Big Red Flag #1 :
They come up with some long-winded story about how they aren’t in Paris and need you to wire the money to London or some other city.
The minute they ask you to wire money via Western Union or Moneygram, you know you’re dealing with a scammer.
Once the money is gone, you can never get it back. Western Union itself warns people on its website to NEVER WIRE MONEY TO PEOPLE YOU DON’T KNOW PERSONALLY:
Sending money to someone you don’t know? You could be at risk for consumer fraud.
The Western Union Money Transfer service is a great way to send money to people you know and trust. If you need to send money to someone you don’t know well, you may be putting yourself at risk for fraud.
Because we care about consumers, Western Union urges you to protect yourself from fraud by considering the following:
Never send money to a stranger using a money transfer service.
Beware of deals or opportunities that seem too good to be true.
Don’t use money transfer services to pay for things like online auction purchases.
Never send money to pay for taxes or fees on foreign lottery winnings.
If you think you have been a victim of fraud, please contact your local Western Union Agent.
Big Red Flag #2:
The offer seems too good to be true, i.e. the price is much lower than similarly advertised properties.
Big Red Flag #3
The message is written in stilted, archaic-sounding English or sounds very dorky.
Big Red Flag #4:
The ad claims, or the photos show, for example, that the apartment has:
a) a covered garage or ample street parking
b) an ensuite bathroom or jacuzzi in each bedroom
c) granite countertops and brand new appliances in the kitchen
d) queen size beds in every room
e) the apartment is close to the beach
f) the photos feature modern North-American style windows (as opposed to the very typical tall older-style French windows
NO APARTMENT IN PARIS WOULD TYPICALLY FEATURE THE ABOVE, ESPECIALLY NOT (e) !
Big Red Flag #5:
The photos don’t match the description. For example, the ad says the bathroom has a shower, but the photo shows a tub.
Here’s an actual example of an offer that’s “too good to be true” and that features several red flags/discrepancies:
Spacious one bedroom apartment entirely renovated four months ago. New bathroom and kitchen. Very clean and tastefully decorated. Sunny and quiet,a vintage drawer desk and a great build in closet plus shelves, carpet floors and clean walls.
Television and telephone; Central heating, All linen and 24 hour security,and safe area.Located at the central of Paris: 92 rue St Lazare 75009 Paris France…………The price of the room including utilities bills is 700€……….The refundable security deposit is 700€.
Well-designed, luxurious bedroom with walk-in wardrobes; Beautifully appointed Bulthaup kitchens, including large fridge-freezer, oven, hob, dishwasher, washing machine-dryer and microwave; High quality marble bathrooms with bath and shower.
If you think you fall into the category of my tenant, then feel free to contact me as soon as possible.so that i can send the pictures of the apartment to you in other for you to have a look of how the place look like……….firstname.lastname@example.org
Let me know what you think about it asap.
The offer refers to a one-bedroom apartment, but then refers to the price of a room. The photos don’t match either one.
This scammer lifted a real name and address from the Paris phone book, or from stolen ID.
However the photos do not match the building (notably the windows) actually located at the address indicated when verified against the corresponding building photo in the Paris yellow pages,
Then there’s the price: a luxurious apartment like the one shown in the photos would cost thousand of euros per month.
Note the three sofas in the super-sized living room, and the dining room table set for a family of six. Odd that the “marble” bathroom seems so plain compared with the rest….
Not your typical one-bedroom apartment in Paris…. or anywhere, for that matter.
Based on the features, the photos probably come from an American home furnishings catalogue.
The same scammer continues:
Thanks for the mail and i sorry for the late reply,i was an urgent assignment from work to Glasgow,so i was very busy…….There is no problem for your friend to come around for the view,but am not in Paris presently,but if only your can go to the address s i gave you to confirm about everything it will be good,but there is no way she can enter the apartment cos it’s locked and the keys is with me…..
Yo can call me on number that i use here…..+447045756960.
I will be waiting to read from you on what you think about it.
This name and address used in this scam were lifted from the Paris phone book or stolen ID.
THE REAL EMILIE PRINCEP IS NOT CONNECTED WITH THIS SCAM IN ANY WAY, BUT A VICTIM, LIKE THE REAL CHLOÉ HOURDÉ AND MANY OTHERS.