Room for Rent and other rental scams
#182753 by Con Warner Sat Nov 30, 2013 9:17 am
After to replying to an advert posted by "[email protected]", this was the response.
From: Mark Atkins <[email protected]>
Subject: Re: apartment 2e Schuytstraat in The Hague


Ik verontschuldig me voor contact met u in het Engels, maar mijn Nederlands is niet zo goed.
I am sorry but I do not speak Dutch very well. I am British, I live and work in London, United Kingdom. The apartment that I have for rent, I bought it as a holiday house for me and my family. I'm having some financial difficulties at this time so I have decided to rent out the apartment for an additional income. I am looking for a long term rental (1 year or more).
The apartment is located at 2e Schuytstraat, 2517 XK Den Haag.
The apartment is fully furnished, ready to move in as you can see in the photos. It comes with storage area in the basement. If you are not planning on using any of the stuff I have there you can put it in the storage area.
The rent is 700 EUR/month (it includes common costs, internet, cable-tv, gas and water). Electricity is not included, you will have to pay for that separately.
The deposit is 1400 EUR (fully refundable at the end of the contract unless you damage something and you don't fix it).
I will not be able to be present for viewing, therefore I spoke to my real estate agency here in London and they said that they will take care of the whole transaction. They have a Property Management service that will basically take care of everything (contract, paperwork, bills, rent payment etc.) for which I will pay the fees.

So, in case we come to an agreement, this is how it works:
- You'll have to give me your full name, date of birth, telephone number and postal address. A copy of your passport or driving license would be great.
- Then I will forward your details to the real estate agency and they will start the process. They will contact you with more information regarding the transaction and also how to make the payment. You will have to pay the deposit and first month rent into the agency's bank account.
- After the payment is received by the agency, they will send you the contract and keys by courier and you will receive them in about 2-3 days.
- Since you haven't seen the apartment yet, the real estate agency will provide you with a 10 days Money Back Guarantee. This means that the payment will not be forwarded to me and you will have 10 days to decide if you'll take the apartment or not. If you don't like the apartment or if it is not as I have presented it to you, then you can mail back the keys to the agency and they will immediately refund your payment to your bank account.
- If you're satisfied with the apartment all you have to do is sign the contract and mail it to the agency. You will be paying the rent every month into the agency's bank account and they will forward it to me. The agency will also take care of the monthly bills (those included in the rent).

Before any agreement between us, the agency will send you a draft of the contract so you will have a clear idea of the content of the contract. It is a standard lease contract very similar to the one most the Dutch use provided by the Real Estate Council of the Netherlands.

If you are interested, please provide me more information about yourself as a possible future tenant.

Mark Atkins
11 Queens Gardens,
London, W2 3BA
United Kingdom

This person asks for a deposit payment via Western Union or MoneyGram to an escrow company with a promise that he will send the keys through a courier company.

Sounds safe. It's not!
The emails claiming to be from the company are fake.

At other times, he will ask for proof that you are able to pay the deposit and rent due to a string of time wasters.
This proof is in the form of a Western Union or MoneyGram payment to a lawyer,a friend or family member.

In either case, if payment is made and you give this person the details, they will collect the money.
You will not hear from them again.

All the details such as names, addresses, pictures etc. that the scammer uses in order to back up his story, are stolen from elsewhere.

If you are reading this because you are looking for property to rent, and you are in contact with this thief you are probably searching Craigslist, Gumtree or similar listing sites. If you receive any requests from 'Landlords' asking for some kind of payment before viewing, then it will also be a scam. Please forward the mail to me at the address in my signature line and I will investigate and list them if necessary.

Email: [email protected]

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