The number of fake rental scams on Craigslist and other online classifieds continues to grow, with new aliases appearing daily. But while the names may change, the methods are always the same.
These thieves, mainly based in Nigeria, the U.K. and the U.S., are out to steal your money and your identity.
They use yahoo, ymail, rocketmail, fastermail, live, hotmail and gmail, and they also post ads under anonymous craigslist addresses. They frequently change their aliases.
They use photos stolen from other property advertisements or from home furnishing catalogues or hotel websites.
They use fake names, often stolen from Facebook profiles or networking sites. Often they assume the identities of previous victims.
What they all have in common is that sooner or later you get a request to transfer funds via Western Union, Moneygram or some other wire service.
NEVER, UNDER ANY CIRCUMSTANCES, WIRE MONEY AT THE REQUEST OF ANY PROSPECTIVE “LANDLORD” VIA WESTERN UNION, MONEYGRAM OR ANY OTHER WIRE SERVICE. EVEN IF THEY TELL YOU TO WIRE THE FUNDS TO A FRIEND OR RELATIVE’S NAME “TO BE SAFE,” IT’S A TRAP!
NEVER SEND A SCAN OF YOUR PASSPORT OR OTHER ID. THESE THIEVES WILL USE YOUR IDENTITY TO SCAM OTHERS.
The IP addresses being used to perpetrate these scams worldwide include the following:
Nigeria Multi-links Telecommunications Ltd: 126.96.36.199 - 188.8.131.52
Nigeria Assigned to Lagos Dial-pool customers: 184.108.40.206 - 220.127.116.11
Nigeria Choizcom 18.104.22.168 - 22.214.171.124
Nigeria SurfSpot Communications 126.96.36.199 - 188.8.131.52
United Kingdom Skyvision Holdings Ltd: 184.108.40.206 - 220.127.116.11
United Kingdom Tertiarydns Internet Solutions And Security Consultants: 18.104.22.168 - 22.214.171.124
United States Sterling Bringcom Inc 126.96.36.199 - 188.8.131.52
AND ASK THEM TO BAN THESE IP ADDRESSES FROM ACCESSING THEIR SITES!
REPORT FRAUD TO NIGERIA’S ECONOMIC AND FINANCIAL CRIMES COMMISSION (EFCC).
For a few general tips and tools on how to protect yourself from apartment scams in Paris (and elsewhere), click here.
Good luck in your search for an apartment.