Room for Rent and other rental scams
#384184 by Michelle Sun Apr 14, 2019 4:35 am
Michael C <[email protected]> wrote:


Thank you for your interest in my apartment, it is still available. I
will try to give you as many details as I can regarding the apartment
in the following email.

The full address of the apartment is 4230 Colfax Ave, Studio City,
CA 91604. Everything is just like in the pictures, fully equipped with
all the appliances you need, very clean and well kept. The apartment
can be rented furnished or if you want you can use your furniture and
deposit mine in the storage unit. I work as an civil engineer and the
company I work for has developed projects all around the world. Now, I
have received an very good offer from them to move to the United
Kingdom department, offer that I have accepted.

The apartment is vacant so you can move-in anytime you want, also my
contract in UK is for the next 6 years, so for this period, I will not
return 100%.

The rent of 1000$/month is for the whole apartment and includes all
the utilities: heat, water, electricity, parking, laundry in-suite,
washer and dryer also included, cable and internet. You will have full
access to all building amenities. Just in case repairs are needed
there, I will cover the costs, so no worries. The price I'm asking is
below the market because I want to find a responsible tenant to take
good care of the place.

I'm the owner of the apartment, it's already paid in full and there is
no mortgage on it. You have everything you need near-by (public
transportation, schools, groceries etc.). Also I love pets, so if you
have any pets, I won't have any problem, pets are allowed. Honestly
from point of view I'm sure that You'll love it for sure and rent it
on spot.

I would like to know how many people will live in the apartment and
also which rental contract do you prefer to start with - 6 months or 1
year with option of renewal?

Please let me know if you are really interested in the place so we can
discuss further.

Thank you and look forward hearing from you!

PS: I attached you all the pictures that I have with the apartment (as
you can see everything is in absolutely perfect condition).

This Scammer will arrange to send you an Invoice or notification - Make no mistake, the document will be fake!
If you are reading this Because you -have received Such an invoice or notification, kindly forward it to the address in my signing line and I will carry the details to the Appropriate autorités.


#385243 by yyyesss Mon May 06, 2019 10:39 pm

I inquired about this same apartment, which is located in San Diego near La Jolla. I am curious, what else did he say? We should try and turn this guy in. He is offering an apartment with a rental payment below the market rate. He posted the apartment on I noticed the apartment is not longer listed on the site.

Please share more information if you have it. I will do the same. I told him I was interested. Let's see what he does next.
#386049 by NINDS Thu May 16, 2019 4:06 pm
Guys, I also inquired about the apartment from this guy except for the different address "(The full address of the apartment is 5704 Baltimore Dr, La Mesa, CA 91942. )" He has sent me the exact same email. He emailed me from two different email addresses that's how I became suspicious. I have been in touch with this guy and he sent me a copy of his passport (probably photoshopped). This apartment was listed on hotpad and now it's not there. I have contacted the hotpad website through their feedback form. However, I would like to know if I could report this person somewhere else and we can turn him in. He used the following two emails to communicate with me.

Michael C <[email protected]>
Michael C <[email protected]>

These were his following replies:

On May 6, 2019 at 5:35 PM, <Michael C> wrote:


Like I said in my previous email, the company I work for moved me to United Kingdom, and unfortunately there is a problem showing you the apartment, because I already left. The reason I haven't managed to rent the apartment before I had to leave for United Kingdom is that someone said that will rent the apartment and haven't managed to keep the promise. I waited for him, but unfortunately he didn't managed to get the money on time, so the transaction failed and I had to leave before managing to rent it. Obviously this brought me huge inconvenience. So I can tell that I have a bitter experience making reservation, it's the first time I'm renting an apartment so I prefer using an worldwide property management company.

The company I am talking about is called Flipkey ( their website is main focused on short term rentals, but they also have an NEW service for long term rentals. I used this service last month when I rented my apartment in London, United Kingdom, and I can tell you that it was a great experience and the only way I will proceed renting my apartment is by using Flipkey.

Using FlipKey involves three parties: me as owner, you as a potential tenant and FlipKey as a responsible third party authorized to handle this transaction. FlipKey works the same way as the escrow account on which you place the deposit when you rent an apartment, except that instead of a bank, we use FlipKey. Of course, nobody can take that money until you will inspect the apartment and sign the lease agreement. With this procedure you will be able to check the apartment before I receive the payment.

Like I said before, I used them to rent my apartment in London and everything was perfect, they are really professional and they have great services. Please keep in mind that the "reward" for proceeding with this "unconventional" transaction is the monthly rent price, which is below the market, exactly for this reason. Also please know, that the transaction and the deposit to FlipKey is only the first time, so that you can be able to receive the keys and inspect the apartment. After you will visit the apartment and sign the lease agreement, you can deposit the monthly payments directly to my bank account, or we can setup a payment method that is suitable for both of us.

FlipKey is a very serious company, part of the super big TripAdvisor company, in my opinion, they are like Airbnb, but with better services.

My phone number is +441 173 890 017 (UK phone number), I am new at work and I try to avoid speaking on the phone, if I am not able to respond, I will do my best to call you asap.

Let me know if you are interested so I can provide with all the steps of this transaction. You need to know everything about this process before we get this started.

Thank you and hope to hear from you soon!

PS: Sorry for the long emails, but I need to explain the situation as best as I can.

2nd reply:
Hi again ,

First of all, I want to start this email saying that this is not the traditional face to face transaction, this being the whole purpose for using FlipKey new service for long distance transactions, to protect the both of us 100%. Now for security and for your peace of mind I had attached an copy of my PASSPORT to build up some confidence. Also please know that you will receive official documents from FlipKey also, before making the deposit to them.

Regarding the process, you will have to deposit to FlipKey the first month rent + last month rent, an total of 2000$ (1000+1000) so they can proceed with the shipping, and you can receive the rental package (keys and documents) so you can go and inspect the apartment. Please know that I will pay for all the fees that FlipKey will take (transaction and shipping fees).

Below I will explain you step by step how the transaction with the FlipKey new service works, to avoid any misunderstanding please READ CAREFULLY THE FOLLOWING STEPS:

1 - To start the process all I need are your contact details: full name, mailing address (street, number, city and postal code), cell phone number, move-in date and lease agreement preferred (e.g. 6 months or 1 year rental contract with option of renewal). The lease agreement will be a standard one from the government.
2 - I will go to the FlipKey Property Management office to start the transaction and I will give them the apartment keys and necessary documents.
3 - FlipKey Property Management will check the ownership documents and lease agreement. They will also confirm that I'm the legal owner of the apartment I'm renting to you.
4 - FlipKey will send you a notification (via email) with the transaction details to inform you that they have the keys and the documents in their custody. Also they will send you all the transaction details, steps etc.
5 - At this point you need to send the amount of 2000$(1st month rent from the rental contract + last month rent) to the the FlipKey payment representative (lawyer escrow account) provided to you in the notification. THE PAYMENT NEEDS TO BE SENT WITHIN 24 BUSINESS HOURS AFTER YOU WILL RECEIVE THE TRANSACTION DETAILS OR ELSE THEY WILL CHARGE ME AN ADDITIONAL FEE.
6 - As soon as the payment is completed you need to send the payment details to FlipKey . (an receipt proving that you sent them the deposit).
7 - FlipKey will verify the payment and if everything is in order they will start the shipping procedures using UPS Next Day Shipping Service.
8 - You will receive the package (keys and lease agreement) and you will have 5 business days (inspection time) to check the place.
9 - If you decide to rent the apartment you just need to sign the lease agreement that FlipKey sends, email it to them and they will release the funds to me. If after the 5 days inspection you don`t want to keep the apartment you will receive a full payment refund.

PLEASE NOTE that FlipKey Property Management can NOT release the funds without your approval. You will have 5 days to inspect the apartment and decide if you want to rent it or not, in this time you will have full control of the payment. They can release the payment to me as a landlord just after they will receive the lease agreement with your signature.

Like I said, I used this service last month when I rented my apartment in London UK, everything went great, I felt 100% protected with them, so I hope this will work again for you and me in this transaction.


Let me know if you have the funds available (2000$) so we can move forward. If you do have the funds available and agree with the transaction steps, please e-mail me your full information (full name and address and cell number) so we can get the transaction started.

If you have any further questions regarding the transaction please let me know.

Waiting your reply!


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