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ItalianPrincess1217's avatar

Was this a "fake" email response from craigslist regarding an apartment?

Asked by ItalianPrincess1217 (9805 points ) June 9th, 2011 from iPhone

I’m really confused on this one. I recently posted an ad on craigslist for “apartment wanted”. A couple days ago I received an email regarding my post. The woman said she seen my post and thinks she can help. She told me she has an apartment for rent (which later turned out to be a house), in my area, for only $400. The first email sounded legitimate except for the fact that she mentioned she has relocated to Nigeria with her husband for some church thing which she put in bold letters, almost as if she were promoting the church…I asked for more information because it seemed too good to be true. She responded with an address and pictures. I put the address in my gps and the exact house number doesn’t exist. The street does but not the number. The pics she attached were very nice. There’s no way she’s renting it for $400. Not possible. So is this a scam of some sort? What is this person gaining out of this? Will they eventually try to get money from me? Are they promoting their religious beliefs? I’m confused! Why waste my time if you don’t really have an apartment for rent?!

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12 Answers

MyNewtBoobs's avatar

Yes, it’s a scam. I think this might be a way to verify your email address so that they can add you to some spam list.

ItalianPrincess1217's avatar

@MyNewtBoobs Dammit. I figured it was too good of an offer. Why would they continue to respond once they had my email though? Why would they go to the trouble of sending pictures, describing the house, etc?

MyNewtBoobs's avatar

@ItalianPrincess1217 Because they aren’t sober? I really have no idea.

YARNLADY's avatar

I tried to find an apartment for my brother with similar results. I started getting tons of spam after the first reply. Luckily I used a one-use only e-mail account.

zenvelo's avatar

They will get you to send them a “good faith” deposit to hold it before they can show the unit to you. Then you never see the money again, and the people at the residence will know nothing about the unit being for rent.

My girlfriend found a nice cottage for rent about $300 below market prices. The pictures and the supposed kitchen equipment were just too good. Same thing- they were missionaries that had been re-assigned from Berkeley to West Africa.

ItalianPrincess1217's avatar

@zenvelo Yep. That sounds exactly like what’s happening. They mentioned a $100 application fee.

perspicacious's avatar

SCAM. If it’s Craigslist and you have ANY doubt walk away from it. I found a house for sale on there, pictures and all, that was really located where the ad said but I found the owner and he knew nothing about it being for sale.

Buttonstc's avatar

Well they didn’t pull the term “Nigerian scam” out of the air.

This is just a variant of the usual needing your help to get millions of dollars out of a bank in their own country which they are unable to access for some convoluted inexplicable reason. That requires you to process the check through your account for which they will pay you (usually in the millions).

The house for rent/sale and the perfect pet for adoption are also used. Of course there are all sorts of obstacles encountered which would necessitate a “small good faith fee” from you.

And the variants on this scam are limited only by their imaginations.

BarnacleBill's avatar

Happened to my daughter. Exact same missionary scam. The photos were lifted from a real estate site; the house was actually for sale and listed on a legit site. They will ask you to fedex a good faith deposit check, because others are interested in the apartment as well.

ItalianPrincess1217's avatar

Is there anything that can be done to flag these scammers? Or get them in some sort of trouble?

BarnacleBill's avatar

Craigslist has a flagging process, I think. In my daughter’s case, they used the real owner’s name and my daughter tracked them down on LinkedIn to ask them about the house. They filed a complaint with the FBI Internet Crimes division.

Craigslist resource page

Plucky's avatar

Yes, a scam. I’m thinking they wanted money ..then maybe some more money from you. I’d try to report the people. That’s the best way to help stop them.

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