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Craigslist Rental Fraud

October 19, 2010

Here is an actual letter that I received today. The way you know it’s a fraud is by the occupant not being available, their ‘sudden’ departure and the vocabulary. It’s posted in the middle of the night – because they are in Nigeria, or Tailand, or somewhere where it’s impossible to track. The feel of the letter is  just not “right”.

Benjamin Holt

to Rebekah

show details 13:58 (41 minutes ago)

Hi,

Thanks for emailing me regarding the house is still available, but presently I’m on business trip to West Africa . I bid for a portion of petroleum land sometimes ago in West Africa and fortunately I won, so I have to move quickly down to Africa to have my company set up. I came over here with my wife, we both bought the house when we got married. As soon as we settle down here I had a thought of selling the house, so I have to look for an agent and getting one we strike a deal but later my wife advised me on selling the house. I reasoned with her and accepted her advice. So I contacted the agent back and requested for my keys and documents. Later we decided to have the house rent out, we would have given the same agent this job also but the truth of the matter is that the agent would want to handle it professionally and the occupant may not be able to reason along with him later and moresome I do not have anyone in the area I can leave the keys behind with so that is why I posted ad myself. If you notice, you will discover that the price we are offering is far below standard price and I this is enough for you to know that we are not after the rental fee but the absolute care for the property. I know there is no way I can be sure that you are the right person to live in the house because we won’t be able to see physical before sending you the keys and the documents to occupy the space. The house is available for as long as you want and if you drive by the house you may see a sign there, you have nothing to worry about it belongs to my previous agent so you have absolutely nothing to worry about and you don’t have to call them because they do not have access to the house anymore.

Please if you are ready now to occupy the house kindly provide the information below for record purpose

PLEASE TELL US ABOUT YOURSELF
Full Name__________________________________________________ Home Phone ( ) ________________________
Date of Birth_________________________________
Other Phone ( ) ___________________
Current Address_______________________________Apt#________ City__________________ State______ Zip________
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____________________________
Occupation____________________________
Move In Date____________________________

P.S: YOU WILL NOT BE ABLE TO VIEW THE INTERIOR PART OF THE HOUSE BECAUSE I HAVE THE KEYS HERE WITH ME BUT I CAN SEND YOU PICTURES.

House Address
662 Park Court. Santa Clara CA 95050

Pets Allowed: Cats,Dogs  etc.
Available Date: Available Now.

Benjamin Holt
+234708-731-2509
011-234708-731-2509

 

Their next step is to ask for you to wire money to them. That’s when you will quit hearing from them.

If it’s too good to be true, it probably is.

Talk to a professional. Check people out before you pay them and above all else; Never wire money to someone you don’t know!

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