BIG RED FLAG: Request for payment via Western Union

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:  82.128.0.0 - 82.128.127.255

Nigeria Assigned to Lagos Dial-pool customers:  41.219.247.0 - 41.219.247.255

Nigeria Afrinic: 41.204.224.0 - 41.204.227.255 and  196.29.216.0 - 196.29.223.255

Nigeria Choizcom 83.229.69.128 - 83.229.69.191

Nigeria SurfSpot Communications 81.199.176.128 - 81.199.176.255

United Kingdom Skyvision Holdings Ltd: 78.0.0.0 - 78.255.255.255

United Kingdom Tertiarydns Internet Solutions And Security Consultants: 91.186.10.0 - 91.186.10.65

United States Sterling Bringcom Inc 204.16.124.0 - 204.16.127.255

Gilat Satcom Range 81.199.52.0 - 81.199.53.255 and 217.21.64.0 - 217.21.95.255 (have a look at Gilat Satcom’s rap sheet here).

.Tertiary dns

PLEASE WRITE TO CRAIGSLIST (USE THIS LINK) AND EXPATRIATES.COM (contact@expatriates.com)

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.

Stay safe!

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Comments

  • TK Frink  On July 16, 2008 at 11:38 pm

    Hello,
    I am trying to get some insight…My fiancee and I have been searching for apartments for about two months and found one on craigslist.org…Only thing is that it’s some guy and his brother who are missoinaries, one in Scotland and the other in Nigeria. They’re suppossedly doing work for the lord. They asked alot of questions about us, wanting to know our names and ages and such. They wanted to know where we were from and all about us…Then aftr they were “satisfied” with our profiles they said they were happy to rent to us and tha tthey would send the keys to the apartment after we sent two months rent and then a security deposit of $200. We asked them to send a lease and they have not answered our email yet…We only have their names and number that they gave us in Nigeria…Please help! I told a worker @ the apartment service center and she told me it sounded like a scam. She gave me a few web sites to check out and this was one of them…

    TK Frink

    • Casey  On October 10, 2010 at 2:28 pm

      Thank goodness for this flagged flag! I was looking for an appartment in San Francisco and so I contacted “Rev Dave Morris” and he had me get in touch w/ his wife beacause I guess he was “out of the states”. I was super excited at the thought of finding an appartment that easily that I was suspicious at the same time. So I looked up the contactable e mails on facebook and I was forwarded to this warning flag. Thank you so much for revealing this to me. I am bummed, yet saved because of this page. Again, thank you very much.

  • plink100  On July 18, 2008 at 3:16 am

    TK Frink – DO NOT SEND MONEY!!!! This is a scam!!! These people are scum of the earth. They prey on people, generally foreigners who can’t check out the place for themselves, who are desperate to find housing and many many people get caught out everyday and lose thousands. Never send money to anyone that says they are in Nigeria, has links to Africa or claims they will send the keys after they receive the cash. And never use Western Union! Once you deposit the money it is gone for good!!

    Make sure you read our blog (particularly telltale clues and big red flags) and equip yourself with knowledge so that you’ll be one up on them.

    I lost over $2000 to someone in the UK in April and it’s not a nice feeling.

    Be careful!!

  • regina  On September 5, 2008 at 10:28 am

    Hi, i Posted my washer and dryer for sale and had quite a few responces from the UK and well i was wondering if this was a scam, i recived an email saying that he was interested and to give him my name address and cell number, then he said he has a friend with the money who will give me a cashier check for 1850.00 and that i would deduct 400.00 for my price and 100.00 for holding it and that once i cash the money i will western union the rest of the money to the moving company and they will come get the washer and dryer..

  • me  On September 7, 2008 at 4:44 pm

    Hi
    this website is really useful. I had some doubts about a rent in Paris on craigslist… at the beginning it was ok (not too cheap for the location), but when they sent me the pics it looked like a luxury apartment! As I was sure someone was advising against scams, I searched scam directly on craigslist and arrived here. You gave me the idea to look for the IP address of the sender. Guess what? Nigeria.

    They were asking a Bank money transfer to UK. I do not think I would have payed any euro since everytime I asked to see the place, they answered different things. But still, this website convinced me it was definitely a scam. Thanks guys.

  • Strife  On September 8, 2008 at 5:19 am

    Post a reply on this site if you see them, with the craigslist email :) I have ways of getting a message accross to scum bags like this. My girlfriend was almost fooled, but thank god she ran it accross me. I work in internet security and I will scare the s##t out of the stupid ones.

  • Quirked Eyebrow  On September 11, 2008 at 4:55 pm

    Hi there! I have just spent the last hour or so reading through your blog and offering up a mental round of applause for the work you’ve done. Great stuff! When I read through the Paris ads (or others around the world) I often spot what I think are scam ads but can’t be entirely sure. Reading some of the ads you’ve posted gives me the room to pat myself on the back because it confirms some of my guesses.

    I hope you don’t mind but I picked out names and emails to add to the ever-growing list on my blog site dealing with the same issues ~ just a little more globally than Paris. If you have the time and contact me through my email (or site) I wouldn’t mind finding out more about your incentive to do the blog because I’m thinking of doing a post about people such as yourself who are posting information.

    Kudos for what you’re doing ~ it’s sometimes frustrating sorting it all out and I know my faith in humankind gets kinda dinged while doing much the same thing but, in the end, it’s worth it all!

  • m.cali.6  On October 6, 2008 at 8:14 pm

    I just got two similar responses from UK resident, from a posting an apt which was too good to be true. Sure enough, they responded w/ wiring the deposit to their Western Union account. Thanks to this website, it saved me alot of money and headache!

  • Tonda  On October 27, 2008 at 10:49 am

    I just realized that I was scammed by somebody on Craigslist. I currently live in Chicago and was looking for apartments in London.

    “Bradford Micheal”

    He said he had an apartment for rent and asked me to wire money. When I refused, he suggested I wire the money to a friend or to myself via western union as it would be safe and I wouldn’t be wiring the money to him. I would then fax him a copy of the receipt to prove I had the finances to rent the apartment and the money could be retreived once I arrived in London and viewed the apartment. It sounded VERY secure to me. So i did it, I wired the money to a friend of mine living in london, thinking I would be able to get my money back if something happened and I chose not to rent the apartment. My wire transfer was paid out by Western Union 37 minutes after I wired it. I didn’t even have time to contact my friend and let her know the transfer was complete. I’ve filed a complaint with Western Union and now I will be contacting the local authorities in London to see if they can do anything. I just lost $1700 USD!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    • Nina Alvarez  On March 18, 2009 at 8:52 pm

      Tonda,

      Were the authorities helpful? I just lost the same amount to a housing scam in Paris. I’m not sure who to contact or what to do.

      -Nina

  • Tonda  On October 27, 2008 at 10:53 am

    Bradford Michael’s email was

    brad.mj@live.com

  • Serge  On December 1, 2008 at 5:32 am

    Hi there, i have the same situation just right now. Though the landlord is saying that he lives in Germany right now, he asked to transfer the money via WU, and he is supposed to fly to UK tomorrow (2nd of december) to meet me. Ive figured out that something is not right from the first email. Its good that ive looked at this page today as ive almost went to pay the money. Ive sent him fake WU receipt, want to see where the things will go.
    Thanks a lot for that information :)

  • Alessio  On December 3, 2008 at 3:22 am

    I want you to know that I received two scam mails from :

    christyowen25@yahoo.com and paullizzy33@yahoo.com

    The first one is called Mrs. Christy Owen and her announce is the ID: 940067848 and the second one is called Paul Lizzy (or Julien Olaossi 1413 Border Road, Cotonou, Benin Republic (+234) 8020 696 914) and his announce is the ID: 939272829. Both in the Craiglist Paris.

    Some example of scam mail:

    It has been a hard time trying to get a nice,honest and resposible person for the lovely apartment. It was formally occupied by my husband (Dr. Steven Owen) before he left for his present location for his final project with Globalcom NIG which will last him 3 years before he will return.

    All documents and keys are with him and he is ready to bargain on the price if he is ok with you taking the apartment over.The apartment has an up dated living room,a fully quipped kitchen, a bathroom with a toilet a bedroom and a car space.The washer,dryer and security is in tact and will be ok for any modern living environment and well furnished. Here is the address (33 Rue Montmartre,75002 París, France )

    Euro 700 is the rent fee per month and if you feel this is ok by you reply back so that I know what should be done next. He can send you the keys and document at any time via Fedex for faster delivery to you so you can go and have a look at the apartment and move in anytime okay with you.

    Thank you and God bless

    Mrs. Christy Owen

    Thank you for your prompt reply to my mail Carlo,I do appreciate the whole time and effort you have shown towards this apartment,I will like to let you know once again that my husband is the rightful owner of the apartment and I am left as the caretaker since he is out of the country.I and my husband are very busy man,im on my missionary work with God in scotland Uk,while my husband presently in west africa his present work location with Globalcom NIG.The one bedroom apartment is already available since last a month and will be free for the next 3 years but my husband was not ready to give the place out to any one.He was afraid the tenant will spoil the flashy things and destroy the place,but I assure him that I will take my time to look for an honest and responsible person to live there.

    My husband said he will be glad to rent to you if only you will agree with the terms and condition,also promise to take good care of the place for us,which is the most important thing to us.The apartment is a private place and the Sq footage is 670,internet already connected to the place and a car park.I know my husband to be a very neat and expensive young man and he would need some one like him to be living in the place.He is ready to negotiate the first 2 months advance rent payment.He told me he will be forwarding the keys only to the new tenant after he confirm the advance deposit payment.

    The euros 700 already included the utility expenses Electricity, Water, Internet, Satellite TV, Air conditioning,Dryer, Laundry,Telephone, Washer, Security and Heating.The price is not negotiable at all.He wishes to have some relevant information from you to prepare for the rental agreement if you are okay with everything,so you are expected to carefully fill out the form below or just simply reply back with answers to the questions. I will forward all your answers to him as soon as I hear back from you to make the process faster.

    FILL OUT THE FORM BELLOW

    1) Your Full Name And Age?
    2) Your Full Address & Phone Number?
    3) How many people will be living in the house?
    4) Occupation?
    5) Moving date?
    6) Lenght of stayin?

    Answers would be greatly appreciated,see attached for more pictures…..I will be looking forward to hear back from you soon.

    Sincerely

    Mrs. Christy Owen

    Thanks for your interest in my Apartment, i am Mr paul. i am very sorry for my late response. i was arranging on my settlement here, that is why i can not reply to messages on my email. i will like to rent the house to someone responsible and that will keep the house clean at all time.

    I am in Benin Republic with my family now. i have being transfer to work here in Benin Republic. i work for the Toyota Trucks Company as a mechanical engineering, but i will be working here in Benin Republic for about 2 years and 6 months before coming back home. i can only come on my vacational period to check if you are taking care of the apartment. i have been spending two months here now.. so i will like you to know that i have the keys to the living rooms, 1 dinning, Bedrooms, 1 kitchen, 1 toilet, 1 bathroom. i will have to send the keys to you throught Fedex or Dhl Delivery okay? its 700 sq/ft. also the apartment has Internet connection,Water,Electricity, washing machine, Dvd Home theater, TV, Towels and other Utilities you can think of all these are included in the Rent Fee which is 800 euros monthly, but you will have to take very good care of all things inside the apartment before we are back home.

    I will not be able to show you the apartment because i am not arround besides that the apartment is locked. if you want to check the apartment before you move in, you are free.. my Uncle have some spare keys with him. so that he can take you there, but he will be traveling to sweden tomorrow Evenin to check on his family, and he will be back by ending of Febuary. but if you can not make it, then i will have to send you the keys if you make the payment for the deposite fee.. If you are interested i will like you to fill the Rent Application Form Below which we will agree on the deposite fee and sending of the keys and Documents to you. i have my ownership certificate

    My Information here in Benin Republic..

    Julien Olaossi
    1413 Border Road, Cotonou, Benin Republic.
    (+234) 8020 696 914

    Here are the Picutures of the apartment, and the Rental Application Form attched for you to fill out the Form. This is the address where my apartment is located below.

    Address: Montmartre, Paris 75018, France

    Waiting for your response.

    Hope to being helpful.

  • Mark  On January 10, 2009 at 4:23 pm

    Beware, another scam…
    NKC REALTY, LLC
    Cell: | Office: 718-512-5235
    E-Mail: supportnygorentals@gmail.com

    9322 3rd Avenue
    Brooklyn, NY
    11209

    Don’t send money with paypal.

    http://www.managementrentnow.com
    or
    nygorentals.com

    Don’t send money.. don’t pay for access.

  • Therese  On January 25, 2009 at 7:45 am

    Hi,

    To add to this discussion: My friend used to rent out a studio on Craigslist and (what we guessed was a scammer) pretended to be a ‘would be’ holiday tenant. By reserving the studio, it was ‘off the market’, while the scammers probably had a tidy little scam going on. Lots of scammers also try the reverse process- asking for my friend’s bank account details (as if!).

    From experience, NEVER pay a deposit. Places advertised on Craigslist are not ‘luxury’ rentals with expensive furniture and art, so the need for a deposit would be very slim. What are you going to break- a couple of glasses? Most people who visit Paris on vacation don’t stay longer than a few weeks, so normal wear and tear would be expected.

    Only part with your money when you arrive in Paris and have visited the place. If it’s not up to scratch, you’re not obliged to stay. It’s up to the person renting out the place to make sure it’s ‘exactly what it says on the tin.’ The same would follow for a hotel or hostel.

    Also, don’t be afraid to ask the person renting out the studio or apartment for contact details of previous vacation tenants. You can also ask for the landlord’s telephone number and generally tell from their accent whether they’re French or otherwise. Be wary of anybody who isn’t French, as a) how did they get the studio, b) why are they subletting…

    I hope this is helpful!

  • Chris  On March 1, 2009 at 1:32 am

    The scam has hit Craigslist Toronto, complete with the Globalcom NIG gambit, but with the added twist that the previous owner (now the little brother instead of the husband) has left a pet parrot (!) that needed a new home to be found for it:

    “It has been a hard time trying to get a nice,honest and resposible person for the lovely studio apartment. It was formally occupied by my little brother (Alex Freeman) before he left for his present location to complete his final project with Globalcom NIG which will last him 3 years before he will return. He left his pet parrot and some other things I had to get new homes fore and now I still have to get a nice person/family for the apartment.

    All documents and keys are with him and he is ready to bargain on the price if he is ok with you taking the apartment over. The apartment has an up dated living room,a fully quipped kitchen a toilet and a bedroom attached together. The washer,dryer and security is in tact and will be ok for any modern living environment and well furnished.Apartment address…(928 Greenwood Ave,Toronto, ON, Canada),close to all amenities and metro bus station.

    $600 is the rent fee per month and if you feel this is ok by you reply back so that I know what should be done next. Alex can send you the keys and document at any time via DHL for faster delivery to you so you can occupy the place.

    Thank You And God Bless

    Mr. Rowland Freeman”

    Don’t be fooled! Glad I googled “Globalcom NIG” and found this page!

  • Leesa  On March 14, 2009 at 8:13 am

    Hi there!

    My friend in England just found this online and wanted to run it by you since it SMELLED like a huge scam to me…
    Here’s the link…
    http://www.flatinparistrocadero.com
    Curious to hear what you think…
    Thanks, Leesa

  • karin  On March 14, 2009 at 10:54 am

    i saw you had a posting about “mike brown” on craigslist a while ago. i’m moving to berlin in april and i’m using craigslist to find an apt. mike brown has actually contacted me TWICE and tried to scam me. however, i realised that something didn’t seem right from the very beginning so he never got any money from me. a random google search (his name and phone number) led me to this site. hope no one else has given him (her? them? who knows) any money. i think that this site will be very useful since i’m househunting from sweden.

  • nabeela  On April 9, 2009 at 1:48 pm

    Hi,

    I am looking for an apartment in Calgary and I found some postings on Craigslist. I emailed an expression of interest to some. And I am including one of the responses I received. Since it sounded too good to be true, and also tricky (he doesn’t know that I am ‘nice, honest and responsible’ and I cannot check out the aprtment), I did some research. I’m glad I did so.

    The following copied text is from the email I received from “Mr. Timothy Stevens”:

    It has been a hard time trying to get a nice,honest and resposible person for the lovely apartment. It was formally occupied by me,my wife and my only daughter before they pass away in a car accident last 2 months,im sorry so say this if it makes you feel bad.Im presently in west africa my new work location to complete my final project with Globalcom NIG as a director it will take me 3-4 years before I will return.I left my pet parrot and some other things I had to get new homes fore and now I still have to get a nice person/family for the apartment.Im an honest,clean,tidy and God fearing person and I need is someone like me to let take over my place.

    The apartment is fully furnished and all the utilities inside are intact,has an up dated living room,a fully quipped kitchen a bathroom and a bedroom.Available now for short rental and long rental,and I hope you are okay with the price per month of $700 per month with all the utilities like Electricity, Water, Internet, Satellite TV, Air conditioning, Clothes Dryer, Telephone,Washer, Security and heating.The last time I tried to put my apartment is agent care I regret later,this is reason why im handling my property myself this time and I believe God will surely lead me to the perfect person.

    All documents and keys are with me and im ready to rent out the place to someone clean,neat,honest,responsible and understandable.Apartment address is (1310 9th St. S.W. Calgary (Downtown) Alberta T2R 1C7 ),close to all amenities and metro bus station.I want you to know that money is not the main issue for now,what really matters to me is the place being taking good care of.Im sorry to again to say that you can’t see inside of my apartment for now,but you can visit the area at your convenient time to check out the neighbrohood and please when you are going mind the way you will patrol on the street so that you will not get harrase by the security around.I hope you understand me more better.

    Kindly let me know as soon as you can if you are okay with the price and the arranement,so that I can forward you the rental application to fill and get back to me with it.I can send you the keys and document to you any time via DHL for faster delivery to your doorstep as soon as we have come to an agreement so you can occupy the place and put things right.

    Thank you and God bless you

    Sincerely

    Mr. Timothy Stevens

    • Sheila Lacey  On September 16, 2010 at 6:43 am

      I just emailed a guy for the same apartment. Response:
      Hello,
      Thanks for your email and it is my gladness to hear from you.I am Rev Dave Morris,the owner of the Apartment you are making inquiry on.Actually I resided in the apartment with my family,presently we moved away due to my transfer from my working place, my apartment is still available for rent for $600 per month including the utilities like hydro,washer and security,it is furnished More so Now, I went for a Crusade in London United Kingdom and i will like you to get in touch with my wife in the state for more discussion as She is with the keys and the documents to the Apartment,Pls i want you to note that,i am a kind and honest man and also i spent a lot on my property that i want to give you for rent,so i will solicit for your absolute maintenance of this apartment and want you to treat it as your own,is that taken,I want you to keep it tidy all the time so that i will be glad to see it neat when i come for a check up.I do that once in a while.I want have trust in you as i always stand by my words.Where are you located? let us know how soon you are willing to move in.Email my wife Susan, on (susan.morris32@yahoo.com) and she will attend to you better.
      ADDRESS TO THE APARTMENT : 1310 9th St. S.W. Calgary (Downtown) Alberta T2R 1C7

      Thanks for your interest.
      Rev Dave Morris

  • James Jones  On April 11, 2009 at 8:05 am

    Whoever’s in charge of this, thank you for organizing this site! Here is another scam e-mail fromm Craigslist Washington, DC:

    It has been a hard time trying to get a nice,honest and resposible person for the lovely apartment. It was formally occupied by me,my wife and my only daughter before they pass away in a car accident last 2 months,im sorry so say this if it makes you feel bad.Im presently in west africa my new work location to complete my final project with Globalcom NIG,it will take me 3-4 years before I will return.I need a nice person/family for the apartment,im an honest,clean,tidy and God fearing person and I need is someone like me to live in my place.

    The apartment is fully furnished and all the utilities inside are intact,has an up dated living room,a fully quipped kitchen a bathroom and a bedroom.Available now for short rental and long rental,and I hope you are okay with the price per month of $700 per month with all the utilities like Electricity, Water, Internet, Satellite TV, Air conditioning, Clothes Dryer, Telephone, Washer, Security and heating.The last time I tried to put my apartment is agent care I regret later,this is reason why im handling my property myself this time and I believe God will surely lead me to the perfect person.

    All documents and keys are with me and im ready to rent out the place to someone clean,neat,honest,responsible and understandable.Apartment address is (4850 Connecticut Ave NW Washington, DC 20008 ),close to restaurants,stationary,bar,shops,supermarket,metro bus station and more.I want you to know that money is not the main issue for now,what really matters to me is the place being taking good care of.Im sorry to again to say that you can’t see inside of my apartment for now,but you can visit the area at your convenient time to check out the neighbrohood and please when you are going mind the way you will patrol on the street so that you will not get harrase by the security around.I hope you understand me more better.

    Kindly let me know as soon as you can if you are okay with the price and the arrangement,so that I can forward you the rental application to fill and get back to me with it.I can send you the keys and document to you any time via DHL for faster delivery to your doorstep as soon as we have come to an agreement so you can occupy the place and put things right.You can reach me on my direct number 0112347069698451.

    Thank you and God bless

    Sincerely

    Mr. Daniel Peterson

  • eja  On April 14, 2009 at 10:16 am

    Most of the postings on craigslist paris are scams. Names i’ve encountered:

    Laura M Williamson
    Keisha
    Thiery
    Isabella Garcial
    Beydoun Suher

    Both Keisha and Thiery’s email names came up as their first and last name the same (ie, Keisha Keisha, or Thiery Thiery).

    Laura and Beydoun’s emails were exact copy and pastes of each other’s. That was the first clue. they simply changed the age and story slightly.

    I agree – if the people tell you too much info on themselves, or if they are not French, i would be suspect immediately. Especially since I responded to the ads in native French, and they responded in poor English. At first I wasn’t sure if they were just French who wrote poorly in English, but then i realized some of the grammar, etc. mistakes that they were making were not typical of French–>English 2L speakers.

    Not to make generalizations, but you can tell a lot by someone’s use of language.

    Also, simply google the phone number they give you and/or the name, and often you will find ads that have similar postings for an apt in some other European country, with maybe the same photographs (I got that one).

    Just be careful.

  • Young  On April 22, 2009 at 7:31 am

    I have been in contact with Beydoun Suher about an apartment in Geneva, Switzerland and I decided to google the name and I found this page! I am glad I checked before I went ahead with anything. I had sent Beydoun a brief description of who I am (my personality and my reasons for looking for an apartment in Geneva). My first name and current location were also in the e-mail. I hope this information will not be used for anything shady!!!
    I am really glad that I decided to google the name before agreeing to talk more about the apartment. I also checked facebook and there is someone with that name but I am not sure if it is the same person or the name was stolen from that listing on facebook.

    Why are people so greedy and wicked??? I hope he or she gets caught asap!!!

  • Mike  On April 28, 2009 at 9:17 am

    These scams are evolving! Beydoun Suher popped up in Zurich and had me going for a little while…until reading this. Now the story is changing so that they are searching for roommates. Grammer was a little wacky and that’s what made me search, but I guess they are targeting foreigners who need a room before arrival. Didn’t get to the Western Union part, but I am sure it wasn’t too far along. Be careful. Funny, normally I can spot them as quick as a mean case of the herp on the face.

  • Mike  On April 28, 2009 at 9:19 am

    Hi Mike,

    As regard room which is available for rent in Zurich, Switzerland.

    For formalty purpose, let me introduce myself:
    My name is Beydoun Suher,26,easy going, Clean tidy, non smoker female.

    I was born in Mainz,Germany on the 4th of December 1983

    I am originally from London, Uk, and i moved to join my father in Switzerland
    when he was transfered to Switzerland.

    The house formally belongs to my late father, who worked with German Embassy here in Switzerland until his death and he has passed it to my mother through his will.

    My mother and siblings went back to the UK,London after the death of my father in order my mother to be able to take care of my father’s property in London and as well in order to continue with the project of my mother.

    The most important thing i am looking for is to share daily live and common value.

    The ideal person i will like to share the apartment with must be a neat person,tidy person,
    trust worthy person and there must be proof that he or she can pay for the monthly rent.

    I am currently working with an Airline (Privatair) which enables me to travel alot and i as
    well attend language school when i am not working.

    I will like to share the apartment with an English speaking person because of easy communication.

    The apartment is located at: Neumühlequai, 8001 Zürich,Switzerland.
    2.6 km from Zoo Zurich
    3.3km from MCH Messe Schweiz convention centre
    1.1km from University/FIT-Zurich
    9.2km from Kloten Airport(ZRH)
    1.9km from Zurich Stadelhofen train station
    0.8km from main railway station Zurich

    Situated on the banks of the Limmat River in the city centre, the location of the apartment puts you within a 5-minute walking distance to the city’s business and shopping districts, as well as to the sights of the old town of Zurich.

    The apartment is located in the center of the city and it is close to bus stops and as well
    as tube station which makes the apartment to be accesible.

    The house has a parking space which can park two cars at a time.

    The house has internet and there will not be any need for you to bring in any furnitures as the flat and the rooms are well furnished, but you can as well come along with your furnitures if you so wish.

    The facilities which are available in the apartment are as follows:
    1. Private Bathroom and Toilet
    2. Furnished Living room with TV connected to cable and DVD
    3. Shared Kitchen with gas, water available
    4. Internet connection
    5. Washing machine and Dryer
    6. Furnished Bedroom with window blind and Bed spread

    The prices for the apartment are as below:
    600 CHF/ monthly rent, Utility (all bills) included.
    900 CHF Security Deposit(will be refunded to you on your move-out date).

    The minimum duration in the apartment is one month and long term stay is welcome in the apartment.

    The apartment has two toilet and bathroom, so the only thing which we will have to share together is the kitchen and the living room.

    Means/mode of payment:
    Every payment as regard the apartment will be paid in cash except for the Security deposit and the First Month rent which is to be paid in advance in order to secure the room for your selected date.

    There are three rooms in the apartment, i currently occupy one, the second one is the one i am renting out, while i regard the third room as visitor’s room.

    If you are interested in sharing the flat with me, i will be glad if you can contact me for pictures and procedures.

    I will like you to tell me a little about yourself and you profile as well.

    Looking forward to hearing from you soon.

    Regards.

    Sue

  • PIT  On May 1, 2009 at 1:36 pm

    Hi everyone,
    Here is another ad posted by Beydoun Suher but this time it (because such a person is neither a He nor a She) lives in The Netherlands (Holland). See the ad bellow:

    From: me_bs003@yahoo.com
    Date: Sunday, April 12, 2009
    Category: Rooms Available
    Region: Netherlands (Armsterdam)
    Location of the apartment:Damrak ,1012 LG Amsterdam.

    The apartment is located in the heart of the bustling shopping and business centre,
    opposite Amsterdam’s monumental train station, close to Dam Square, Royal Palace
    and countless places of interest.

    How to get to the location of the apartment by public transport:
    1) From SCHIPHOL AIRPORT: Every 20 minutes there is a train running from the Airport to Central Station.
    When you arrive at the airport and you reach the central hall there is a big sign with the train information.
    The trains to the Central station are running from 05:40 AM to 00:30 AM
    2) From CENTRAL STATION: You dont have take the tram, you can walk to the apartment in less than 7 min. the trams in Amsterdam are running normaly from: 07:00 AM to 01:00 AM

    If you are interested in renting my room, you can contact me on my personal e-mail for more details:

    me_bs003@yahoo.com

  • PIT  On May 1, 2009 at 1:43 pm

    I later-on came to find out that the story is the same: It’s father (I keep saying IT for the same reason, LAME human being) working for the German Embassy… that is unlike my father who can smell something rotten from a mile away!
    Here is part two of the above post, after having contacted the person. Seems like now they do not post the entire family tree but they send out only fragments.
    Thank you all for your posts and for signaling these scams!

    About the apartment:
    The apartment belongs to my late father who was working with German Embassy here in the Netherland until his death
    and he transfered the property to my mother through his will and my mother and siblings went
    back to London , Uk after the death of my father and i have taking over every affairs about
    the apartment ever since then.

    I am the only occupant of the apartment.

    Visitors are allowed in the apartment, but only when they are not
    meant to constitute problem for the occupants of the apartment.

    Details about the room:
    1. The room has it private toilet and bathroom ..
    2. The is Broadband Internet connection in the apartment.
    3. The room is well furnished with ward-robe and there is a
    reading table in the room as well.
    4. There is a bed in the room which is big enough to sleep two
    people at a time.
    5. Furnished Living room with TV connected to cable and DVD.
    6. Washing machine and Dryer.
    7.. Shared Kitchen with gas, water available.
    8. There is a car park which can park two cars at a time.

    Informations about me:
    Name: Beydoun Suher
    Age: 26 Years Old
    Nationality: British
    Place of Birth: Mainz,Germany
    Sex: Non smoker Female
    Colour of eyes: Black
    Hobbie: Reading, Traveling, making research

    I am a professional, i work with an Airline(PrivatAir) as a
    member of the cabin crew.

    About my ideal tenant:
    1. Easy going
    2. Prefferably non smoker
    3. Clean, tidy and above all, trust worthy
    4. The person must be able to pay for rents at the beginning of every month.

    The most important thing i am looking for is to share daily live and common values.

    The prices for the apartment are as below:
    450 Euro/ monthly rent, Utilities (all bills and council tax) included.
    450 Euro Security Deposit(which will be refunded back to tenant at the time
    tenants is returning keys back to landlord).

    The minimum duration in the apartment is one month and long term stay is
    welcome in the apartment.

    Mode of Payment:
    Every payment as regard this room must be paid by cash at the beginning of
    every month at the apartment, except for the Security Deposit and First Month
    rent which must be paid in advance.

    If you are interested in sharing the flat with me, i will be glad if you can
    contact me for pictures and procedures, as the room is going to be giving to the
    most serious person.

    Looking forward to hearing from you soon.

    Regards.
    Sue.

  • Mikey  On May 4, 2009 at 12:06 pm

    I can confirm the scam for Amsterdam!

    Hi Mokey,

    Thanks for your mail, and i am really sorry for getting back to you so late.

    The flat has three room,One is for me,One is for rent and the last one is regarded as a visitor’s room.

    The fact is that the room is still available and there are people
    contacting about the room, but i have gone through your profile and i
    am contacting you to see if we could have a deal, but it depend on
    your seriousness as regard having the room , because i have come
    across so many unserious people who only like wasting other peoples
    time and if you are truly interested in renting the room you will have to book for it in advance, by paying for one month rent and the Security Deposit(which is refundable at the end of your stay in the apartment) to my mother in London via Western Union Money Transfer, i hope you know what Western Union Money Transfer is?

    However,before you can transfer the payment for the apartment, there are procedures which we have to follow,Our family lawyer will have to prepare a tenancy Agreement Form which you will have to read and understand and if you eventually agree with the contents of the contract, you will have to print it out and sign it and come with a copy on your move-in date.After our family lawyer might have prepare the Agreement Form, i will have to send a copy to you via attached file to your e-mail address and mail a copy to your postal address as well.

    I will like to have the following information that we enable our family lawyer prepare the tenant Agreement Form:
    1. Your moving-in and moving-out date.
    2. Your home address.(The purpose of the address is to enable me send a copy of the Agreement form to you, which you will have to bring along on your move-in date).
    3. A scanned copy of your ID Card(Identity Card).

    There is no problem reserving the room for you ,provided you can comply with these procedures and show some commitment/seriousness by paying a deposit and first month rent which include utilities charges.

    If you have any question you will want to ask, please don’t hesitate to
    contact me.

    I will be waiting to read from you soon.

    Regards

    Sue

  • James  On May 8, 2009 at 4:54 pm

    Scammers just don’t quit especially if folks are falling for it.

  • Mark  On May 14, 2009 at 2:38 am

    Hello,
    here you can find a real and probably one of most recent scam ads on Los Angeles Craigslist! So it goes really in Paris and everywhere globally!
    Published on May 9, 2009; $600 / 1br – Newly Furnish One BedRoom Apartment For Rent (Los Angeles,CA):

    http://losangeles.craigslist.org/lac/apa/1163112373.html

    The reply I received after I responded, was almost identical to one of those examples here on the site:
    “It has been a hard time trying to get a nice, occupied by my little brother (Steven Morgan) before he left for his present honest and responsible person for the lovely apartment. It was formally location for his final project with Global COM NIG which will last him 3 years before he will return…. ” etc etc

    Thank you everyone for the extremely useful information!
    Sincerely,
    Mark

  • scamvictimsunited  On June 3, 2009 at 5:20 pm

    I just wanted to tell you that I think you are doing a wonderful thing by putting this information out there to help educate people about these scams.

    Shawn Mosch
    Co-Founder of Scam Victims United

  • bust_em  On July 30, 2009 at 5:07 pm

    Anyone has experiences with Western Union complaints?

    The names the scammers use are well known and published here on this site and many other sites – how come these names are not blacklisted with Western Union?

    The scammers have to prove their identity when picking up the money – it would be so easy to bust them right there for Western Union!

    Was Western Union cooperative with your complaint?

  • scamvictimsunited  On August 1, 2009 at 8:35 am

    To bust_em . . . since most of the scammers are in another country, it would have to be the government and law enforcement in that country that would have to set up the kind of sting that you are talking about.

    Shawn Mosch
    Co-Founder of ScamVictimsUnited.com
    There is strength in numbers!

    Find us on Twitter, Facebook and more through
    http://www.retaggr.com/page/ShawnMosch

  • phantomcity  On August 17, 2009 at 5:28 pm

    I’m not sure where to post this, but since I was scammed by ‘Olivia Hilary’ for $2,000 back in March, I am now receiving this email from znaiyer@csupomona.edu:

    Good day,
    This programme is awarded for all victims who were previously scammed by the internet fraudsters ,
    The Financial Commitee of the UN-HABITAT Programme have deposited your
    Settlement Check Parcel of £500,000.00 GBP with Reference Number UN013-0156/UPS-UN-HABITAT
    to the United Parcel Service of United Kingdom(UPS)
    You are to contact the United Parcel Service of United Kingdom (UPS) with
    your details for more information.
    CONTACT:UPS UNITED KINGDOM
    E-mail:upsdispatch_unit01@administrativos.com
    Tel: +44-702-403-9585
    Accept Our regards.
    Zakaria H. Naiyer
    UN-HABITAT Senior Information Officer

    PLEASE REPLY TO:upsdispatch_unit01@administrativos.com

    I cannot BELIEVE that these fucking people would obviously try to scam me again by pretending to be offering me a settlement from being scammed! I don’t even know what to say, I am so outraged. I’m not sure how to report this or who to report it to. Any ideas.

  • Lorin Kalisky  On September 11, 2009 at 7:06 am

    Great site… we have been looking for a resource to share with our users for some time. We take lots of steps to block scammers on Franglo including user banning by email address and IP address & IP range, as well manual reviewing and active user flagging. We’ve banned all the IP ranges published here.

  • ro_scam_geneva  On September 27, 2009 at 8:45 am

    hello!
    i’m also a victim of beydoun suher, i sent her 2100CHF, my identity, pictures, a signed contract, and passport. after i realized what was going on, i even contacted her on facebook. she told me she was a former victim, we were friends for a while on facebook and i told her to meet up in geneva when i’m there to go to the police together. no she’s not on facebook any longer.
    so… i’m scared that one day, “i” will be the one scamming all these poor people… take care!!!

  • Lainey  On March 1, 2010 at 5:36 pm

    Beware of the rental site 24Paris.com – it lists several rental apartments that are scams. In fact, it has listings where the text is genuine, having been stolen from genuine listings and then attached to a generic photo. Inquiries to the listed “owner” resulted in the usual Nigerian scam.

    I don’t know if the entire site is a scam or if it has been the unwitting victim of a scammer but any listings with a contact “keller” should be avoided.

    Interestingly, I found this warning on their site! And the original that alerted me to the “identity theft” of my rental apartment was a WordPress site….

  • Ruth  On October 16, 2010 at 1:41 pm

    Just want to thank you for this website and also warn people not to rent 45 rue de Montmorency in Paris from Cindee Kaye, Cherilyn Larson or Steven Moore who are the names associated with my transaction.

    Everything went like the apartment rental transaction I did on Craig’s List three years ago until they stopped responding after I sent my deposit. I was very lucky to get my deposit back from PayPal after I complained.

  • Viktor  On November 4, 2010 at 11:37 am

    PEOPLE, BE CAREFUL!!!! ALMOST ALL THESE SCAMMERS MAKE ALSO FAKE LOANS!!!!
    I wanted to lend 200.000,-€.
    Few days after I got an email with unbelievable conditions, like 3% increase and so on..
    So I have sent them all the papers they wanted and the funny is, they approved it just in few hours – without to ask for something about my fin. situation!! Strange, isn’t it?
    Then they sent me the contract and also a FAKE-CERTIFICATE from their Bank, that the 200.000,- are there and listed on my name.

    1) I subscribed the contract and they told me, that they want 4750,-€ as a fee for the lawyer!
    Because I needed the money really very fast, so I was stupid and did the transaction..offcourse via Western Union, just like the Scammers want…
    Then they should transfer the money in 3 days.

    BUT!:

    2) After the transaction of 4750,-€ they told, that they DIDN’T KNOW IT BEFORE, but that the bank wants 15250,-€ for insurance!!
    Really Funny…

    But I wasn’t stupid anymore and went to the german police and we found a lot about this people:

    ERNEST OLIVIER; YUKI YAMOTO; YOLANDE WOLFF (aka YOLANDE WOLFF USAGE FRANCOS; OLIVAN ENESTE; MERLIN and many other…

    We still don’t know who is behind this people, because the names are fakes: all these people have NOTHING to do with these shits, somebody just STOLED THEIR IDENTITY!!! And becasue I have already enough money and time, I search the reall PLAYERS who are behind these names. AND BELIEVE ME, I WILL FIND THEM:)

    P.S.: Be careful when you will go to the police. I did them so much problems, that they have been thrating me with the DEATH! I was 3 months under POLICE PROTECTION!

  • beckie  On March 1, 2011 at 8:35 am

    Craigs list has got them once again..
    So -lm looking through the ottawa, ca region and I notice an apartment that seems too good to be true. 600 all inclusive, more than usual utilities to be covered from a mr.michael hall. At first, before even contacting the ad I was under the impression this was an apartment in a house because of the internet and cable promises. I was given the address and photos which made me acknowledge that this was a high rise and I thought, how can an individual own an apartment inside a high rise? You’ll see below the avoidance in answering my questions, we haven’t reached the wu stage yet but I think ill have my fun with this one.

    Hello,
     
    Thanks you for your interest, the Apartment is still available and it has 1 bedroom and bathroom. I am looking  for someone to live in it as soon as possible because i got a contract job recently in London and i will be working here for three years before returning home but i am yet to arrange my accomodation, so as a result of this I want to rent out my apartment so as to get some money to balance out the apartment i want to rent out here. 
    I`m the owner of the apartment and it is furnished. The rent for 1 month is 600 dollars and this includes all utilities (water, electricity, heat, Internet, cable, parking, air conditioning, dishwasher, garbage disposal, microwave, refrigerator). You can move into the apartment when you receive the keys but the only problem is that am the only person who has the keys but i hope that we will reach a compromise on this.
    Any further questions please contact and get back to me for the pics and address of the apartment. Thank you for your interest and i`m awaiting your response.
    Thanks.

    Thanks, i have attached the pics of the apartment to this mail and i will like you to provide me some details which are listed below so that i can use it to fill out the rental applicants form which will be included among the rental documents.
    1)Your Full Name
    2)Present Address(where you reside now) & Phone Number
    3)How old are you?
    4)Are you married?
    5)How many people will be living in the apartment?
    6)Do you have a pet?
    7)Occupation?
    8)How long are you staying
     
    Belowis the address of the apartment and the apartment is fully furnished and all necessary appliance and utilities are in the apartment. If satisfied please get back to me so that we can proceed with the rental process.
     
    Apartment address:  160 Chapel St
    Ottawa, ON K1N 5Y9, Canada

    The level of english from this supposed brittish-canadian made me worry
    As well as the fact that the rooms for rent in the particular building he was trying to rent to me are $1,199.00/month nearly double the requested $600.00. My biggest kick was when I googled his current address to be a renown restaurant la poule de pot. Good luck to future receivers of this offer

  • London cleaning services  On November 24, 2011 at 12:14 pm

    You had a presenting about “mike tan” on craigslist a while back. i’m moving to berlin in april and i’m utilizing craigslist to spot an adept. mike tan has in fact reached me TWICE and attempted to scam me. then again, i realised that something didn’t appear right from the precise start so he never got any coin from me.

  • Kari  On December 2, 2011 at 6:20 pm

    It’s so stupid that these guys do this! But all they need to do is catch you on the wrong day when just happen to have done something related to their e-mail, and you take the bait. Even me, who works full-time online has been suckered in by an e-mail asking for my pin because it had been deleted. Point being – no one should be sent money, information, or anything else online unless you have sought them out, not the other way around.

  • LB  On April 10, 2012 at 1:34 pm

    I only began looking on CL since yesterday (for the first time). I have been looking for an apartment and found a whole house for $1000 as month. I emailed this person who sent me the strangest and most obvious scam email back. Story of he had to go to the UK for a 5 yr contract, blah blah, his wife is making him keep the house because she ‘loves it’. When I asked to see the house, he told me that I could only drive by and see the outside lol. How dumb do these guys think I am? I knew immediately it was a scam so I decided to play with him a bit, asking a lot of questions, which he would never answer directly only kept saying the same things. Wanted to make me fill out the form ASAP lol. So, I actrually created a fake email on mail.com and decided to send him another email pretending I was someone else. He screwed up at one point when I said i was not interested and he told me that he could not show me the unit because he was in west africa (I guess he forgot which scam he was pulling because he was supposedly in the UK. Anyhow, the con’s name (fake I am sure) goes by Jenny Lucky and he is supposed to be a man. Anyhow, I did a little invcestigative work and actually found the real owner of the first place because he happened to be renting that house out for real. Only I knew it was legit because the price was more in line with what should be charges. I called him and spoke with him, then sent him the emails and he now has the police involved investigating the fraud

    Well, I continued to look for other apartments and found one on the street that I most wanted to live on. Got excited, sent an email and guess what…ANOTHER scam!!! This time by someone who calls himself Kenny Morgan from West Africa. He is there for 5 yrs and can’t show the house. I have to fill out an application. Not exactly the same questions but in the same vien and format. This time he asked me the names of my pets! LOL. . Wow, I always heard bad things about Craigs list but I did not think they were this bad,. I will never use that site again. I’m from Ontario Canada by the way. Watch out for scams and NEVER give out your personal information unless yourstanding in the home with keys in hand!! I would haave never fallen for it but I do love playing games with these as*es!

  • Andreas  On June 20, 2013 at 5:32 am

    Its the likes of this website that has saved tenants from potential devastating results. Many tenants renting are in a rut and a months rent and deposit being sent to a scam artist like these can have horrible results. It has the potential to make a person or family homeless. Well done for informing people in such detail. I found this site whilst researching the scam after a tenant let me know how close they were to losing a large sum of money. In my blog on the Rental Property Scam you can see an exact email correspondence between a tenant and a “landlord”

Trackbacks

  • By Miklos » Analysis of a Craiglist rental scam on October 20, 2011 at 5:18 pm

    [...] commit to take the room from Joel. Joel will provide him with the address of the room, and ask him to wire the funds to the country where he currently lives, usually via Western Union or some other wire [...]

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