Saturday, November 5, 2011

scam alert (not related to beauty, fashion, etc) LONG & DETAILED

I've run into TWO scams on craigslist.
One for an apartment & One for a vacation Rental.
Please see below for details so you can recognize a scam in progress:

The apartment (around 15AUG2011).
Listed on Craigslist, for about 10% less than other cheap apartments in the area.  Would  have been a really great deal, but not too unreasonable.  The person represented himself as MARC CURRY and stated he was currently living in NIGERIA attending university, but that he and his wife were looking for someone to live in their home stateside until their return.  He emailed me a preliminary questionnaire with SOME personal information & asked that I call him.  The number he gave me to call was: 2347089080990 .  I called and actually spoke to this individual (on about 3 occasions) - (which is a little surprising for a SCAM).  He asked that I Western Union him $400 so he could Fed-Ex me the paperwork and the keys, then I could visit the property & pay the deposit/move in fees if I found the property to be acceptable.  I told him it doesn't cost $400 to send Fed-Ex.  His emails and conversation resolved around how he felt God had told him I would be a good tenant and I was the right person to rent to.  Last red flag is that he couldn't answer a question I had about the land/property as if he had no idea there was a little cottage on the same lot (I saw it on Google Earth).  A month later, I found the SAME house (exterior photo) on a reputable agency's website.  No interior photos were on the reputable site although there were interior photos on the SCAM page.  The email address he used was:  (You can find the text here).

The Vacation Rental (around LATE JULY and EARLY SEP 2011).
This vacation rental was for an vacation rental / apartment in Sydney, Australia. (again, found on Craigslist).  This user was 'named' FABIAN NICHOLS from . 
I asked for more information & referrals about the rental.  He replied with a lot of information, two references and a 'discount rate' of $10 off $90 rental.  The references were: Shawn Greg and Anne Cole

I actually emailed Shawn & got a positive response.  Later, I googled the email address and found 'FABIAN' had used the exact same scam (same wording, and email addresses and EVERYTHING) on someone else. Fabian asks for 1/2 rent upfront & 1/2 on arrival.  Which really stinks because not only are you out of $440, but you're also out of a place to stay once you fly overseas! What if it's a holiday & the only places left available are $400 a night?!?!  And here for the 'reference' letter.   I'm embarrassed to admit that I fell victim to FABIAN simply because I didn't Google enough before sending money.  The evidence was easy to find.  I immediately (the next day) emailed a plea for some of my money back, which went unanswered.  (The text of his emails here & the text of the reference can be found here.) 

Western Union Info was:

Hope this helps SOMEONE!  And please let me know if you want any more information.

1 comment:

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