Room for Rent and other rental scams
#135879 by frikkiefrik Mon Nov 26, 2012 11:21 am
Rental in south africa Steve Thompson aka James Davis.

Property listing example:

Property Details

1 bedrooms
1 bathrooms
Property Description

Situated in a boomed/24 hr access controlled street in Craighall, Sandton is this recently renovated garden flat with superior finishes. Fully furnished and equipped, (or unfurnished etc)
open plan lounge, kitchen, one bedroom and bathroom/shower only. Separate entrance and carport. WIFI. Suit single professional.

I enquired about the property and this was his reply:


I just read your message regarding my apartment.
Sorry if my answer comes quite late, but your email arrived in my spam folder, and I couldn't see it until now.
I bought this apartment for my daughter during her studies in South Africa, but now she's back home permanently, so I'm renting the place for unlimited time.
The flat is fully furnished and renovated, exactly like in the photos.
You can use my furniture, or you can also use your own if you prefer. If you decide to use yours, you will have access to a large and well ventilated cellar, where you can store my furniture.
Also, very important, the utilities (cold/hot water, electricity, wireless broadband Internet, digital TV, 2 parking spots in garage, air conditioning, dishwasher, garbage disposal, microwave, refrigerator, washing machine, etc.) are included in the price of 4528 ZAR/month. The deposit is also 4528 ZAR, and you get it back, when you decide to leave the apartment (you will have to give me at least 30 days notice). As for me, you can rest assured that I will never ask you to leave the apartment.
Before we go any further I would like to know how many persons you intend to share the flat with, and for how long.
Now, a little bit about myself: My name is Steve Thompson and I'm a 62 years old graphic designer from London, planning to retire in the next 2 years.
I have a lovely wife, Christine and my daughter, Linda. I am very proud to say that soon I'm going to be a grandfather :).
Another member of our family is a six year old Labrador Retriever which we all love, so, since I'm a pet owner myself, I will have no problem if you want to keep a pet in the house.
The only inconvenience is that my job doesn't allow me to leave London even for one single day. We just hired some new staff and I'm in charge of their training, so my schedule is pretty hectic right now.
But this won't affect the rental at all. I can make arrangements to rent the apartment from London (on my expense of course).

Looking forward to hear from you soon.

All the best from Britain!

He replied that i must deposit money into his account for me to view the place for 2 days:

Hello ,

Thanks for your reply,
Like I have inform you before, the price you shall pay for 1 month of rent will be 4528 ZAR and i want also one month guarantee deposit 4528 ZAR( the guarantee deposit 4528 ZAR you will receive back when you leave the apartment ), with no extra taxes to pay. The money, I want to revive it monthly to my bank account, so I hope it will be no problem for you to wire the money .

Of course you will have to see the apartment before discussing further details . I am willing to send you the keys so you can visit it and see it suits your needs.The delivery for the keys and viewing permit (signed by me), will be made with TNT to make sure that we can trust each other.
I will explain the procedure if you are interested so please email me as soon as you read this message because I really need to take care of this matter.

Steve Thompson

I was already suspicious after this email and then he replied this:

Hello ,

First of all , I want to tell you that if you are ready to proceed with this transaction I will need to inform you the steps about how this service works
You will have 2 days to inspect the apartment before your final decision to rent . I will pay the shipping costs.

This is how they work :

1) I will make the delivery papers at TNT . After that I will send you a copy of my passport .

2) After I will make the papers for delivery they will require for your payment confirmation of the first month and the guarantee deposit(4528 ZAR +4528 ZAR= 9056ZAR) to the company .TNT will send you a delivery notification to let you know they have the Keys and the papers in their custody .
Also TNT will give you further instructions about the money deposit .

3) After the payment is confirmed the delivery process will start and when you will receive the keys, you will have 2 days inspection period before your final decision to rent .

4) If all is in order, you will instruct TNT to give me the money. Further rents will be sent directly to my bank account.

5) If you refuse to rent the apt , TNT will give you a full refund (9056ZAR) and you will give them back the keys and the contract.

If you are interested to rent the apt please send me your information, so i can make the deal:

Address: ...............
City: .....................
Postal Code: ...............
Country: ..................
Phone number:...............

Steve Thompson

Last reply was this one:


I've just contact TNT.
Did you received the confirmation from them? Please check all your email folders .
I have sent you a copy of my passport . I paid the shipping fees.
TNT its waiting for you to transfer the 9056 ZAR to their agent in order for them to begin the delivery at your address. When you will be able to transfer the money to them ? I must inform the TNT. As soon as you confirm the payment to TNT they will start the shipping of the keys .

This was the message that TNT sent me:

Complete your TNT transaction in 5 easy steps:

1. The tenant and the owner of the apartment agree on the transaction terms and the renting price

2. The owner contacts TNT with the transaction details;

3. TNT accepts the transaction and offers purchase protection to the tenant (if the transaction is declined, no further action is required from either the tenant or the owner);

4. The owner delivers the package with the keys and contract lease to TNT agents for full evaluation of content. The package will remain in the TNT custody until the receiver will send the payment to us.

5. The tenant sends payment to the TNT Agent. After the payment is cleared, we will ship the keys and contract to you. The tenant will send the payment details directly to owner apartment :
[email protected] Once payment is validated we give you the tracking number of the shipment.

6. The tenant receives the keys and has 3days to inspect the apartment. If the tenant does not like the apartment, our company will give you the money back.

Note : The funds will not be released under any circumstances. We will hold the payment until you will send us your confirmation that you have received, inspected and you agree to keep the apartment. When we will have your confirmation we will transfer the funds to the owner.

Shipment Information

Location: South Africa
Country: South Africa
Declared Value: 9,056 ZAR
Shipping Costs: 00,00

Package Information:

Apartment Keys and rental contract verified signed by the Sender. All the papers are double checked.

Insured Value Amount: 9,056 ZAR

Address Information:

Ship To: Shipper:

Steve Thompson
161 Grange Road
SE1 3 GH
United Kingdom

Next Step. Complete payment

Pay with bank transfer (9,056 ZAR) at TNT account, payment details:

ACCOUNT HOLDER : TNT Global Air Express
ACCOUNT: 13838048
IBAN : IBAN GB72 BARC 2053 0413 8380 48
SORT - CODE : 205304
BANK : Barclays

Send us a copy of the payment receipt by email.

For international transfer, you need to use the IBAN number.

Email us the payment details : [email protected]

Safe TNT Tip

Currently, the owner has a EUR 5,000,00 deposit in an TNT managed purchase protection account. Transactions with this owner are covered by purchase protection against fraud and description errors.
TNT repeatedly tries to encourage the other party to respond to a case, but we cannot fully guarantee participation, since the process is completely voluntary. If the respondent does not reply within one week from when the case was initially filed, it is unlikely that you will receive a response and we will close the case and refund you with the entire amount insured by the tenant protection policy valid for your case. If we hear from the other party after the case closes, we will reopen the case and notify you.You are renting from a legit owner so if something goes wrong or you are not satisfied with the apartment you will receive your money back in max 48 hours.

Thanks for choosing TNT,
The TNT Team

#136080 by scam89% Tue Nov 27, 2012 7:17 am
Hi there,

I also received this email. The first and second email were exactly the same as those you have posted. I received a passport photo with the second email.

Thank you for posting about this.
#136316 by bernd Wed Nov 28, 2012 11:43 am
I'm the next victim of our beloved Steve the thief :)
This time its a apartment on ROLAND str. I suspected immediately that something is wrong and did a research on net till I found this site yesterday. Today I received step 2. I have decided to play around with my little pet Steve....
Thanx to the one who posted first....
#136461 by Bubbles Thu Nov 29, 2012 1:59 am
Welcome to ScamWarners bernd, what you are doing is called scam baiting. We do not support that and we strongly discourage it from your real life email address. To learn how to scam bait safely, please check our sister site:

Bubbles, former Scamwarners moderator.

Rest in Peace 24 June 2015.

Gone, but never forgotten.
#141387 by worldofmac Mon Dec 24, 2012 5:19 am
Unbelievable, I received the same email. I received all exact 4 replied, and then an email from TNT as well with their invoice and banking details. The only difference was that the apartment in question was in Midrand. And instead of Steve the sender's name was Devan Morgan.

The astonishing thing is the very first mail which is written in such a way that anyone can fall for it. However the TNT setup will make you skeptical.

Thank God I found this website.

These as**oles should be put behind bars.

#141393 by began steele Mon Dec 24, 2012 8:07 am
Are the bank details the same as above? Could you also add email headers and email addresses so the bank account killers can do their stuff, but we need the evidence for them to do so.

We sleep safe in our beds because rough men stand ready in the night to visit violence on those who would do us harm. ~~ George Orwell.
#141909 by Mabula Fri Dec 28, 2012 11:28 pm
This man does not sleep neh. He was Daven Morgan. He sent me the same strings of emails, I was suspicious from his long first email but I carried on playing with him. He requested money to be deposited to this account ACCOUNT HOLDER : TNT Global Air Express
ACCOUNT: 83540189
IBAN : IBAN GB21 BARC 2057 0683 5401 89
SORT - CODE : 205706
BANK : Barclays

Currently now on Private Property is name has changed to John Kellum Cell:0839933999 and still advertising the same property in Midrand but the number has changed to 5 Halfway Gardens before it was 4 Halfway Gardens.

I feel sorry for the person who will fall for this scam, Lord have mercy and get this thief locked-in. From now on I will rent from an agent. Private Property security is very weak they should have made means to arrest this guy because he uses the same pictures their system should pick it up as soon as he uploads them.

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