IF YOU HAVE ANY RENTAL PROPERTIES--- BEWARE OF THIS SCAM!!!

By
Real Estate Agent with CENTURY-21 CHARLES SMITH

I just listed a property for rent in Sayreville, NJ. As always I post the listing on to various websites including Craigslist.com.  Well, I received an email from someone who saw my post on Craigslist and this is what it said:

 

Hello
Am interested in your property listed for rent on craigslist
is it still available?
What is the available date when the property will be ready to move in
What is the address of the property
Regards

 

So I immediately made contact and told her about the property and that there has been a lot of activity so if she was interested she'd better make a move.

She then responded with this:

 

Ok,
In response to the property you have for rent.I will be moving down to the states as my employer (Yorkshire fabrics ltd UK) are about to open a new office in the state.
Am interested in knowing more about the property. Please do give me the following information.
1.A brief description of the property
2. Monthly rent and deposit
3.The address of the property
4.The pictures of the interior of the property
I am willing to sign a year lease, do give me the total move in cost.I will be waiting for your response on this.
Hope to hear from you in earnest.
Regards

 

At this point I gave her a description of the property and sent the listing as I would to any client- in detail client view of course.  She then writes this back:

 

After Reviewing the details on the Property,
i will like to go ahead with the renting process,
I want you to reserve the place for me.
As for the payment of the deposit and rent totaling $4000
also i will have an interior decorator put up the place for me prior to my arrival.
So do provide the below information for the deposit as i have asked my employer to
 
Name to issue the check to:............
Address:.............
Phone number(cell and land):............
 
I want the 12 month lease to start on January 1st 2009, i also want to notify you that due to the fact that i cannot view in person, i have in the mean time arrange with an interior decorator here in England who will be putting up the place for me and also handling the purchase of furniture,entertainment system, miscellaneous appliances that i will be needing in the property, they will as well be in charge of moving down my luggage down to the states.
Due to the time restrictions and days for a UK check to clear in the states, i have requested from my employers to issue my relocation grant in form of a cashiers check, because its easily cashed there in the US.
So a US check of ($9500) will be sent over to you which is the relocation grant by my employer, and all you need to do is to clear the check and deduct the deposit($4000) and you will handle the rest to the Decorators so i can have the place all prepared for my arrival. all other document will be signed as soon as i arrive.
 
About Me:
My Names are Adelaide Delma
Age: 28 yrs
Single
Non smoker
don't keep pets
 
Below are some references
 
Current landlord: Eric Rosenfeld
Address: 81 Waverley Rd
Bexley London, Uk
Email: erosenfeld33@gmail.com
 
 
Supervisor: Richard Webber
Address: 26 Austin Close
Thamesmead London
SE26 0DH
Tel : 01904282087
Email: r65webber@yahoo.co.uk
 
I look forward to your response
Thank You

 

Now, I immediately have a cause for alarm.  There is no way I am going to give her my clients information without having something in writing.  First, I write back to her saying that I need to see a credit report and also get employment verification. I then contacted the people she listed as references- neither of them responded via email or by phone. And then she never responded back to my email.

 

I contacted the company that she said she worked for in England... the company exists but they have no idea who Adelaide Delma is.  I alerted them to the fact that I think someone is using their company's name as a part of a scam.  I then typed in the name Adelaide Delma on Google and I found a few posts from other people warning about this person and that this might be a part of some type of SCAM!

They say the scam works something like this- the scammer takes on the persona of the landlord, relists the property with all of YOUR listings pics, but they put a lower than average price.... some unsuspecting renter sees a deal too good to pass up, they ride by your listing and see that there is  a FOR RENT sign out front, they get into contact with them via email, send them money to secure it, and then the renter has nothing to show for it. 

If you have any rental properties I think you might want to type in the addresses into some popular search engines and make sure no one is using your listing information to scam someone else out of some deposit money.

 

Plesae check and make sure your listings are not listed by some scammer!

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Topic:
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Location:
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Comments 16 New Comment

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Rainer
9,103
Josh Lutz
American Premier Property Inspection, LLC

I had a very similar message on a house I was renting in Phoenix.  Pegged it as a scam right away.  If the email sounds too formal and isn't specific to the property then it's probably a scam.

January 15, 2009 03:31 PM
Anonymous #13
Anonymous
B

I am a private owner, and I just received the same e-mails, WORD for WORD, for a rental listing in the SF Bay area.  It seemed a little fishy, and they used another company name which I couldn't find on-line.  Though it seemed suspicious, I wasn't sure what scam they could pull of with such seemingly benign info (no secure data on myself), and I almost wrote back with the info.  So glad I didn't!  I kept searching different ways, and I found your post.  Now I know what the scam is.  Thanks so much for your post.

November 01, 2009 12:53 PM
Anonymous #14
Anonymous
EJ

We got the EXACT same email (nearly verbatim) from a "Krystal Sparkman" claiming to be with a trading company in the UK.  Seemed fishy from the get go. Glad we found this info, so we know people are aware of the scam.

July 19, 2010 12:54 PM
Anonymous #15
Anonymous
EJ

In regards to the above post - our rental property was in the Seattle, WA area. 

July 19, 2010 01:01 PM
Anonymous #16
Anonymous
John Sandstrom

I am glad I did the Google search and found your post.  Krystal Sparkman is alive and well in Redmond, WA.  I kow it did not feel right and now know it was not.  Thanks for the posting. 

July 23, 2010 12:47 PM
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Ryan Tooker

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