Identity Theft - Craigslist Scam Hits Greater Nashville

By
Real Estate Agent with Diane O and Friends - Benchmark Realty 290309

Identity Theft - Craigslist Scam Hits Greater Nashville -No one asks for a deposit to see a rental property.  Today I received a number of calls from folks wanting to know if the house I had listed was still listed or was I really renting it though Craigslist.  No I was not leasing the home, and no I knew nothing about a listing of a lease on Craigslist.  I know this scam was happening alot in other markets last spring, but it is back again and we need to notfiy Craigslist whenever it happens.

Here's how this scam works.  The person copies the MLS listing.  They then post it on Cariglist as a lease.  When someone replies to the ad they will receive a lovely letter from "the homeowner".  I've included a sample of the one sent to the folks who called me.  By all means if you would like to write "Mike" go ahead.

From: Mike Putman <putmanmike67@yahoo.com>
Date: February 10, 2010 2:49:38 PM CST
To: inquiry

Subject: Re: $1200 / Your listing
Hello Dear,
Sorry for the late response!!!! Calvary greetings to you,also to your house hold..I did get your response concerning the AD I posted on craigslist...  .I am the owner of the
house you are making enquiry of.I am looking for responsible tenants that he/she is going to take care of the house as if it were your own and he/she will be willing to make the Property clean as we left it.Actually I  resided in the house with my family,such as my wife and my only daugther before and presently we had packed due to my transfer from my working place and now situated in the (West Africa Nigeria)and won't be coming to the House until Four years now and that means we are renting the Property  for long term and short term lease is also acceptable. and presently my house is still available for rent for $1200 which the deposit is $1000 dollars including the utilities like  Heat, A/C in wall/window, Hydro, cable, Garbage Disposal, Fireplace , Fridge, stove, Dishwasher, Dryer, Breakfast Bar, Dining Table and Sofa Set,Refrigerator,Canopied deck overlooking nature.,internet access e...t.c ..,it is furnished or if u wish to move in with your furnitures no problem..Moreso Now, i went for a Crusade in  West Africa .Pls i want you to note that,i am a kind and honest  man and also i spent alot on my property that i want to give you for rent,so i will solicit for your absolute mentenance of this house and want you to treat it as your own,is that taken, it is not the money the main problem  but 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 also want you to let me have trust in you as i always stand on my word.
 
SO IF YOU ARE REALLY INTRESTED I WILL WANT YOU TO FILL THE  RENTAL APPLICATION FORM BELOW FOR RECORD PURPOSE
 PLEASE TELL US ABOUT YOURSELF
Full Name__________________________________________________ Home Phone (        )________________________
Date of Birth_________________________________
Other Phone (       )___________________
Current Address_______________________________Apt#________ City__________________ State______ Zip________
Reasons for Leaving____________________________Rent $__________Phone (       )____________________________
Are you married____________________________
How many people will be living in the house____________________________
How many people will be living
in the house____________________________
Do you have a pet____________________________
Do you have a car____________________________
Occupation____________________________
Move In Date____________________________
HOW SOON CAN YOU HAVE THE DEPOSIT PAYMENT SENT TO ME___________________________
HOW SOON DO YOU WANT TO RECEIVE THE KEYS AND DOCUMENTS OF THE HOUSE___________________________

You could give me a call as soon as possible so we could proceed asap...You will only be able to drive by the house for now but not have a look at the interior until i have sent the keys and documents of the house to you..and the requirement forgetting the keys and documents of  the house is a fully refundable payment of $1000 USD,which is the security deposit. Please note that the deposit made is fully refundable should in case you finally gain entrance into the house after receiving the keys and documents and feel unsatisfied or uncomfortable with the interior,but i am
giving you a benefit of doubt that you will love everything about this lovely home..
PLEASE NOTE THAT YOUR RENT ONLY STARTS COUNTING AFTER YOU HAVE FINALLY MOVED INTO THE HOUSE, SO YOU NEED NOT TO WORRY ABOUT MAKING THE DEPOSIT PAYMENT NOW AND NOT MOVING IN IMMEDIATELY,ALL YOU'RE DOING IS SECURING THE HOUSE IN YOUR FAVOUR IN ORDER NOT TO LOOSE IT TO OTHER INTERESTED APPLICANTS..
Looking forward to hear from you with all this details so that i can have it in my file incase of issuing the receipt for you and contacting you.Await your urgent reply so that we can discuss on how to get the document and the key to you,please we are giving you all this base on trust and again i will want you to stick to your words,you know that,we do not see yet and only putting everything into Gods hand,so please do not let us down in this our property and God bless you more as you do this.
I ALSO WANT YOU TO KNOW THAT THE HOUSE WAS FORMALLY FOR SALE BUT DUE TO THE ADVICE OF MY WIFE AND MY CHILDREN,I DECIED TO PUT IT OUT FOR RENT.THERE IS NOTHING TO WORRY ABOUT THE FOR SALE SIGN.IT WILL BE REMOVED AS SOON AS YOU HAVE MOVE IN TO THE HOUSE.
                                                     PROPERTY  DESCRIPTION
Bedrooms:4Bedrooms
Bathrooms: 3
Sq Footage 2,624
A month rent:$1200
Refundable Security Deposit Payment:$1000
Application fee:$0
Pet policy:ok
Smoking inside:Not allowed
YOU CAN CONTACT ME ON +2348086084051 or 0112348086084051
Thanks and remain blessed

Remember: 

You can sidestep would-be scammers by following these common-sense rules:

  • DEAL LOCALLY WITH FOLKS YOU CAN MEET IN PERSON - follow this one simple rule and you will avoid 99% of the scam attempts on craigslist.
  • NEVER WIRE FUNDS VIA WESTERN UNION, MONEYGRAM or any other wire service - anyone who asks you to do so is a scammer.
  • FAKE CASHIER CHECKS & MONEY ORDERS ARE COMMON, and BANKS WILL CASH THEM AND THEN HOLD YOU RESPONSIBLE when the fake is discovered weeks later.
  • CRAIGSLIST IS NOT INVOLVED IN ANY TRANSACTION, and does not handle payments, guarantee transactions, provide escrow services, or offer "buyer protection" or "seller certification"
  • NEVER GIVE OUT FINANCIAL INFORMATION (bank account number, social security number, eBay/PayPal info, etc.)
  • AVOID DEALS INVOLVING SHIPPING OR ESCROW SERVICES and know that ONLY A SCAMMER WILL "GUARANTEE" YOUR TRANSACTION.
Posted by

 

Benchmark Realty,318 Seaboard Ln., Ste 115, Franklin, TN  615-371-1544
Diane Osowiecki, license #290309 cell - 615-406-2184  email  diane@dianeo.us
Mandy Buchholz, license #309437 cell - 615-477-6959  email  mandybuchholztn@gmail
Bob Osowiecki, license #325031  cell - 615-878-3902 email  bobointn@gmail.com
 

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Re-Blogged 1 time:

Re-Blogged By Re-Blogged At
  1. Larry Brewer 02/10/2010 09:15 PM
Groups:
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Franklin tn Keller Williams
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Spring Hill TN Real Estate
Tennessee
Tags:
craigslist scam
identity theft
listings being copied off mls

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Show All Comments
Rainmaker
133,700
Eric J
Eric J - Dream Home Financing - Freehold, NJ

What amazes me is that people fall for these things and don't think twice about writing a check.

Feb 10, 2010 07:41 PM #1
Rainer
205,703
Stephen Arnold
HomeSmart International - Scottsdale, AZ
CRS, GRI, SFR

Hi Diana~  This is frightening!  People really have to be on the lookout for shady deals!  People really need to work with a professional when seeking out any kind of property!

Feb 10, 2010 07:59 PM #2
Rainmaker
262,978
Franklin & Brentwood, TN Homes Mike Nastri - Rodney Kennedy
Keller Williams Realty - Franklin, TN
It matters to us as much as it matters to you.

It is worse than that Eric, they go to a website to provide a "credit report" at the scammer's request.  It looks official but the site asks for credit card info and social security number.  I am not sure where the link goes when you click send, but I bet it isn't to the credit agencies.  

I had two people call me about this 2 weeks ago Diane.  This will happen to them and then they will search the net once they realize it is a scam.  Since you posted this you will get calls from them Diane asking you what to do now that they have fallen for the trap.  I simply tell them, call their credit card company and find an identity protection company.

Feb 10, 2010 08:40 PM #3
Rainmaker
724,002
Larry Brewer
Benchmark Realty LLc - Nashville, TN
Nashville Real Estate

Diane - I beleve that a lot of people are falling for this as I had several call me on one of my listings, and they were ready to send me a check, as the $800 a month rent on a new 3000 square ft home in Franklin was hard to pass up.

Feb 10, 2010 09:17 PM #4
Rainmaker
1,511,917
John Novak
Keller Williams Realty The Marketplace - Las Vegas, NV
Henderson, Las Vegas and Summerlin Real Estate

The basic grammar and spelling mistakes in the letter point to scam, but it takes only a moment with our guards down to fall for it. Thanks for sharing this info, Diane. I hope I don't see this in Las Vegas.

Feb 10, 2010 10:01 PM #5
Rainmaker
165,471
Diane Osowiecki
Diane O and Friends - Benchmark Realty - Franklin, TN
Greater Nashville Real Estate

Eric - I know it is amazing, but if you lost your home and you need to find a rental this looks like a great deal.  A 3600 sq. ft 4 bedroom house with studio of 1200/month what a deal.

Stephen - Call a Realtor!!!!  How true.

Micheal - I wait for the calls.

Larry - No offer for checks, but I do have a number of folks on autonotify for rentals now.

Feb 11, 2010 09:37 AM #6
Ambassador
895,557
Missy Caulk
Missy Caulk TEAM - Ann Arbor, MI
Realtor - Ann Arbor Real Estate

My son in Mt Juliet got this, it was too good to be true.

I took one look and saw it was a scam.

At least he had a mamma in Real Estate but how many ss# have they gotten.

Feb 11, 2010 07:37 PM #7
Rainer
16,971
Bill Clemente
Dudum Real Estate Group - Walnut Creek, CA

Well it's not just a Nashville thing..... Same thing happened (is happening) to my client & our listing... Had an open house & 14 groups came through.... I thought they were buyeers, nope all renters... (great time to buy an investment property) the lette is almost identical... you'd think they could be a little more creative)

   School your clients....

Dec 06, 2010 07:15 PM #8
Show All Comments
Rainmaker
165,471

Diane Osowiecki

Greater Nashville Real Estate
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