Room for Rent and other rental scams
#90114 by Edg Wed Mar 14, 2012 6:06 am
I am a victim of fraud, I responded to an ad to rent an apartment and the fraudsters behind the ad sent me a very convincing email together with a copy of a passport ID. I sent them the money through Western Union and the money was picked up in London, England, but the mastermind behind these rental scams is, Michael Sickmann, who lives in Richmnod, Indiana, USA; he is the person that is directing and runninng this fraud. He owns the domain, where the fraud originates. and that is the only thing this domain is used for. The fraudulent email is made to look like it comes from the shipping cmpany, TNT, with this email address, [email protected], but it is really Michael Sickmann, that is sending these emails. This fraudster needs to be stopped.

Has anyone else been defrauded by this scam perpetrated by this man.

#90134 by Justin Wed Mar 14, 2012 9:45 am
Hello Edg,

Sorry to hear you were scammed. These rental scams are very common. The scammer tells you he will be sending Keys and a contract to you through the courier company TNT. He says that TNT will hold the keys until the payment has been issued basically saying that TNT will be an escrow service which is not a service the real company offers. It's all lies there is no apartment or keys just a scammer trying to steal your money.

More than likely all the details usesd to register the domain are fake. Scammers do not usualy leave their real details where they can be found.

Interestingly the email address uses to register the site [email protected] turns up tons of postings selling cars/motorcycles which is undoubtably another escrow scam.

I'd like to get the domain shut down. Can you please post the emails along with the headers you recieved from This will give our site killers the evidence to get the site shut down. If you need help finding the headers this site will help


#90205 by carlittu Wed Mar 14, 2012 3:44 pm
i got that too, can you please send me your email address so we can compare this! i want to know if its the same guy.. can you please forward me the emails you got with this guy ... i also got a email confirmation from tnt, a html file .. please forward me that too .. .. we have to stop this

Mod edit: edited out email address. DJ
#90214 by David Jansen Wed Mar 14, 2012 4:12 pm
As Justin above already mentioned, please post the emails that were send.

Being a victim doesn't mean you stand alone. We're here to help you.
#90255 by vonpaso xlura Wed Mar 14, 2012 11:45 pm
Welcome to Scamwarners! I am sorry to hear that you were scammed, but we're here to help. I'm one of the site killers (there are plenty of others).

The address used to register the site exists, but the phone number does not, so I bet the name is made up too. I have the NANP database less than a month old, and the site was registered in July.

Please post the emails, with headers, both those you sent and those the scammer sent. This is an email-only domain, so we need all the email evidence we can get. Of course you should substitute your own name and address and your computer's name with <snip> or the like.

... ni los estafadores heredarán el reino de Dios. 1 Cor. 6:10
#90256 by Edg Thu Mar 15, 2012 12:13 am
The bogus email is in HTML and looks very convincing.

I was able to trace the IP's of the emails:

All Aol IP's.

I called the number so I know it is a working landline.

The phone number is on the Verizon North Inc. network.

The email adderess, [email protected], which was used when the domain was registered is also associated with fraudulent vehicle sales mainly in the UK, so it seems as though these fraudsters are based in the UK and the US.

I have forwarded 2 emails to Justin.

I would love to see these fraudsters caught and stopped.

Thank you very much.


Removed personal information posted. At this point, there is no solid evidence that the person whose name was used to register the site is involved. - Dotti
#90257 by Edg Thu Mar 15, 2012 12:37 am
Hi Justin, I'm not sure what phone number you checked, but the one I quoted above is registered to Michael Sickmann and this woman who I presume is his wife.

It is a working landline and I am sure it is working because I called the number.
#90313 by Justin Thu Mar 15, 2012 8:53 am
Thanks I have the emails and will get it to the site killers.

More than likely Michael is a past victim of the scammer. Just like the scammer probably asked you for your full name address and phone number he did the same with Michael and used the info to register the site in order to not raise suspicions.. The only way the registrar will contact the registrant is through an email address and that is the only part of the registration information that is really the scammers

#90324 by Justin Thu Mar 15, 2012 10:22 am
Scammers initial email and email address.

[email protected]


         Sorry for the delayed response, but I'm in United Kingdom right now and I have been very busy. For introduction my name is Silvia Peterson and from the Internet add, you could see, the apartment is located at 189 Jalan Tun Razak, City Centre, Kuala Lumpur, 50400, Kuala Lumpur, and it has 2 bedrooms, 2 bathrooms, 1 kitchen and 1 living room ( 970 sqf).
         I am a civil engineer, so my accommodation period in England will be about 4 years. I don't want to make a business or a profit with the apartment. Just want to find a good and trust person to take good care of the place because I really love it. I`m the owner of the apt and it's like in the pics.
   The rent for 1 month is RM 1400 (for the whole apartment) including all utilities (water, electricity, Internet, cable, 2 parking spots indoor, air conditioning, dishwasher, garbage disposal, microwave, refrigerator, stove, laundry in-suite, washer and dryer). Everything in this apt is functional because is recently renovated. If you need to do some reparations (the worst case that could happen) in the apartment, I will cover the reparations cost, or I will deduct those from monthly payment. You can move in the apt in the same day when you receive the keys. The only problem is that I`m the only person who has the keys because it is a private property but I hope that we will find a compromise.
         If you have any other questions please contact me back by e-mail.
Thank you for your interest and awaiting your reply,

#90441 by vonpaso xlura Fri Mar 16, 2012 12:40 am
Edg wrote:Hi Justin, I'm not sure what phone number you checked, but the one I quoted above is registered to Michael Sickmann and this woman who I presume is his wife.

The number I checked is the one in whois: 1-765-924-0090. It is not Sickmann's real number, or anyone else's.

... ni los estafadores heredarán el reino de Dios. 1 Cor. 6:10
#90512 by Dotti Fri Mar 16, 2012 11:06 am
As others have stated above, most likely the person you mentioned is not party to the scam. These scammers are criminals who could end up in jail for their crimes--they don't exactly advertise their true identities. Any easily accessible information like the domain registration info is bound to be either fake or copied.

In the case of a domain registration, it is easy to register a domain online under any name. Scammers also don't like to use their own money to pay for things they use in scams, such as fake domains, dating site memberships, classified ads, etc. Most often, they use stolen or phished credit card information for these things. It is very possible that the name and address on the domain registration belong to the owner of a stolen credit card. It is also possible that the person who registered the domain was a victim of a fake job scam.

As you can see from the search results below, this particular scam was around long before the domain was registered--parts of this scam script have been around since 2010, and like all scam scripts, it has evolved over time.

Need to post photos?
Are you a victim of a romance scam? Read here for advice and FAQ's.
#90525 by vonpaso xlura Fri Mar 16, 2012 12:31 pm
The domain has been added to the fake site database, and I'm working on the report.

... ni los estafadores heredarán el reino de Dios. 1 Cor. 6:10
#137675 by Ianad Tue Dec 04, 2012 11:15 pm
I went through a similar experience, but this time it was a "woman" named Sophie Herbert. Yeah right. I wrote to "her" telling I was interested in the apartment. This was the mail that I received:

First of all I'm sorry for the late reply but I had a lot to work and this is the time I could give you a message.Thank you for your interest. My name is Sophie Herbert and from the internet add, you could see, that the apartment located in: AMORES 1733, Del Valle Centro, Benito Juárez, Distrito Federal, 3100. It has 3 bedroom, 3 bathroom, 1 kitchen and 1 living room.
The kind of tenant I am looking for must be above all very responsible and preferably dynamic and communicative. Utilities such as internet, electricity, water and satellite are included in the monthly rent, which is 6,500 peso per month.
The reason for which I am renting my apartment is that I had to work in another country, which is London, United Kingdom for 6 months initially, but now I learned that my job will continue for at least 36 months more in the current location. I have already made permanent living arrangements here for me and my family, therefore we decided to put our apartment on the internet up for rent.

Thank you for your interest and I will look forward to hearing from you soon.

Sophie Herbert
P.S. Please tell me if this is what are you looking for and reply my only if you are truly interested in the apt

I told "her" I was interested and sent her an email with a screenshot of a Google map asking if that was the apartment. She never answered the question. And I made it quite a few times. This was the second mail i received:

Hello and thank you for the reply. The only matter is that I'm in London already. Like I have informed you before, the price you shall pay for one month of rent will be 6,500 pesos, plus the security deposit 6,500 pesos so the total will be 13,000 pesos, including all utilities & community with no extra fees for the duration of the contract. After that the rent will be 6,500 pesos every month.
The security deposit if you want can be used to pay the last month of rent or in the situation if you don't have money, will be used as payment for the current month, with your prior confirmation or refundable at the end of the contract.
About the money, I would like to receive it monthly into my bank account and I hope there will be no problem for you to wire the money to it. The apartment is ready for you, you only need to receive the keys with the contract so you could check it out, and see if you like it.
Obviously we need a way to complete this deal, that will allow us to make sure we receive what we are after. In order of that I have found a way for us to complete the deal safely and fast, and in this way you will receive the apartment keys in less than 2 days, if you move fast as well. The solution is provided by a company called TNT which is similar to FedEx, DHL or UPS, which will handle the payment and delivery of the Keys.
TNT services will allow you to pay for the rent of the apartment only after you will receive the apartment keys, and through this way you will see it and decide if you will stay in the apartment or not before I receive my payment.
Let me know if you are interested, because I really need to take care of this matter by the end of next week.

I told "her" that I was interested again and asked her the steps to follow. I insisted to see the department before I made any deposits. "She" never complied. This was the third mail that i received:

Hello again,
I need to inform you the steps about how this service works and how we can make it happen. You will only have to deposit to TNT Service - one month of rent 6,500 pesos plus the deposit 6,500 pesos so the total will be 13,000 pesos - so TNT can proceed with the shipping, and you can receive the apartment keys with the contract.
Like I said, I will pay for a 2 days delivery so you will receive the Keys and the contract signed by me right away. I will explain to you step by step how this will work:
1 - To start this transaction I will need to know your full shipping information, full name, full shipping address to proceed with this deal.
2 - I go to the TNT Office and leave the Keys and the contract in your name as the intended receiver.
3 - TNT will check the envelope to see if everything is OK with it and also the legal papers that will come along with the Keys.
4 - TNT will send you a delivery notification to let you know they have the Keys and the papers in their custody, in which you will be told that they have the Keys and that they checked it.
5 - At this point you will have to go to a WesternUnion Agent Location and make a money transfer deposit on the TNT agent name in London assigned with this transaction for the amount we agreed, the total amount you shall deposit is 13,000 pesos.
6 - After you make the deposit you will have to send the info about the money deposit to TNT (MTCN#, sender's name and address)
7 - TNT will verify the payment information and if everything is in order they will deliver the Keys and the contract to you .
8 - After you receive the package, You will go and check the apt and in 2 days you must contact them and tell them if you keep the apartment or not, if everything is in order you will instruct TNT to release the funds to me.
If you don't like the apartment TNT will send your money back and you will send them the keys and the contract to return the package back to me on my expense. I will pay TNT Service for the shipping and you will pay WesternUnion for the Money Transfer fees. Now I must know for sure if you agree because here are a lot of peoples interested to have this apartment rented and I want to know for sure what I must tell them. If you agree what i suggested i will tell them that my apartment is already rented and I will keep it for you. If you agree then i must have all the shipping details so i will be able to make all the arrangements for the TNT delivery.

Thank you and I will wait your reply with the shipping information.

There I smelled something fishy and looked for it in Google and you know the rest. I hope they get caught. I don't know what else to do to help.
May they rot in Hell.
#160243 by lookingforyears Tue Apr 02, 2013 6:30 pm
Just to warn forumers, I was almost duped by this recently. A man called Brenton Bowley is posing as a landlord who needs to lease a property because he no longer lives in the country. It was a great flat in East London but he kept wanting me to give him 2 months rent as a holding fee before I could even see the flat. That made me instantly suspicious so I googled this TNT stuff and found this forum. BE WARNED - this is still an active scam. So annoying because me and my fiance thought we had found somewhere great.
#160556 by Gus Thu Apr 04, 2013 6:21 am
Thanks for the post, lookingforyears. It's great you avoided being scammed by this one. Would you mind posting the latest emails you received from the scammer, so we have the info about any details they may have changed since the last versions posted above?

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