How I Almost Got Scammed on a Craigs List Rental

You know those old emails back in the day from a Somalian prince promising you millions in an inheritance? I have to laugh at myself because in my quest to find a place to move into by myself, I nearly let myself get hoodwinked by a scammer on Craigs List for a rental house.

The first sign should have been that their email response to me was [email protected] And the fact that their email had the grammar of a lobotomized cockroach. But emotions and urgency are funny things, so I answered this email with my information, but after which said to myself, “Fuck, what did I just do?” I then emailed them back and told them good luck with their identity theft endeavors and that they were grade A scammers. Here’s the email they replied to me with after I contacted them:

Thanks for your interest and inquiries about my house. Yes the house is still available for rent and we are looking for a responsible person/family to occupy and maintain the house now that we are not around. Myself and wife just traveled to Africa for a program called FAMILY LIFE AND HIV EDUCATION AND THE HIV PREVENTION FOR RURAL YOUTH PROGRAM We will be away for 3 to 4 years or more that is why I have made up my mind to put up my house for rent to whom ever that will take good care of it.I spent less time in the States so I could not get a hold on any Realtor to handle this rent issue, although it was when I knew how long we are going to stay in Africa that I decided to rent out the house…. However, the initial plan was to sale out the house. which I tried, but sometimes the agents inflates the price and it takes longer to sell i am telling you this in case if you find the house on another website.Also how long do you intend to stay? How soon do you intend to move in? FEATURES : Laundry, Electric Range, Electric Heat, Master Bedroom, Playground, Car Park.AMENITIES: Air Conditioning, Patio/Party Deck, Cable TV, Ceiling Fans, 24 hours Internet service, Dishwasher, Fireplace, Garbage Disposal, Microwave, security alarm, Pets Friendly, Refrigerator, Washer / Dryer.
Number of bedrooms:2
Number of bathrooms:1
Rental price: $500per month and security Deposit is $500 (Security Deposit is Refundable) Utilities included in monthly rent
Pets Welcome.
ADDRESS: 586 W 1700 N, Orem, UT 84057

I really need to tell you that we are after the proper maintenance of the property ,all utilities in the house are intact and not maintenance is anticipated,so please kindly get back at me as soon as you get this..Our family is a blessed one and we make friends easily regards of race,skin color and ethnicity,please if yo are eventually given the opportunity to rent the house do take very good care of it……Please if you are ready now to occupy the house kindly provide the information below for record purpose…you can drive by the house to take a  look at it as soon as you have the chance..

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____________________________
Move In Date____________________________
How long you intend staying____________
How soon can you come up with the deposit____________
REFERENCES ___________________________
Your pictures if available_______

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.The house is available for rent at the moment so you are free to move in as soon as you wish to…Since we are not around to show the House,you can just drive by to see the outside of the House.Its a lovely home everybody would like.Feel free to email  me for more information and arrangements on how to get the keys and other necessary documents delivered to you…The house will be available for rent for a period of 4 years as the program me am here for will last for 4 years and that’s the main reason am renting it out,our first intention was to sale it but my wife advised me not to so I heed to her advise… so you have a choice of deciding how long you intend staying there…

Tawny Reagan

Notice the quest they are on and doing God’s work and all the feel good stuff. The fact that this was a house for $500 a month (utilities included) should have been a red flag. Once I read online what common Craigs List rental scams look like, I knew for sure this was not legit. It’s a lesson for me that when you’re not thinking straight, you can make some pretty shitty mistakes. But I have to laugh really hard at myself right now because it is amusing to see people try this kind of thing.

The next part of the scam would likely have been a security deposit or some form of writing a check for money. Thank goodness I caught this in time. I’ll watch my online statements very carefully over the next few weeks as well, just in case whoever got my name and address tries anything funny.

So lesson to you – if it’s too good to be true it is. Stay un-scammed my friends :)

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