“Sandra Roland” is a regular scammer on Craigslist and expatriates.com who claims to be a “Medical Humanitarian Nurse” in Nigeria searching for an apartment in Paris. Apparently she can speak English fluently despite sending a very poorly written email (a telltale sign!!) out to the majority of people who advertise Paris apartments on Craigslist. LOOK OUT for this one – while she may not be the smartest scammer around she certainly pops up everywhere!
This is the email that’s doing the rounds:
Hello to You overthere and how is your weekend going? I saw your advert that You have a room available for rent and i am interested in knowing the availability of the place and i will also want to know more about the neighboourhood ,the place and the utilities included…?
I am Sandra Roland,a Medical Humanitarian Nurse ,and ve been involve since the past 8 years,taking care of the motherless babies,Homeless one and all of that,I am still kind of young because i just turned 27yrs old…I Can speak both english and french.,i love to live with clean people,caring,responsible,neat type. I’m 5″7′ straight,and i am in West Africa Nigeria now ,I will want to move by the ending of this month depending on the availability of the room ,I speaks english fluently,so we have no barriers I’ll let You know more about me if i am to rent this particular room that you have to offer
I will be anxiously waiting for your next email
This “medical humanitarian nurse” also goes by several other aliases, including Whitney Brainard, Staci Martin and Alicia Smith, Jeni Walcot, Tracy Fields, Diane or Dianne Jackson, Linda Quach, Melanie Bunton and Christine Burke.
The way this scam works is that the fake tenant offers to send advance payment for the rent, etc. What they actually do is send a counterfeit check (or counterfeit cash) for an amount that is greater than what they owe (usually along with some long-winded excuse about why they’re sending a larger amount). They ask you to deposit the check and wire them back the difference. Or sometimes they send you the check as payment, you deposit it, and they then say they they changed their mind about renting and ask you to wire them a refund. When you deposit the fake check, you bank may not know or inform you for several weeks that the check was fake and then you are on the hook for the entire amount. i.e. you’ve wired the scammer your own money.