Periodically we look through Craigslist for random stuff (isn’t that what Craigslist is for?). Anyway, we were looking at rentals to see what’s available in our area – any better deals, etc. We came across this (what appeared to be a) sweet deal [link may or may not work now]. So I quickly sent off an email to email@example.com. What I got back was very strangely worded:
Thanks for your email and interest in renting my house..I am Michael Jacoby,the owner of the house you are making enquiry of…Actually I resided in the house with my family, my wife and my only daugther before and presently we have moved out due to my transfer from my work now inÃ‚Â Warsaw,Poland. Presently my house is still available for rent for $1000 USD (rent already includes utilities).More so Now, i’m currently in Lagos,Nigeria for an international Christian follower’s crusade.
Pls i want you to note that i spent a lot on my property that i want to give to you for rent,so i will solicit for your absolute maintenance of this house and want you to treat it as your own, It is not the money that is the main problemÃ‚Â but i want you to keep it tidy all the time so that i will be gladÃ‚Â to see it neat when i come for a check up.I also want you to let me have trust in you as i always stand on my word.
This is the address of the House( 45756 Klamath Court, Temecula, CA 92592 )..
It has a dramatic entry foyer with ceramic floor. Extremely spacious rooms throughout with lots of big windows…nice and light! New neutral paint and some newer carpet..Very quiet, low traffic area. New fridge (7/07)…I believe its absolutely a perfect home for you and your family.Utilities include Water,Trash,Sewer,Gas
SO IF YOU ARE REALLY INTERESTED I WILL WANT YOU TO FILL THE RENT APPLICATION FORM BELOW.
RENT APPLICATION FORM.
KIDS _____ (YES/NO), HOW MANY ________
PRESENT ADDRESS: _____________________
ZIP CODE: ____________
HOW LONG? ___________IF RENTING
WHY ARE YOU LEAVING__________?
IF THIS HOUSE IS BEING GIVEN TO YOU,
HOW LONG DO YOU INTEND STAYING? ____________?
WHEN DO YOU INTEND MOVING IN? ______________?
IF YOU HAVE A PET,
NAME OF PET: _____________?
KIND OF PETS: _____________?
DO YOU SMOKE ______________ ?
DO YOU DRINK ______________?
DO YOU WORK LATE NIGHT? ____?
Looking forward to hearing from you with all this details so that i can have it in my file in case of issuing the receipt for you and contacting you…Await your urgent reply so that we can discuss on how to get the document and the keys to you,please we are giving you all this based on trust and again i will want you to stick to your words,you know that we have not seen yet and only putting everything into Gods hands,so please do not let us down in this our property and God bless you more as you do this…
The house is available for rent at the moment so you are free to move in as soon as you wish to…A Deposit of $1000 (which happens to be the security deposit) is required before moving in…Feel free to call me for more information and arrangements on how to get the keys and other necessary documents delivered to you…my number is (+234-806-113-3966Ã‚Â ORÃ‚Â 011-234-806-113-3966).The house will be available for rent for a period of 4 years so you have a choice of deciding how long you intend staying there…
As you can see, some strange wording, plus they asked for the name of my dog (which I thought was really weird). So I googled “+234-806-113-3966” and found this post, this post, with a strangely familiar responses from the ‘owner’. I also found this site with tons of information on rental scammers.
Like the old saying goes, ‘If it sounds too good to be true, it probably isn’t…’