Friday, December 28, 2012

Housing - Rental Scam

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My ongoing search for suitable housing has been a nightmare to say the least, and I've encountered numerous liars and crooks along the way... mostly found through Craigslist. Here's a typical example of how the thieves operate:

Messages sent from:

FRED: Thank you for your prompt response, I will like to inform you that the house mine,we just have a new job in Oregon where we are presently now...I and my wife wanted to sell the house before leaving, but we decided  to let it out for rent.Our home is available for 5 years, how many month do you wish to rent our home? pls let me know asap if you will love to live in our home. Regard. Fred Hammond

Hello, I need a home to rent for 1 year. How much are you asking?

FRED: Thank you for your prompt response, we are not after the rent okay... 
just looking for someone that will take care of the place like his ir her own....
Please if you are ready now to occupy the house kindly provide the information below for record purpose
Full Name_____Home Phone ( ) 
Date of Birth______
Current Address______
Reasons for Leaving____
Rent $_____Phone ( ) _____
Are you married____
How many people will be living in the house___
Do you have a pet____
Do you have a car____
Move In Date____
Best Regards

Fred Hammond.

Full Name: Ron McDonald
Home Phone: N/A
Date of Birth: 5-14-75
Current Address: Savannah GA
Reasons for Leaving: Lease expiring
Rent $1,600/month
Are you married: No
How many people will be living in the house:  1
Do you have a pet: No
Do you have a car: Yes
Occupation: Business consultant
Move In Date: Immediate

FRED: Thanks you very much for the application form well filled out, I just wanted to let you know that we have decided to let you live in our house. As we have found your application very satisfactory and acceptable by my family.

Our home is available for rent for 5 years,but the initial lease will run for a stretch period of 1 year,and subject to extension upon mutual satisfaction of both parties,but am positive we would have a cordial relationship..I’m ready to accept either monthly or upfront mode of payment,but before you move into the house you will have to provide the first 3 months rent and the deposit.The deposit is the same as the rent,and if you want an upfront payment that will not be a problem depending on the option you’re most comfortable with..The keys and documents will be send to you via FEDEX to the address you have sent to me and the tracking number will be sent to you after the confirmation of the payment.Pls once again,we are giving you this on trust and do not disappoint us  and I promise you that you will love the house. So i am with the below document here with me and I will like to know whether you are ready for the  payment.

Here are the contents of the document.
1) Entrance and the rooms Keys
2)Paper/Permanent house form(Containing your reference details)
3)The house documentary file.
4)Payment Receipt.
5)Full address and description of the house
So pls get back to me today.
I await your reply ASAP.
Regard and God bless you!!!

How do I pay rent? I need a home this week. Thank you

FRED: This is the information for the payment to be made:
NAME     Alejandra gonzalez
ADDRESS     568 east 15 street
CITY     hialeah
STATE       Florida
ZIP CODE     33010
COUNTRY    United State
after confirmation of your payment by me,i will send the keys of the house and the necessary document o occupy the house... hope to read back from you with the western union details for the first three month rent so i can send the keys and the document to you today.

Best Regards
Fred Hammond.

Google street view of: 568 E 15th st. Hialeah, FL 33010
(or possibly 567 E 15th. Google maps are hardly accurate)

It's unlikely this address is where these criminals reside. All they need is a fake ID with that address to collect the cash. Or perhaps they can cash it with only the tracking number. Or maybe they can cash it in Cuba without any ID or tracking number at all. Who knows. Maybe Mr. Fred Hammond, a.k.a "Alejandra Gonzalez" is actually dumb enough to use his or her real name and current address to commit fraud. Whatever the case, I told the thieves I wired the money. I hope they're really pissed off when they realize I lied. :D

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