Beware of the rental scam

If I was an Internet scammer, I think the first thing I would do is hire an English speaking proofreader.

During your time as a user of the Internet, you have probably received more than one email from a “Prince” of an exotic country who has singled you out as the only person who can help retrieve his inherited fortune and, if you agree, he will give you a prize worthy of his princely status. The most obvious sign that this email is a hoax is the odd wording.

These scammers have found Daft and MyHome. A variation on the above scenario has developed in which attractive rental properties are listed and the landlord is asking for a deposit and one month’s rent placed into his/her bank account.

That doesn’t sound outlandish, after all, a deposit and one month’s rent is standard. So, how do you spot these scams? A good example of such a scam can be found here: http://www.myhome.ie/1252092. I have contacted MyHome about this scam so, if that link doesn’t work, they have taken down the ad.

If you contact the landlord via MyHome, you will probably receive the following email… word for word:

Thanks for having interest in my flat…my apartment is still
available now and i have 2 bedrooms (1 double), 1 bathroom inside the
apartment, The whole apartment will cost you 900 euro monthly plus a
security deposit amount of 600 euro that is refundable when ever you
are moving out from my apartment and the total amount is 1,500
euro,and also i would not be able to arrange for a view of the
apartment for you becos i have move out from the apartment purposely
becos i got a new job here in London i have the keys to the apartment
with me here in London but never mind there is a perfect way out just
let me know if
you still have interest in it so that i can tell you the next
procedure, My name is xxxxxxxxx, the apartment belongs to my
late mother and my father have been managing and maintaining the
apartment, but he is presently in (London) due to his work . I am
Working with a Global Telecommunication Company .The is lease is for
900 euros/month/ including the utilities,fridge-freezer, oven,washing
machine, dryer, gas cooker,microwave, dishwasher,electricity bill,
internet and tv charges and others also there are transport links to
city center.and 600 euros for the security deposit which
is refundable during the departure time from the room.I will like to
know where you are from and when you will be MOVING INTO MY flat ? Am
confidently assuring you that you will be more than satisfied when you
come into the apartment,
Thanks again and i look forward to your feedback
Stay Blessed

What are the signs of such a scam?

  1. The photos don’t seem to represent a real property, i.e., they look like they are copied from a magazine.
  2. The rent seems to be very low. The property linked to above is asking for €900/month for a very high specification two-bed apartment on Upper Leeson Street.
  3. The monthly rent and the deposit don’t match.
  4. The landlord is based abroad.
  5. Viewing the property isn’t possible.
  6. The tell-tale odd-sounding use of English.
  7. More subtle items such as the plug sockets in the photos look like they are for round rather than square plugs.
  8. Lastly, I don’t think any landlord I’ve ever dealt with would tell me to “Stay Blessed”.

In summary, be aware that these scams are out there and treat too-good-to-be-true deals as just that.

This site (http://www.scamwarners.com/forum/viewtopic.php?f=39&p=45035) has a whole section on this type of fraudulent ad.

I hope you find this helpful.

Stay Blessed,
Barry
The Good Agent

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About The Good Agent

I am a co-founder of The Good Agent, the smart new way to sell of let your property. I, along with my partners, hope to change the estate agent industry for good. This blog aims to touch on issues in property (sales and lettings), start-ups, the online revolution, and other pertinent topics.
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One Response to Beware of the rental scam

  1. Ha, great post some of them are quite funny and often very obvious scams, one of the best that I received was an offer of an outrageously well paid job, signed by Victor Awesome. It was awesome indeed.

    On a serious note though, what I have seen quite a lot is when you post an offer of accommodation to rent on various portals, you will often receive spam responses from “potential” tenants. Who will follow up quite a lot of emails, and will request a lot of your details to make a deposit without ever coming to see the place or making any face to face contact.

    I have even received a cheque for a deposit. But the deposit was meant to be for €600 and received a cheque for €6,000, alarm bells started ringing. And in due course I was told an error had been made on the cheque and I was requested to deposit the €6,000 to my bank account and then return the balance €5,400 to another account. Let’s say I did not bother my bank by verifying the authenticity of the cheque.

    Thank you for your kind blessing.

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