If you have been scammed, please post here and share your experience; it may help others avoid the same situation!
#289126 by Matchbook Tue Mar 22, 2016 3:58 pm
In the earlier parts of 2015 I found myself in the process of trying to move cities.

After having no luck on many reputable websites for apartments in the city I was to move to -- I went to Craigslist. As you likely already guessed it, that's where it all started.

I saw a listing there for a beautiful, modern apartment: Well under market value, central location, clean and still available. All red flags I didn't clue into. At all.

I contacted the poster, who identified himself as a Sargent Michael Walden of the Canadian military. I asked how I could have it set up so my Aunt, who already lives in the place, could view the place for me. I was told he was recently deployed and, because of this, his wife was staying in the US with her family as she was 'pregnant' and needed to be around family.

You'd think I'd clue in here. Not at all. That's what panic does - when you're searching for something, whether utilitarian, practical, or love.

He said he'd met two people already during the "open house" before he was deployed, but just didn't like them. He then asked me to explain how I'd keep the place nice in their absence. I did so.

Ignoring red flags I capitulated, and agreed to send the first month's rent, plus a half-month's rent as a damage deposit by -- you guessed it -- Moneygram. The amount of rent was $700.00CAD (plus half that for damage deposit) I was told, after confirming he received the money, his wife would then FedEx the keys to me. This did not happen.

Several days passed and no tracking number, as promised, for these alleged keys his 'wife' was sending me. I shoe-horned myself back into the Gmail exchange we had been having to ask what was up. He said she was simply really busy, apologetic, but she'd send them right away.

Well, except they both decided to make it another month's rent they wanted before she sent the keys.

Finally I got it. My heart sank. I knew it. Every warning sign - all at once and with a start - the final cog in the machine of understanding fell into place. I was scammed. I'd sent him over 1,000 dollars and I knew it, and he, was long, long gone.

I did some fierce internet research at that point. I contacted the RCMP in the city I used to live in - I contacted the FBI, I did reverse image searches on the images he'd used for the listing on Craigslist, and found it was a condo in southern California. I contacted the FTC, the Canadian Anti-Fraud center. I contacted several Military bases across Canada, asking if any such person as Michel Walden/James Michael (His gmail interactions had him as James Michael, but the Moneygram was sent to a Michael Walden) was either in the military or deployed. I was told - as I expected - I wasn't privy to this information. I explained my case at length and was finally told no such names existed in their database.

The Moneygram recepit said the money went to a place in the US. I contacted a police agency in the town I was told the money was picked up in, and spoke at length with some brass there, giving them everything I had - all documents, e-mail transcripts, scanned Moneygram receipts, and was told those names were known not only to police, but also to the particular Officer to whom I spoke. But, since I had little else to go on, neither the Canadian agencies or American ones could do much about it. I did, however, give both agencies (RCMP, the American police in the county I contacted) each others phone numbers to have whatever dialogue they could.

But it all ended there, sadly, and as I expected. I'd been had.

I no longer have access to those files (though I might try, by calling the RCMP in my former city, to see if they have those records, still -- if so, will post all, and I mean all of it here), but it's now coming on a year later, and I'm in the very city I'd planned to move to in the beginning of this rather verbose text. And I need a place.

A week ago or so I went back to Craigslist. This time armed, of course. This time with eyes open. And the same gentleman, though with a different e-mail, had the same listing re-posted. I recognized those "apartment photos" immediately and contacted him. I don't know what I'm trying to accomplish here -- nab the guy? I have no idea. I'm in dialogue with the guy - again - and I don't suspect he knows he's dealt with me before.

Until I contact the RCMP here to see if they have my old case on file, this is what I have.. Keep in mind I know he's a scam now but am engaging him all the same.

His alleged e-mail:
James Michael
[email protected]

Our exchange through CL's relay servers - so far. It's ongoing:

=====

##MY NAME## <#MY EMAIL#>

6:53 PM (18 hours ago)
to J.michael4460
Nice! When can I view the place? Central is close to where I live now.

http://princegeorge.craigslist.ca/apa/5435022668.html

=====

James Michael
11:16 PM (13 hours ago)

The unit is available , I am in the army, just been redeployed to another base, I want good people taking care of the suite in our absence.

I had the open house already just didn't like the 2 people that came around before leaving for the base.

Long/short rental term is OK.

Here is the building address ..........810 Central St E, Prince George, BC V2M 3B8

Tell me more about yourself and how well you can take care of our unit in our absence.

=====

##MY NAME## <#MY EMAIL#>
11:25 PM (13 hours ago)

I see. Who will show the place to me, since you're deployed? I know the address, I think. Across from Spruceland Mall. 2-story place.

=====

A photo, albeit a blown-up (Photoshop) and watermarked, of the image he uses in his "Google Circles" profile:
Image
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#289137 by Mike Wilson Tue Mar 22, 2016 5:14 pm
Hello Matchbook,
I am sorry to hear that you were scammed previously. Do not keep in contact with this criminal and do not give him your email address. We strangly recommend that victims stop all contact by just going silent, block or ignore all emails and let him wonder what happened..
In your case report what you know and the fact that he is still active to the RMCP.
The lying scumbag is probably located in Africa which will put him out of the reach of authorities. If you have any additional questions about this scam please ask.

It is ALWAYS a scam
If the pet seller or shipper asks for money to be sent via Western Union, Money Gram, any brand of gift card. Walmart To Walmart , Zelle , PayPal friends and family option, or mentions Cameroon
#289141 by Matchbook Tue Mar 22, 2016 5:39 pm
The lying scumbag is probably located in Africa


Actually, I may have him located in Springfield Missouri or thereabouts.

Thanks for the feedback, as well.
#289144 by Tim Atem Tue Mar 22, 2016 6:25 pm
Actually, he's probably in Africa. If you were able to trace someone, you more than likely traced the person the scammer is using as a mule. The mule could very well be a scam victim himself, thinking he's doing a work-from-home job or something.

If the scammer has your real-life information, it's not safe to continue communicating with them. What you are doing is known as "baiting" which we don't encourage on this forum.

====================================
PLEASE DO NOT TELL A SCAMMER HE IS REPORTED HERE!

Learn what a scam is and how to protect yourself
https://www.scamwarners.com/forum/viewtopic.php?f=3&t=5
#289151 by Matchbook Tue Mar 22, 2016 7:15 pm
Yea. The first time around, not only did they get my information, but I filled out an entire "Application" for tenancy, listing such things as full name, current address, Social Insurance Number, all contact numbers and - ugh - names and contact numbers plus addresses of emergency contacts.

Yikes.
#289155 by vonpaso xlura Tue Mar 22, 2016 7:53 pm
The little bit of the scammer's writing you posted shows a trait I've seen in the writing of sub-Saharan Africans and almost nowhere else. Could you post more of his writing so that we can tell for sure?

This doesn't mean necessarily that he's in Africa; there are African scammers in Thailand, India, and other places. But most likely he is in Africa.

... ni los estafadores heredarán el reino de Dios. 1 Cor. 6:10
#289156 by Matchbook Tue Mar 22, 2016 8:57 pm
Could you post more of his writing so that we can tell for sure?


Applied to obtain it through the Freedom Of Information Act (Canada) which evidently I need to do to obtain my old case files.

Thought that was odd. I mean, they're my files: I submitted them to the RCMP, you'd think that'd be an easy thing, but I guess not. Will provide info as it becomes available.

And thank you.
#289252 by georgiageorgia Wed Mar 23, 2016 4:39 pm
HE DID IT TO ME!

I am so glad I found your story,

he used the exact same thing on me within the last week! even sent me a fake drivers licence. See below

Hello xxxxxxx,

My wife has gotten the package ready for sending to the address you provided through the UPS, you are to send her the security deposit and the first month rent(1350 Cad), you will be making the subsequent rent payment after receiving the package and access to the unit.

She would make a refund of the payment IF you don't like our suite whereby you will send back the keys and document sent to you but I am certain you will love our suite.

She is presently having issues with her bank account due to the relocation , Make the payment through MoneyGram to

Name.... Lisette Delacruz .
Address.. 322 Lake Ave N Storm Lake, IA 50588, USA

You will find a moneygram office at the post office.

Get back to me with the payment details, she would be sending the package(keys, document to the unit and the first month rent receipt) to the address immediately she receives that, I will be updating you with the tracking information when she has sent the package.

Notify also if you want the package sent to another address besides the one on the rental document.

Regards.



Thats one of the emails he sent me,
I reported to police and they are investigating,
and asked me to tell anyone else I know affected to report it too!
I gave the cops his cell phone number and a picture of the drivers licence he is using!
Last edited by Bryon Williams on Wed Mar 23, 2016 4:46 pm, edited 1 time in total. Reason: Removed personal information and added quotation.
#289260 by Matchbook Wed Mar 23, 2016 6:20 pm
HE DID IT TO ME!

I am so glad I found your story


Dang. Am sorry to hear that -- albeit this is mostly why I posted this story. Can't fathom how long he's done this, and to how many people. I know he got over 1000CAD from me. I don't have a lot of money, so that one hurt. A lot.

I hope more find this story, this e-mail, and variants thereof, he uses.

He claims to be a part of the Royal Canadian Dragoons (Dragoons.ca) -- in the military. Though they were at first reticent to admit anything, when hearing the story they conceded no one by the names James Michael or Michael Walden exist anywhere there, past or present.
#289261 by Matchbook Wed Mar 23, 2016 6:23 pm
and asked me to tell anyone else I know affected to report it too!


.. is this the RCMP -- and is it where I am? The city, I mean. hehe. If so, will call and add to their case.
#289263 by vonpaso xlura Wed Mar 23, 2016 6:57 pm
This scammer is one with better writing skills, but he is still African. What's his phone number?

The person in Storm Lake, Iowa, and the person in Springfield, Missouri, are mules. Scammers normally use mules for a few weeks, discard them, and get new mules.

... ni los estafadores heredarán el reino de Dios. 1 Cor. 6:10
#289264 by Mike Wilson Wed Mar 23, 2016 7:20 pm
He is using a Google Voice VoIP number from California. 8184955384

Hello Mike,

I am so sorry for the late response, I have been busy working on base.

I appreciate what I read from you, also forwarded your mail to my wife, she thinks you would be a good tenant.
We own the unit , my wife and I lived in there before my impromptu deployment, my wife could have stayed back but she is heavily pregnant, she had to move back with her parents in Iowa,it is our first.

We can rent out the property for couple of years depending on the duration you would like to stay because I will be here for 4 years but I will be checking on the property almost every 4 months during my break.

This would be our first time of renting out the unit, we also reduced the rent because we want a proper care for the unit in our absence.

My name is Sgt.James M. Delacruz, I belong to The Royal Canadian Dragoons.

Also you can contact me to this number 8184955384, preferably text because of my schedule.

I do understand your need to view the apartment before making your decision, I would have loved to meet you in person also but I had to leave for base ASAP.
I did talked to a friend about holding on to the keys just to help with the unit showing in our absence but she said she is too busy for such a domestic issue , we also thought of giving the unit to an agent but they charge way too much, which would prompt an increment to the rent against our wish.

The rooms are 10'0 x 12.6, 11'2 x 10'6 while the living room is 15'6 x 10'0 , the unit comes with a big storage and a balcony.
I sent you the building address already , you can drive by, the suite is on the second floor, unit 08

All unit owner in the complex pays an annual levies which is responsible for the Internet, Cable ,Water ,Garbage and little maintenance, I paid that already , you'll be responsible for Electricity and Heating.

Also there is a parking space to the unit.

The keys and other document to the unit would be sent to your present address through the UPS by my wife when all term has been met.
There is a rental application form I will have to prepare for you to complete and scan back to me, if you are still interested in our property, let me know if I should prepare and send that to your email.

Regards
.

It is ALWAYS a scam
If the pet seller or shipper asks for money to be sent via Western Union, Money Gram, any brand of gift card. Walmart To Walmart , Zelle , PayPal friends and family option, or mentions Cameroon
#289275 by Matchbook Wed Mar 23, 2016 10:31 pm
My name is Sgt.James M. Delacruz, I belong to The Royal Canadian Dragoons.


Changes the name frequently, I see. Was a Sgt. Michael Walden of the same Dragoons last I encountered the waste of a human.
#289276 by georgiageorgia Wed Mar 23, 2016 10:33 pm
The RCMP In Prince George !
And what's funny is there isn't even a unit 8 in the building !!
They are all three number unit numbers !
I would all call and add to the case they seem to be taking it fairly seriously thankfully .

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