Room for Rent and other rental scams
#119697 by ostrzegacz Wed Aug 15, 2012 8:22 pm
Hi everyone

I'm currently looking for a flat/room in London.
In last few days I found THREE different scam adverts,
in every case, the person is asking to "make a money transfer to a friend and send the copy as a proof I will have money for rent."
It's pissing me off so badly, that after I reported it to gumtree - I register over here.
Just want to warn other people, and maybe expose scammer's email addresses :

received from [email protected]
There's no problem in inviting you for the viewing,I currently work and live in Manchester so I will need to take a day off from work in order to come down to arrange the viewing with you.Itis unfortunate that my past bitter experience of inviting people to come and view my flat without any form of confirmation of their financial ability and not keeping up to time as at when scheduled, has brought about great loss to me, is either they cannot afford the rent or the security deposit required but want me to come down with the aim of renegotiating.

I have consulted my lawyer and we have resolved that any potential tenants should be able to prove in the following way in order to determine who is financially buoyant and that he or she can stick to appointment when scheduled and able to pay his/her rent as at when due.Inthis case, a bank-statement or guarantee from your organization wont be accepted as we have had wayward tenants tendering fake documents.


1) Transfer the amount £1100 (1 month rent and security deposit) to any of your family members or your friend via Western Union at the nearest Western Union outlet/shop close to you. You can ask any of them to make the transfer to you either.

Your Name (as Sender) to any of your family members or your friend (as Receiver) in London or any of them make you the receiver.

2) Scan & Send a copy of the Western Union transaction receipt as a proof of the transaction or mail me the transaction details. (The money is safe as it is only you that can withdraw since you need a ID card or International passport)

3) Then, we will meet for viewing.

4) If you decide to take the flat, we will go to any local Western Union outlet close to the flat for you to pick up the money and pay me. (You don't need to come with cash to view, after viewing we will go together, you will cancel the transfer and withdraw the money to pay me).

5) Keys will be handed over to you after signing the contracts.

I do not want you to have the feeling that I am asking for money BEFORE you see what you are renting because I know that payment is meant to be done AFTER you have seen the Flat and okay with it that is why I said you should make the transfer to yourself so that you will be the one to receive the money and pay me in person after the viewing.

If you are ready ,you can go ahead and make the transfer and let me know immediately you do the transfer so that I can know how to squeeze out time to come and meet you.You will need to scan the copy of the transfer receipt and email it to me to confirm it online in order to know you have made the transfer and to let you know that I will return back to you the full transfer charges whether you decide to rent the flat or not when we meet.

Let me know if you are ok with this arrangement so that we can proceed.

Kind regards,
Lynn & James.


another one:
Received from [email protected]

Thanks for the mail and for your interest in my flat. fully furnished
2 bedroom in my two bedrooms super flat directly south of king's
the flat boasts a large kitchen and living room, phone, wireless internet,
washing machine, 32"tv w/ss system, bathroom (including a bath tub and
shower) and a separate toilet. I have a balcony that looks on to a
private garden area and are 1 minute from a park with basketball and
gym facilities.

going out
Flat is just south of king's cross which is world-renowned for its
club district.
alternatively, soho and camden town are both 15-20 minute walks away. the area
is safe and close to several entertainment districts which is perfect
for those late nights! you will always feel comfortable coming home
late at night in your convenient, safe neighbourhood.

from the flat, it is only 5 minutes south to a large waitrose, 5
minutes to a tesco, and 15 mins north to an even larger sainsburys. a
small m&s is located in king's cross station which is convenient if
you don't want to travel too far – it is literally 1 min to the
station. also, it is just a 20 minute walk to oxford street - one of
the most famous shopping districts in the world!

open spaces
you can reach regent's park within 20 mins of walking - a perfect warm
up for a daily jog. several smaller parks are located in vicinity (i.
e. within 1 min walk) -
amenities include basketball and tennis courts, and the park outside
has one of those
new adult jungle gyms with workout equipment. also, russel square and corams
fields are only 5 minutes away on foot.

transport connections
Literally 100m south of king's cross station! in addition to several bus routes
(too numerous to mention) king's cross underground is on the northern,
piccadilly, metropolitan, circle and hammersmith and city lines. it has trains
servicing absolutely everywhere - even including france! door to door,
you can be
in france in 1. 5 hours - which is less time than most people spend
commuting each
day! thames link services also run from this station and connect to
the city quickly via train.

You can send me a mail to [email protected] for more details
and pictures of this flat.

In the next email, with nice pictures and description of the flat, scamer explains HOW TO TRANSFER MONEY VIA WESTERN UNION.

These ppl not answering the questions, of course not giving phone numbers when asked, just replying same text over again.

(and definitely do not send any money or personal details)

Hope I helped,



#120392 by Byzantine Feline Sun Aug 19, 2012 3:54 pm
Scammer wrote:Scan & Send a copy of the Western Union transaction receipt as a proof of the transaction or mail me the transaction details. (The money is safe as it is only you that can withdraw since you need a ID card or International passport)

Not entirely true. There is a loophole, a flaw even, in the Western Union transfer service which the scammer will be aware of, and will exploit. This being that if the receiver does not have any photo identification with them, they can answer the test question to 'prove' they are the rightful receiver of the money. According to the Western Union UK website:
Western Union Agent locations may require a receiver to present acceptable documentary evidence of identity and a correct answer to a test question in order to receive a money transfer. Any other use of a test question may be fraudulent. It should never be used as additional security to time or delay the payment of a transaction.

Unfortunately the flaw in the system is that the ID requirement can be bypassed altogether, and is done so regularly by scammers. So while the scammer is apparently putting the victim at ease by telling them it is purely a formality and no money is required in advance, the scammer will slyly collect the payment without the victim's knowledge, setting them up for a nasty surprise.

Another flaw in the system is that the scammer does not even require the unique MTCN (Money Transfer Control Number) for the transfer:
Western Union representatives typically pay out when a receiver presents acceptable documentary evidence of identity bearing the name of the intended receiver and do not require the MTCN for pay out.

This however depends on the agent. Employee adherance to company policy varies; some will be more strict than others, while others aren't particularly bothered and will allow a transfer to go through without paying too much attention.
#380753 by OanaP Tue Jan 29, 2019 9:57 am
I also found two similar ones: (PS: IP is myself)

On Tue, Jan 29, 2019 at 12:25 PM Rez Boz <[email protected]> wrote:
Hi IP,

You are only misunderstanding me. Be rest assured that i share your skepticism as i'm also in the same shoes but trust me your money is protected in western union and more so you aren't sending it to me direct but to your friend. Plus without valid ID nobody i repeat nobody can withdraw your money.

I have taken peoples' word and have been burnt and i don't think i can do that again I'm sorry about that. Just last week i took permission to meet a few viewers, they deceived me and i can't afford the risk of loosing my job. More so, my job does not permit me such luxury of time and i can't be coming from Leicester for nothing hence, the reason my Lawyer suggested the western union option.

Western union is safe and easy to carry out and no personal details of anyone is at risk,
that is why i'm not down with bank statements. Please, don't send it to me in any form.

Also, the cash deposited with western Union will prove you have the required funds for the
rent and deposit set aside. Note that you are not making payment to me yet until after the
viewing is done.

And of course I am already and still holding the flat for you against many people who are
ready to pay up now but because you sound sincere and i like your profile. You sound house proud too and you are who i'd want as tenants.

And you can say no if you don't like the flat which i doubt very much. The flat is exactly
how it is in the picture. I have no doubt you'd love it. More so, the expenses on the transaction will be refunded even if you don't like it be rest assured.

The ball is in your court let me know what you decide but i will advice you to proceed with the
western union as i have many people ready to pay for the flat but i'm only keen on you.

Let me know when you have done the transfer so i can make plans to meet you on Thursday from 5pm. Will that be okay for you?

Hope to read from you soon,

On Tue, Jan 29, 2019 at 6:14 AM IP wrote:

I see your point and that is exactly what a copy of my bank statement will show - the money I have available. Also, once the viewing is finished and a decision has been reached, I can transfer the money to your bank account right on the spot, we don't have to go anywhere.

In your scenario, I think I can be a victim of fraud as a Western Union receipt will show all the info necessary for you to cash in the money. Also, I would be paying you cash and won't have any proof of the actual transaction between us. You can easily disappear the second day and I'm left without my money or a house.

If you are legit, I hope you understand my concerns.

Please let me know if I make sense :)

Kind Regards,


On Tue, 29 Jan 2019, 11:59 Rez Boz <[email protected] wrote:
Hi IP,

Thanks for your mail. I like your assurances and suggestions. However, as i said before, I'd need you to prove to me the cash is available now due to my recent experiences. Note, i am not asking you to make any payments to me in advance.

Also, I want to intimate you that there are a lot of people ready to tie up the deal as soon as possible but i will hold the flat for you since you are truly keen on renting it.

Having discussed with my Lawyer, He gave an advise and i think it is the best option for us. He suggests we use Western Union Transfer service. All you need to do is locate any Western Union Store close to you.

Request to send money by Western Union Transfer. Send the Rent and the Refundable Deposit (£880+£880=£1760) from your name to your friend's name in London. So you can be the Sender and your friend, the Receiver in London. Or you can do it vice versa.

Scan and Send the Transfer Receipt via email as confirmation that the money is available for either of you to pick up.

When we meet and the viewing is completed, also after reviewing the lease and contract, you and I can both go and pick up the money, you will then pay me and sign the contract on the spot and have the keys. The deposit will be with be in tenancy deposit scheme of course.

Whatever cost you incurred would be refunded or deducted from the rent before it is handed over to me at the meeting.You will not be loosing anything after all.

If you can get the Western Union Transfer done as soon as possible, I will gladly ensure that I hold the flat and meet you for viewing.

I am been tempted by a lot of genuine interests, but I'm keen on you. As a form of trust between us, find attached my Passport.

I hope you will understand my point.

Hope to read again from you soon.

Best Regards,

On Tue, Jan 29, 2019 at 2:31 AM IP wrote:
Good morning Ed,

Please let me know what your solicitor comes back with.I would say that a bank statement, a copy of a signed standing order to pay monthly and a reference from my former landlady who can confirm I was never late with my rent should be enough, but do let me know how you want to do this.

Also, just to make sure, a contract will be signed, right? And my deposit assured in a tenancy deposit scheme?

Thank you.
Kind Regards,


On Mon, Jan 28, 2019 at 9:48 PM Rez Boz <[email protected]> wrote:
Hi IP,

Thanks for your reply.

A bit about me: I am 26 years old, Male professional. I recently got a job to work with a Media outfit as a Radio Presenter in Leicester. Hence the reason i am renting out my flat.

Viewing will not be a problem, I can make myself available any day of your choice to meet you, however, I'd need a proof you have the funds set aside before I can commit to holding and renting the flat to you.

I have been disappointed several times after scheduling viewings in the past few days. My job had suffered and i have also wasted my funds coming over to London from Leicester that's why I'm a little skeptical.

So, May be you want to suggest how you can prove the funds availability, and that it is already set aside for the purpose of the Flat right now. I will be seeking my solicitor's advise in the meantime.

Meanwhile, Below are the lease terms:
* An advance payment of the first month and the Refundable security deposit shall be paid.
* The Rent shall be paid on Monthly basis thereafter.
* You shall only be allowed to default in payment of rent for not more than 3 months after which the eviction process shall be initiated.
* The minimum lease term is three (3) months, violation of this shall lead to the forfeiture of the security deposits.
* If you will need to vacate the house, notice shall be given a month prior to intended day of moving.
* The security deposit shall be refunded on or before the 7th day of vacating the apartment.

Best Regards,

On Mon, Jan 28, 2019 at 2:30 PM IP via Gumtree Mail <[email protected]> wrote:
Hi Ed,

Bla blah my life story [...]

Kind Regards,


e: [email protected]

On Sun, Jan 27, 2019 at 9:02 PM Eddy via Gumtree Mail <[email protected]> wrote:

Hi lP,

The flat is available now and move in can be anytime we agree. I have no problems with that so i can hold it for you if you are serious.

Please i need to know just a few detail about you. Download, fill and return the attached brief tenant interest form from my lawyer.

The Monthly rent is £880 per month and it include all Bills. A Refundable deposit of £880 will be received along with the Rent before Moving in.

The flat is very clean and fully furnished. It is located on Old Kent Road, SE1 3UN, Bermondsey and many bars, pubs and shopping facilities, very peaceful and safe and it has the following features:

- Huge living room
- One Huge Bedroom for double beds
- A bar
- One bathroom and toilet
- Kitchen with modern fittings
- Dish washer
- Washer/Dryer
- Sky TV
- BT telephone line & Broadband
- Off street parking.
- 5 Minutes walk from Bermondsey Station.

Best Regards

The second one:

Brown Chelsie <[email protected]> Mon, Jan 28, 2019 at 8:53 PM
To: IP
Yes i can schedule viewing with you soon and there's no problem securing or in arranging viewing with you but currently living in Crowborough so, I will need to take a day off in order to arrange the viewing with you. I really can't travel this right now because I have some appointments scheduled for now.

You going to reserved pending our meeting and this simply means you will need to read/sign the rental agreement contract form which I'll scan and email to you or at viewing, while a down payment (security deposit 600£) will be made in other to finalize the contract and reserve the apartment for nobody but YOU... As I only deal on first come first serve basis!!

This is my decision because each day I am off work I lose money being debited from my paycheck and also spend £93 on train ticket. You can imagine how I taking a day off from work and spending money on train ticket and the tenant ends up not coming, that's wasted effort and don't wish to experience that anymore

I can attached copy of my passport ID, driver license for a benefit of trust and also to know whom you are dealing with before making the deposit if this is an agreement.

From: IP
Sent: Monday, January 28, 2019 8:37 PM
To: Brown Chelsie
Subject: Re: One bedroom apartment situated within the prestigious Goodmans Fields development.

Hi Chelsie,

My life story again [...]

Many thanks :)
Kind Regards,


On Mon, Jan 28, 2019 at 8:08 PM Brown Chelsie <[email protected]> wrote:

Thanks for your interest in my flat. The flat is 1 bedroom flat and below is the little details about the flat.

Flat address: Leman St, Whitechapel, London,
Post Code: E1 8HQ,

Rent: £720 per month, all bills included
Security deposit:£600 refundable.
Minimum stay: 1 month
Maximum stay: 1 year with option of extending the contract

Flat amenities:TV ,CD - DVD - Video,Radio,High-speed Internet with WiFi,Washing Machine ,dryer, Heating, iron and Ironing board,Gas cooker,oven, Electric Kettle, Toaster ,Dishwasher ,Refrigerator, Microwave e.t.c

The pictures of the flat are hereby attached with this email.

One bedroom apartment situated within the prestigious Goodmans Fields development. This apartment is finished with wooden floors, floor to ceiling windows and offers a specification which includes underfloor heating, mood light settings both zonally controlled.
Furnished courtesy of a professional interior designer the apartment comes fully equipped to a stylish and contemporary standard. Brightly lit reception connects to the balcony. The fitted kitchen comes in a veneer finish with integrated siemens appliances with handless kitchen units and polished stone worktops.
Large bedroom comes with fitted wardrobe and juliet balcony. The bathroom comes fully tiled with mirrored vanity cabinets, bespoke wash basin and bathtub with professionally fitted shower attachment.
Located on Leman Street the apartment is minutes from Aldgate East station and within a short walk of Tower Gateway DLR for prompt access into Canary Wharf. The location is within walking distance of The City. Whilst nearby amenities include popular Spitalfields market, trendy Brick Lane and vibrant Shoreditch.

Could you tell me a bit about yourself and where you are presently located now?
Will you be able to take good care of my flat like your own?
Are you capable of funding the rent and refundable deposit before moving in?
Looking forward to hearing from you soon.

Kind regards,

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