after our stay in the property has expired and all future payment will be made by bank transfer every month. If you agree with these terms, I would require you to kindly email me the following details listed below:

    Full name to be written on check:
    Mailing Address:
    Home number:
    Mobile number:

    As soon as I receive the above details from you, I will forward it to my company so that they can issue out the check to you immediately. We'll be moving into the property on the 15th of July and all the necessary paperwork will be signed in person when we arrive in the states. I would really appreciate it if you can email me more interior pictures of the property. I await your response.
    Regards
    Bradley Austin

  2. This is an example of how the scammers respond to an advertisement:
    Thanks for the details on the Property, i am satisfied and will
    like to proceed with the renting process,
    i would like you to go ahead and reserve the property for me.
    I would also be needing the following information so that the cashier's check of $2,500 can be processed and posted to you
    soon.

    Name to issue the Deposit check on:……………
    Address where you want the deposit mailed to:……..
    Phone number(cell and land):…………

    I want the 12 months lease to start on the 1th of august 2013, i also want to notify you that i have in the mean time arrange with an
    interior decorator who will be handling the purchase of furniture,
    entertainment system and other appliances that i will need in the
    property,they will as well be in-charge of moving down my luggage down
    to the States.So the cashier's check of $7000 will be sent over to you
    which is a relocation grant by my employer, and all you need to do is
    deduct the deposit $2,500. and you will forward the rest to the Decorators
    so i can have the place all prepared for my arrival. All applications and
    lease will be signed on arrival.

    Also for familiarization I Am collins benjamin, 35 yrs old,a British
    citizen, I work with XPEE ART GALLERY,
    I am a Christian, reserved in Nature and i do not keep pets.
    I look forward to meeting you and hope to have a good relationship as a tenant with you.
    I await the details.
    you can reach me at this number (424) 225-2119
    Below is my current landlords information for reference :Mark Lebon
    1114 Barclay Street, Vancouver, British Columbia V6E 1H1, Canada
    You can also contact my employer:Mark Lebon
    XPEE ART GALLERY
    16047 Mountain Ave,Chino,
    call: 315 688 8402
    CA zip code 91708

    Hope to read from you soon.

    Thanks a bunch.

  3. Another spammed email:

    I am interested but i am currently out of town for my project and i'll be arriving soon , i am also working on my flight arrangement and securing my job so you can imagine how hectic it is for me right now .I am planning on staying as long as its available please tell me more about the apartment.. I want to secure the place upon my arrival.A check will be sent to cover the rent and my flight expenses in which you will deduct the rent and the balance will be remitted to my Travelers Agent as regards of my flight schedule to be arranged next week i am sure i can trust you and hope you understand?this is a way of helping me due to my hectic schedule.My phone number is 443 345-9783 since im out of town you cant reach me because of network coverage but i do receive text messages..Let me have your full name and address to ensure the check to cover the rent and other expenses is delivered to you safely.
    Thanks again.

  4. Latest attempt guys, Im a real estate agent and I thoroughly enjoyed this one…

    Hello –
    Thanks for the details provided, I'm really interested in renting the property and I'm OK with the price. Currently I'm in England, United Kingdom, I assemble racing car for 'Raceparts Grosvenor Limited'. My company is sending me to the states to buy some car parts and once I buy the car parts, I will ship them to the UK. I will be coming to states with my fiancee and both of us will be living in the property together.

    I spoke with my company about the price required to move into the property. They have agreed to issue out the payment for the first month and the security deposit. We will be staying in the property for 12 months which we can extend the contract after our stay in the property has expired and all future payment will be made by bank transfer every month. If you agree with these terms, I would require you to kindly email me the following details listed below:

    Full name to be written on check:
    Mailing Address:
    Home number:
    Mobile number:

    As soon as I receive the above details from you, I will forward it to my company so that they can issue out the check to you immediately. We'll be moving into the property on the 20th of August and all the necessary paperwork will be signed in person when we arrive in the states. I would really appreciate it if you can email me more interior pictures of the property. I await your response.
    Regards
    Bradley Austin

    I kindly responded with a link stating it would take them to my personal website to obtain the information; I only wish I could have seen their face if they clicked the link and what really pops up, ha ha!! Be on the look out and stay safe!!

  5. HERE IS ONE I RECENTLY RECEIVED THAT I ALMOST FELL FOR: (THERE IS A PART 1 AND A PART 2)

    PART 1

    Hi Elisabeth

    Thanks for the email. I read through the details on Craigslist and i am highly interested in renting it. I work with the united nations development program(UNDP) Edinburgh Scotland and i just got a transfer bringing me down to DC in the states. I would be arriving with my wife and we just got married and have no kids yet. I do not smoke neither do i keep pets so i am sure you would not have a problem with me. My 1st visit to the states was 2 weeks ago and i was at our Manhattan head office to apply for my social security number and to do my medical clearance. I also purchased an American phone and had the number roamed so i can receive and send text messages.
    My transfer would be for a period between 3-6 years, so i would definitely be renting for more than a year. But we can start by signing a 1 year lease. I would also prefer to pay for the whole year upfront cause i travel a lot and might not be available all the time to pay monthly but if paying for the whole year upfront is a problem, then perhaps we can figure out a way to do a month to month payment. I would also bring all proof of employment(letter of employment and letter of transfer ) with me and show them to you on my arrival.I would be in the states in 2 weeks time but would really appreciate it if you can take the ad off further showing and hold the place for me till i get there. I would be happy to place a good faith deposit for that purpose.
    Kindly let me know if everything works for you and i would email you more details about myself and my wife. I also have other questions to ask but i would wait to hear from you first.
    I sincerely look forward to hearing from you.

    Regards
    Alfred Stewart

    PART 2

    I am aware of the location of the rental. I actually checked it out on Google earth before i contacted you and it works fine for me. I would be in the states by the 2nd week in February but my company can provide me with temporary accommodation for up to 2 weeks so we can start the lease anytime between the 15th of February – 1st of March. Would this work for you? Let me tell you more about myself.
    My Full name is Alfred Robert Stewart and my wife's name is Anne Robert Stewart. I work with in the administrative department of the United nations development program(UNDP) and I have been working here for 5 years now. Anne is an elementary school teacher and she is 35 while I am 39 years old. Our current house address is 39 Rose Street, EH2 2NH Edinburgh Scotland and its property owned by my father. I do not have a social security number now but it would be ready shortly after i get to the states. However, i have a cover note from the department of homeland security(DHS) which gives me cover till my social security number and card is ready.
    I am sorry but at this time, i would be unable to send up to $1800 to you. However, I would be happy to send you a non refundable deposit of $1000 so that you can secure the place for me till i get there. My company office in the states would be responsible for the payment. I would tell them to deduct $1000 from my travel allowance and send to you in certified funds. This should serve as a good faith deposit so that you would know i am serious about renting and i would sign the lease and pay up the rent as well as all other bills as soon as i get to the states.
    Please send me your full name and address so that i can forward it to my company and the deposit can get to you soon.Are there any other details you think i need to know about the Place?Please get back to me.
    Thanks a lot.

    Regards
    Alfred Stewart
    +447700037315

    Leave a Reply

    Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

    *

    You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>