December 09, 2008

Internet Scams: Craigslist Apartment Edition

Yesterday, I dropped an email in response to this Craigslist ad:
$700 / 2br - Beautiful Classic Two Bedroom w/ Lots of Character! (West Hartford, CT)

Seems pretty resonible right? The photos in the ad pretty accurately show an older, empty, two bedroom apartment. Here's what I get back:

***************************

Attn Applicant,

Thanks for the email. I own the house and also want you to know that it was due to my transfer to West Africa, Lagos that makes us to leave the house and also want to give it out for rent and looking for a responsible person that can take very good care of it as we are not after the money for the rent but want it to be clean all the time and the person that will rent it to take it as if it were its own. So for now, We are here in West Africa and will be staying here for the next 4 years in our new house and also with the keys of the house for rent, we try to look for an agent that we can give this documents and the keys before we left but could not find, and we as well do not want our house to be used any how in our absence that is why we took it along with us. I and my wife came over to Africa for a missionary work, so i hope you will promise us that you will take very good care of the house. So get back to me on how you could take care of our house or perhaps experience you have in renting home. Hope you are okay with the price of $700 per month.

This is the address of the house: 773 Farmington Ave, West Hartford, CT 06119

SO IF YOU ARE REALLY INTERESTED I WILL WANT YOU TO FILL THE
RENT APPLICATIONS FORM BELOW

RENT APPLICATION FORM.
FIRST NAME:__________?
MIDDLE NAME:__________?
LAST NAME:__________?
PROFESSION:__________?
PHONE:
(CELL)PHONE__________?
(WORK)PHONE__________?
(HOME)PHONE__________?
KIDS _____ (YES/NO), HOW MANY ________
PRESENT ADDRESS: _____________________
CITY: _______________
STATE:______________
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: _____________?
HABITS
DO YOU SMOKE ______________ ?
DO YOU DRINK ______________?
DO YOU WORK LATE NIGHT? ____?

Looking forward to hear 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 key to you,please we are giving you all this base on trust and again i will want you to stick to your words,you know that we do not see yet and only putting everything into Gods hand,so please do not let us down in this our property and God bless you more as you do this.Our house number is +234-806-113-3966 OR 011-234-806-113-3966.

Thanks and Remain Blessed.

***************************

Seem familiar? I thought so too.....

19 comments:

Anonymous said...

I got the same thing today.. I am seeing what they say when I reply

Anonymous said...

hy..i dont know how is with this family but i receive a email that they want a cleaner..they are in africa and came back in 2 weeks...oh my god..pls leave your comment if you know something else,they must to pay for this thinks.

Anonymous said...

I'm currently talking to this jerk too. I had an idea that it was a scam right away since he had so many typos. I wish there was someway we could get him in trouble.

Anonymous said...

Like an idiot I responded this is what they sent me from ewayne74@aol.com Hello,

Thanks for your response regarding your interest in having my house for rent. The house is much available for now and it is a 3bedroom home...I want you to know that i am the owner of this building situated at 13 Par Ln Bellingham, WA 98229... But i am now presently in West Africa for my Hospitals Project prayer crusade with my wife and we have the keys right here with us. I will like to inform you that it was due to my transfer that makes us to leave the house and also want to give it out for rent and looking for a responsible person that can take very good care of it as we are not after the money for the rent but want it to be clean at the time and the person that will rent it to take it as if it were its own..So for now,We are here in West Africa,NIGERIA our new house and also with the keys of the house,we are trying to look for an agent that we can give this document before we left but could not see and we are as well as don't want our house to be used any how in our absent that is why we took it along with us here..We are only willing to give the house out to a lovely and caring family only, so if you know you cannot give the house the neatness it deserves please don't contact me.But if you promise to always take good care of the house,get back to me on how you could take care of our house or perhaps experience you have in renting a home.Hope you are okay with the monthly price of $700 and the refundable security deposit of $700. I am looking forward to hear from you ASAP, below is the application form for you to fill and discuss on how to get the house for rent..

Kindly confirm your interest by filling the form below:

TENANT RENT APPLICATION
FIRST NAME: __________________
MIDDLE NAME: __________________
LAST NAME: __________________
PROFESSION: ________________
PHONE (____) __________ (CELL)
PHONE (____) __________ (WORK)
PHONE (____) __________ (HOME)
MARITAL STATUS: _________
KIDS _____ (YES/NO), HOW MANY ________
Home ADDRESS: ___________________________
CITY: _______________
STATE: ______________
ZIP CODE: ____________
HOW LONG? ___________IF RENTING
WHY ARE YOU LEAVING? _______________________________________________________________________
CURRENT RENT: _______
IF THIS HOUSE IS BEING GIVEN TO YOU,
HOW LONG DO YOU INTEND STAYING? ____________
WHEN DO YOU INTEND MOVING IN? ______________
WHEN DO YOU INTEND SENDING ME THE DEPOSIT___________________________
WHEN DO YOU INTEND RECEIVING THE KEYS AND DOCUMENT OF THE HOUSE___________________________

Looking forward to hear 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 key to you,please we are giving you all this base on trust and again i will want you to stick to your words,you know that,we do not see yet and only putting everything into Gods hand,so please do not let us down in this our property and God bless you more as you do this.

You can contact me on +234-802-444-6958 or 011-234-802-444-6958...

Regards.
to good to be true.........

Lisa W. said...

(I got almost a similar message. My family was actually falling for this scam until I got them the proof via this site.)

Hello,

Thanks for your response regarding your interest in having my house for rent. The house is much available for now and it is a 3bedroom home...I want you to know that i am the owner of this building situated at 27614 Parkside Dr Temecula, CA 92591... But i am now presently in West Africa for my Hospitals Project prayer crusade with my wife and we have the keys right here with us. I will like to inform you that it was due to my transfer that makes us to leave the house and also want to give it out for rent and looking for a responsible person that can take very good care of it as we are not after the money for the rent but want it to be clean at the time and the person that will rent it to take it as if it were its own..So for now,We are here in West Africa,NIGERIA our new house and also with the keys of the house,we are trying to look for an agent that we can give this document before we left but could not see and we are as well as don't want our house to be used any how in our absent that is why we took it along with us here..We are only willing to give the house out to a lovely and caring family only, so if you know you cannot give the house the neatness it deserves please don't contact me.But if you promise to always take good care of the house,get back to me on how you could take care of our house or perhaps experience you have in renting a home.Hope you are okay with the monthly price of $700 and the refundable security deposit of $700. I am looking forward to hear from you ASAP, below is the application form for you to fill and discuss on how to get the house for rent..

Kindly confirm your interest by filling the form below:

TENANT RENT APPLICATION
FIRST NAME: __________________
MIDDLE NAME: __________________
LAST NAME: __________________
PROFESSION: ________________
PHONE (____) __________ (CELL)
PHONE (____) __________ (WORK)
PHONE (____) __________ (HOME)
MARITAL STATUS: _________
KIDS _____ (YES/NO), HOW MANY ________
Home ADDRESS: ___________________________
CITY: _______________
STATE: ______________
ZIP CODE: ____________
HOW LONG? ___________IF RENTING
WHY ARE YOU LEAVING? _______________________________________________________________________
CURRENT RENT: _______
IF THIS HOUSE IS BEING GIVEN TO YOU,
HOW LONG DO YOU INTEND STAYING? ____________
WHEN DO YOU INTEND MOVING IN? ______________
WHEN DO YOU INTEND SENDING ME THE DEPOSIT___________________________
WHEN DO YOU INTEND RECEIVING THE KEYS AND DOCUMENT OF THE HOUSE___________________________

Looking forward to hear 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 key to you,please we are giving you all this base on trust and again i will want you to stick to your words,you know that,we do not see yet and only putting everything into Gods hand,so please do not let us down in this our property and God bless you more as you do this.

You can contact me on +234-802-444-6958 begin_of_the_skype_highlighting +234-802-444-6958 end_of_the_skype_highlighting or 011-234-802-444-6958...

Regards.

Nash said...

There are so many Jerk who scam people in this part of Arfica, in which the phone number begins with +234; all of them are not like that but take care!

Anonymous said...

I'm looking at rental sites in Hawaii for my move (currently in Minnesota), I responded to this guys add and like everyone else, I got the same response. I'm so glad I googled this and read your comments and found out this was a scam!!

Anonymous said...

This is a for real scam? We are heart broken that we were deceived! We got the same messages and thought we were blessed. We went by the address today to check out the house and it still looked like someone lived there. We even talked to him on the phone. I can't believe we almost got caught with our pants down!

Umair said...

My wife just emailed this jackass a filled out application with our phone number and address. We'll have to see how far this scam goes.

Anonymous said...

Ugghh....this is the latest version of this scammer's email
Hello,


Thanks for your email and it is my gladness to hear from you.My Name is Samuel Olander owner of the apartment you want for rent i resided in the apartment with my wife and Kid before i had to move for a missionary work in West Africa and my wife went ahead to United Kingdom on her own Mission.My apartment is Located at (1861 Mintwood Pl NW,Washington, DC 20009) and presently the apartment is still very available for rent at $1200 Per Month including utilities and appliances and it's available for short and long term (The apartment is Fully Furnished & Can Be Made Unfurnished)..More so Now, I am on a missionary work in West Africa and i will like you to get in touch with my wife in the United Kingdom for more discussion as She is with the keys and documents of the apartment,she's in the UK due to am not around and she had to go for a christian mission with our only daughter, you get in touch with her she will let you know all things about the apartment.Please i want you to note that,i am a kind and honest man and also i spent a lot on my property that i want to give you for rent,so i will solicit for your absolute maintenance of my apartment,is that taken?.I want to have trust in you as i always stand by my words.Where are you located? let us know how soon you are willing to move in.Email my wife Sophia,on (sophialine121@gmail.com) and she will attend to you better.


Thanks for your interest
Samuel Olander.

Anonymous said...

This animal has done this to me too, we should do something .

Anonymous said...

The exact same thing happened to me, in Texas.

Beth said...

Same thing in Kansas

miika said...

Another one, right here in SF: Scammer's name is Samual Olander

MY best advice is don't fill out any paperwork/give a deposit/send funds WITHOUT seeing the apartment first. It is such a pain in the neck. Guess they have nothing better to do.

Hello,

Thanks for the response to my advert. I'm Samuel Olander, owner of the apartment you are inquiring for rent. My apartment located on 6009 Shattuck Ave,Oakland, CA 94609 is perfect with good transportation link and is available as soon as you are ready. I live there with my wife and child but had to move a few weeks ago to New Mexico on a missionary trip which we won't be returning from in a long while. I need you to be able fit into my apartment in our absence. My apartment is available for rent at $1050 per month which covers utilities and appliances and is available for a short or long term lease, whichever is required. My apartment is fully furnished & can be refurnished to your taste if you so please as there is an extra room which can be made into a store, or a second bedroom if you need an extra room. We left behind facilities which is included in the rent per month, the kitchen is fully equipped with all cooking utensils. Refrigerator/Freezer, Oven/Microwave, Dishwasher, Washing Machine, Dryer, Cable, TV, Internet, Central Heating, Stereo, Air Conditioning, Parking and more.

NOTE: I can only send you pictures of the interior of the apartment as I'm not around to show it to you in person plus you can only drive by and see the apartment from the outside as I'm with the keys and document for security purposes, if you are really interested in renting my apartment, I want you to get back to me with answers to application questions so I can email you pictures of the interiors and proceed with you renting my place as soon as I confirm your interest with the application filled. I would've loved to send the keys to someone who lives around but due to not living in the area long enough, I don't have anybody there right now to give them to which is another reason why I took them along with me since we're also new to the city. After all is finalized, the keys will be sent to the address you will be providing in the application below;


APPLICATION FOR RENT

Name : ______________________________.

Age : ______________.

Present Address: _____________________________________________.

City: _______________________ State: ______ Zip: _____.

Move In Date: _________________.

Lease Period: ______________.

Present Phone: # ________________________.

Number of Persons to occupy Residence: ____________.

Nearest RELATIVE or REFERENCE to notify in an Emergency: ___________________.

Relationship: _____________________.

Address City State Zip Phone: ___________________________.

Monthly Income: ___________________________.

SECURITY DEPOSIT AND RENT DUE UPON APPROVAL OF APPLICATION NO OTHER PERSONS TO RESIDE AT ANY TIME WITHOUT WRITTEN CONSENT OF PROPERTY OWNER. APPLICANT INITIAL _________________.

Do you have CAR?: ________________________________________.

Do you have any PETS?: ______________.

Valid Copy Of Your Identification: _____________________.


Thanks again, I will be waiting to read from you at your earliest convenience with the application filled so that I can proceed with you renting my apartment as soon as you are ready.

Thanks and I await your response


Mike said...

I've also had this person take over my rental listing. He posts fake passport photos and also goes by the name of Michael Gardner. I have filled out complaint forms wth the FBI & FTC. His phone appears to be listed in New Mexico now (no international contact info given). Very frustrating that he seems to operate without any legal recourse.

David Garnett said...

January 20, 2016

I very foolishly allowed myself to be scammed out of a lot of money.

The scam I fell for is:
- studio loft in San Francisco at 695 5th Street Unit 6
- Name given is "Olander Samuel" (switch last and first)
- He is (supposedly) in Connecticut
- email address o.samuel@hotmail.com
- phone number 203-370-1892 (should have been dead give away)

I Andrea said...

Yup, this scam artist is at work in Berkeley too. Glad I thought to google hime. Thank you for this blog. Scary people amongst us lambs. Thank god I didn't reply.

Anonymous said...

He's still at it, in the South Bay Area.

Thanks for posting this blog..


In the meantime, I just asked where I can send my $ to as I'd love to send right away ;-)

Shwethascar said...

I received an email from Jenny Olafsen about transferring to a trip advisor account before even seeing the place. I smelled something fishy and replied I'm not comfortable sending any kind of money without verifying things. I did not send any details. No reply after that.

Just FYI, scammer's database should include a certain Jenny Olafsen