Has someone offered you a huge sum of money or a valuable consignment? It's a 419 or advance fee fraud - find out how they work, and what to do to be safe.
#10027 by tonyatthedisco Wed May 27, 2009 5:20 am
This one's a "wire $1200 to West Africa by Western Union" scam posing as a housing for rent listing on Craigslist. The ad itself looked legit, the street address was real so they probably just harvested an old ad.
With the tiniest bit of googling I found similar stuff elsewhere - a bit TOO similar, if you know what I mean.

Charming 1307sq foot, two story Home / Condo with 2 bedrooms and 2 bath. The home is located off Griffin Street near downtown and features a community swimming pool,Hot Tub, Kiva fireplace, two courtyards and a 2-car garage. It is Walking distance to the historic downtown. Southside pricing at a Downtown location

Rio Grande Ave, A7


That was the bait. Pretty nice listing, for the area.

I enthusiastically wrote them (d'oh!) at the address, "[email protected]". The response, which came back within hours, sounded like something I'd read before... about 50,000 times (only in a slightly different form). Another tip-off was that I wrote a follow-up email before hearing back, so I got two copies of the same thing. No edits whatsoever, nor any response to the actual question posed. As a 419 specimen I'd say this displays excellent use of ALL CAPS and parentheses (West Africa)($500)(etc).

Anyway, here goes. May it help someone else save their money (no I did not wire them $1200):

Hello,

It is a great pleasure that you are interested in our house for rent. Actually we resided in the house
before we move and presently we have packed out due to my transfer as a
matter of my profession on a Missionary Mission at Christ Apostolic
Church (C.A.C)which am serving for a long term and now our house is
locked up and presently we have found a new house here which we will be
staying for a very long term which might last 7years in (West Africa)
and presently our charming house is still available for rent for
($700)as first month rent including the utilities like hydro,washer,dryer,fenced yard,fireplace and internet access. The first month deposit & security deposit fee($500) comes up as the first
down payment you will make only to receive the keys and other necessary
documents you will use in moving into our house,so after the payment
the keys and other documents will be ship to your full home address via
FedEx. More so,Now that we on Missionary Mission program over here
Please I want you to note that the deposit fee is refundable and also
we will want a very honest and caring person because i spent a lot on
my property that i want to give you for rent,so i will solicit for your
absolute understanding and maintenance of this house and want you to
treat it as your own,I hope that is taken,The money is not the main
problem but i want you to keep it tidy always. I also want you to let
me have trust in you as i always stand on my word.



Here is my cell phone number so feel free to call me anytime : 011-234-802-973-2557
or +234-802-973-2557.



TAKE NOTE: YOU CAN ONLY DRIVE BY AND
SEE MY HOUSE FROM THE OUTSIDE AND IF YOU ARE INTERESTED IN RENTING GET
THE APPLICATION FORM FILLED OUT AND SEND IT BACK TO ME SO THAT I CAN
FORWARD YOU MY FULL INFORMATION'S TO MAKE THE REFUNDABLE DEPOSIT
THROUGH WESTERN UNION MONEY TRANSFER SO THAT I CAN SHIP MY KEYS TO YOU
FOR YOU BE ABLE TO GO AND LOOK AT THE INSIDE OR MOVE IN IMMEDIATELY. I
WOULD HAVE REALLY LOVE TO SHIP THE KEYS TO SOMEONE IN STATE BUT I DON'T
HAVE ANYBODY THERE RIGHT NOW AND I DON'T WANT TO MAKE USE OF ANY THIRD
PARTY THAT IS WHY AM HANDLING MY PROPERTY MYSELF.



House Address: 501 Rio Grande Ave, A7, [town deleted], NM

2Bedroom/2 Bathroom

Square Footage: 1307



House Information

Date Available: Available for move in now

Utilities Included in Rent? All Included

Is a Security Deposit Required? Yes

Rent: $700/month

Security Deposit Amount: $500

Total Cost To Move In: $1200

Car Garage

Water: City Sewer: City

Air Conditioning: Central Gas A/C



Lease Information

Lease Term: Flexible

Minimum Lease Stay: 1-4 Year Minimum

Option to Renew Lease: Renewable Sublet Specifics

Are Smokers Allowed? Not Smoking Allowed

Are Pets Allowed? Ye Pets Allowed

Furnished? Yes





INSIDE FEATURES

Flooring: Hardwood Floors Upgraded Carpet

Kitchen: Dishwasher Garbage Disposal Island

Rooms: Bonus Room Laundry Room

Laundry: Washer/Dryer Hookups

Amenities: Air Conditioning Cable Ready Ceiling Fan Heat Walking Closets.



SO IF YOU ARE STILL INTERESTED PLEASE
GET BACK TO ME WITH THE RENT APPLICATION FORM
FILLED.



***RENT APPLICATION FORM***

1)Your Full Name..........................?

2)Full home address & Phone number..........................................?

3)How old are you................................?

4)Are you married...........................................?

5)How many people will be living in the house........................................?

6)Do you have a car................................?

7)When do you intend to make the total cost to move
in............................................?

8)How long will you be staying ............................................?

9)When are you packing in to our house..................................?

10)Occupation..................................?

11)How many hours do you work daily...................................?





Pets Policy: All kind of Pets Allowed.



Thanks and God bless you

Pastor Mary Fred & Robinson Fred


How very kind and Godly they are. It's a shame I can't help them. But if you feel inspired to, the phone number is right there!

NB: they did note include a smilie. It just happens to be an eight and a colon...
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#10028 by Ralph Wed May 27, 2009 7:22 am
Hi Tony

Welcome to Scamwarners

Thanks for posting the scam format, by posting you have given potential victims a chance of finding it's a scam before losing money

thank you

BTW, we dont encourage people to ring them here, www.419eater.com members may be more interested in doing that, you might want to pay them a visit yourself :wink:
#10031 by Holly Brown Wed May 27, 2009 11:51 am
Tony,

Thanks for posting that email. As Ralph said, now when people do a search on the email address or phrases from the email, they will find this site.

As a point of information - when most people go overseas (or even out of state) and want to rent out their home, they do not do it through the internet, get your deposit, and then mail you the key. They employ a management agency not only for the initial renting of the property, but also to take care of any maintenance needs during their absence. I have known several families that have temporarily relocated, and they handled things through a local management service.

After all, why would you rent a home without seeing if the interior is to your liking? Or even if it is inhabitable? There could be any number of things wrong inside, such as plumbing issues, termites, other bugs, or even mold.

The best bet for renting is dealing with local people - either local landlord or local management company - and only plop down the money when you've seen the property properly, inside and out.

[email protected] if you want to ask me more questions.

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