If you have been scammed, please post here and share your experience; it may help others avoid the same situation!
#410145 by thesestreets Mon May 11, 2020 9:53 pm
I figured out this was a scam thanks to this website so I am now returning the favor to anyone else who googles this person. Basically, I almost fell victim to a too good to be a true situation of a 2 bedroom and 2 bathroom with an amazing rent. Now, usually, I have never fallen for anything like this before, but I got my current apartment from a similar too good to be true situation (2 bedroom, 2 bathroom, pets allowed, balcony, 1000 sq feet, free parking space, and a den area all for an extremely low price), so I was hoping this would be a similar situation. Instead, I googled the guys' sentence used in the email and came to this website.

His email address: [email protected] (Note: He picked the name of a local realtor).

EMAIL #1:
His pitch: Apartment Location: 1425 4th St SW Washington, DC 20024

Unit Details: Rarely do these larger corner units make it to the market! 1245 sq ft and offers 2 bedrooms, 2 baths, a balcony with river & pool views and includes one parking space. The heavy lifting has already been done with a remodeled, open concept kitchen and renovated baths.

Monthly Rent: Monthly rent is $2000 with a refundable security deposit of $2000 and rent includes all of the utilities, heat, hot water, electricity, AC, sewage, garbage, parking and the use of all of the facilities in the building.

Lease Term: Lease is flexible, however, 12 months lease length attracts a 15% discount off the total rent if the first 2 months' rent and deposit are paid upfront or in advance.

Your Intentions: How long do you want to lease the units and when exactly are you looking to move in?

EMAIL #2:
Thanks for getting back to me. 12 months lease is welcomed (this attracts a 15% discount off the total rent if the first 2 months rent and deposit are paid upfront or in advance) with the option to extend at the end of the lease. The unit will be available for a tour (in person or virtually) and move-in any day from June 15th after the current lease expires and unit fully professionally cleaned, July or August move-in is fine.

In the meantime, kindly provide answers to the questions below for our prospective tenant screening survey.

1. Full Name:
2. Current location:
3. Occupation:
4. Age:
5. Intended Length of lease:
6. Intended Move-in Date(exact):
7. Are you Cosigning the lease :
8. Do you want the unit fully furnished or furniture removed:
9. Have you ever been charged/Arrested:
10. How long have you stayed in your current location and why are you moving:
11. What is your previous history with your landlord? Can he vouch for you?
12. Please share your credit score if available; it will be an added advantage:
13. Cellphone number, in case we need to reach you immediately(optional):
14. Your Email address:
15. Are you ready to reserve the unit at this time: YES/NO

I will get back to you if your response is a fit for this unit.

EMAIL #3 (Yes, I can't believe I exchanged three emails with the dude, but the process was extremely similar to how my current place went initially... until the third email when he 1) asked for a deposit without seeing the place & 2) immediately accepted me & didn't say he was going to run a background check.

Thanks for your prompt response, your responses to the screening survey were very satisfactory and your application was approved. You will be scheduled for the unit tour on June 15th (6 pm) or you can specify any other day after on the 15th, as due to our respect for tenants' privacy, our policy stipulates that only vacant units should be shown to prospective tenants looking to rent. I am sure you will appreciate this when you eventually become our tenant. Also, your move-in date of August 1st is fine, however, due to rush and high demands for apartments, I will advise that you put a hold-on (reserve) the unit and take it off the market now.

To proceed with the unit reservation, you are required to fill the unit booking/lease agreement and pay a holding deposit which is the first month's rent + the refundable security deposit. With this, we reserve the unit in your name, integrate your information into our tenant database and take it off the market pending your arrival.

Note that our prepaid reservation proceeds on a first come first serve basis and that once unit reservation in your name is complete and your information integrated into our tenant database, the unit cannot be rented out to anyone else until after you and you are entitled to an immediate full refund of the holding-deposit (this is clearly declared in the lease agreement) right on the spot of viewing (if you are not satisfied with the unit upon viewing or if this unit is not in great shape as advertised).

That said, can we proceed with your reservation now as explained above?

I will want to explore the option of contacting the next suitable application for this unit if you are not ready to confirm your reservation at this time
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