My husband and I own a couple properties which we rent out on various vacation rental websites. Since Craigslist has become a NEST OF DISEASED VERMIN SCUM we steer clear of listing our properties there. The other day Lonny decided to give Craigslists another shot because VRBO is turning into a profit-hungry whore of a company, so why not try other venues, right?
Not a few days after we put up our listing, we got this lovely reminder of why we do not do business on Craigslist. Scammers (Nigerians?) pretend to be interested in renting our property with the intention of sending us a fake check written way over the amount required. They will claim that their boss (it’s always a third party to handles the fake funds) got the amount wrong and could we please refund the excess amount. Fast forward two months when the bank informs us (though we’ve never fallen for it) that it was a fake check and now we need to cover the thousands of dollars we wrote out to someone who is long gone.
Fortunately scammers aren’t too smart and are fairly easy to spot. Here are the hallmarks of a scammer:
1) Terrible spelling, syntax and grammar
2) They are from overseas
3) It is always an employer or third party who will be paying for the stay
4) They want ALL your information (bank routing, multiple emails, etc.)
5) They are usually doctors working overseas with AIDS ridden orphans, volunteering of course. This crafty scammer departed from the usual script by going down the honeymoon route.
6) They always close with God Bless, or Good Lord Almighty, or some such.
7) Bonus, sometimes they send hot pictures of themselves (scrubbed from the internet, no doubt) to sweeten the deal.
My husband gets the credit for the awesome response. Next time he should request a photo. Enjoy!
From: Mr & Mrs Gonzalez <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Sent: Saturday, September 15, 2012 8:18 PM
Subject: Re: $150 / 1br – 300ft² – Sunny Downtown Studio Suite in lovely Victorian newly made available! (Downtown Boulder near Pearl Street/17th)
Thanks for your prompt response. I want you to email me the availability and cost. We are 2, My Wife and I .Are coming from United Kingdom to have our honeymoon . we don’t smoke and we don’t drink And also we don’t have any pet. I have discussed this with my Wife and we have agreed to use your place for 7 nights, Concerning the cost we are okay with it. My Wife employers in Europe will be the one responsible for all our vacation expenses as a wedding gift and they have promised to send you a certified check as soon as you have penned these dates down for Us . My Wife Employer Request for the Set Of Information Below To Send Out The Payment To You :Your First name, Last name :
Street Address :
City, State, Postal Zip Code:
Two E-mail addresses:
Phone#:Below Is our Name and address and phone number in-case it may be needed :
Name : Mr & Mrs Gonzalez
Address: Ryhall Rd, Stamford,
PE9 1UA United Kingdom
Phone #: +44-702-402-9542
Waiting To Read From You. So that i can inform them asap to send you the payment.If you have any agreement form to fill out, we will do that on our arrival to your house because i don’t want to fill any form online so that my physical signature will appear, but you can send it for my review and i will get it filled physically on our arrival.Thanks
God Bless You.
Dear Mr. and Mrs. Gonzales,
The costs is One million pounds sterling per night, so that would be a mere seven million pounds total, and if the cheque should happen to be a whole lot more than that, we would be ever so happy to reimburse you for the extra overpayment by cutting you an immediate cheque from the bank of Burundi where we have a huge fortune that we are having a bit of trouble accessing at present but for a small fee maybe you could help us with that too. Please send us your physical address where the bank authorities can bring you our giant cheque for being so trustworthy and honest. We look forward to meeting you someday in your new confines and we hope to both mutually profit from our fine relationship for many years. I just can not believe it all started with a little Craigslist inquiry and we are already such grand friends and business partners.