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  #1  
Old 08-18-2009, 08:11 AM
Ruken Ruken is offline
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What's the scam? (It IS a scam, right?)

It's just too weird not to be. Maybe it's just gross incompetence. I don't know.

I'm looking for an apartment in Charlottesville, VA. Not the best time of year to be doing this, but there are enough adds that I'm not too worried. I responded to a craigslist add for an apartment. Many of the adds have grossly inadequate descriptions, sometimes even to the point of not saying where the apartment is ("off XYZ road", where XYZ road runs through half of town .) I ask for more information and I get a reply:
Quote:
Hi,
Thank you for your intrest in our rental property.
It is at the moment still available for occupancy.

Here is a copy of our rental application, Print it out.
www.ineedahomenow.net/rentalapp.pdf In PDF format
www.ineedahomenow.net/RentalApplication.doc In Word format

We dont do a check on your rental history or a background check but we do require a credit check. In order to rent any of our properties you must have a credit score of 450 or higher. I do make exceptions but you must bring a copy of your report and an explanation.

You can get a copy of your score free below
http://www.howdoicheckmycreditreport.com/credit.php

Do not email it to me just bring it with you.

We do not require a security deposit or pet deposit on this property.

Unlike most properties you wont be charged an application fee or credit check fee because you will bring your own.

Renting this property is of my highest concern so if you dont act quickly it may get rented before you.
Hopefully I can walk you through the property either tomorrow or within the next few days appointments will be handled in the manner they were recieved.


Regards,
Home and Apartments Staff
ineedahomenow.net doesn't seem to exist, but the documents do. Is this merely attempt to get people to sign up for "free" credit reports? Seems kind of involved.

Also got a reply from someone else:
Quote:
Please provide your telephone number and we will call and describe the apartment.
No call yet... Maybe they don't want to rent to someone from out of town. Dunno.

I'm amazed at the number of places with zero laundry facilities. Not even in the building somewhere. "Oh, well there's a laundromat a few blocks away". No thanks.
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  #2  
Old 08-18-2009, 08:18 AM
pbbth pbbth is offline
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The scam is that you get your free credit report at www.annualcreditreport.com and not the site they listed. If you use their site you will be giving your social, name and address to strangers and they will then steal your identity.
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  #3  
Old 08-18-2009, 08:22 AM
Musicat Musicat is offline
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Another thread about a similar situation:

http://boards.straightdope.com/sdmb/...d.php?t=528532
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  #4  
Old 08-18-2009, 08:23 AM
Kal Kal is offline
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Unless I'm doing things wrong, a Whois lookup on the ineedahomenow name shows that the domain was only set up on the 13th. Same lookup on the credit check site shows that the domain was only set up on the 18th.

My vote is phishing. They want you to enter all your details in the credit check site.
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  #5  
Old 08-18-2009, 09:08 AM
Ruken Ruken is offline
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Ah ok. Makes sense now. I flagged it as "prohibited".
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  #6  
Old 08-18-2009, 10:45 AM
Ruken Ruken is offline
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It gets better!

From someone else:
Quote:
it is my gladness to hear from you.I am PAUL SMITH ,the owner of the Apartment you are making inquiry of.Actually I resided in the apartment with my family,presently we moved away due to my transfer from my working place presently my apartment is still available for rent its including the utilities like hydro,washer and security,it is furnished.More so Now, I went for a Crusade in the West Africa and i will like you to get in touch with my wife in the states 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 JENNIFER, on [removed by Ruken] and she will attend to you better
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  #7  
Old 08-18-2009, 10:52 AM
jjimm jjimm is offline
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When I was apartment-hunting I got one that said "The property is currently empty because I am working in Barcelona. Just send me the deposit to Barcelona and I will send you the keys because I trust you."

Hmm, yah.
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  #8  
Old 08-18-2009, 11:02 AM
Cat Fight Cat Fight is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ruken View Post
Ah ok. Makes sense now. I flagged it as "prohibited".
You might also want to alert others to the scam by re-posting it with 'SCAM WARNING: [original description].' Might save a few people the trouble before it gets flagged for removal.
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  #9  
Old 08-18-2009, 12:23 PM
Ruken Ruken is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Cat Fight View Post
You might also want to alert others to the scam by re-posting it with 'SCAM WARNING: [original description].' Might save a few people the trouble before it gets flagged for removal.
Ah. Didn't know you could do that. This is the first time I've ever used Craigslist. Thanks
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  #10  
Old 08-18-2009, 02:56 PM
ftg ftg is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ruken View Post
From someone else:
"I went for a Crusade in the West Africa..."
They have Crusades in the West Africa now? What a Modern the World we live in.
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  #11  
Old 08-18-2009, 03:16 PM
corkboard corkboard is offline
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Not entirely on topic (but mentioned in the OP)- I've never lived in Charlottesville, but I don't think not having laundry facilities in the building is that uncommon. I lived in a few apartments that had them in a building on the other side of the apartment complex. When I lived in NYC, they were a few blocks away.
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  #12  
Old 08-18-2009, 05:01 PM
Ruken Ruken is offline
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You're right. Pretty much all of my friends in NYC used public laundromats. However, there are more laundromats per square mile in NYC than in a small town. Some of these places are not within easy walking distance.

I don't have time for that. Heck, I don't even want it in the basement. I want it right there so I can leave my clothes in there all night without bugging anyone else. Clearly people who make apartments are not catering to the needs of Rukens. I can't understand why
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  #13  
Old 09-08-2009, 09:37 PM
msugirl msugirl is offline
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Must be a Scam!!!

I live in Michigan and am looking for an apartment/house to rent on the west side of the state. I got that email word for word back. I thought it was strange and have requested more info and have not heard back from them. I did find this website when I was trying to research whether it was a scam or not. Now, I really think it is.
Good luck with your search.
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  #14  
Old 09-09-2009, 01:51 PM
DMark DMark is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ruken View Post
You're right. Pretty much all of my friends in NYC used public laundromats. However, there are more laundromats per square mile in NYC than in a small town. Some of these places are not within easy walking distance.
Slightly off topic, but worth mentioning:
I had a friend in NYC, a fairly successful actress, who was a bit of a slob. Instead of doing laundry once a week, she would go every two or three weeks with almost every stitch of clothing and do all of her laundry at once - 5 - 6 loads easily.
So, she had all of her laundry in the machines, went next door for some coffee and a quick read of the newspaper, and came back - all of her laundry had been stolen! I mean ALL of it.
The only clothing she had left was what she was wearing - a sort of jogging suit, and I think she basically only had an old prom dress left hanging in her closet.
Suffice it to say, she was mighty pissed off. Had to go out and buy everything new - underclothes, jeans, tops, skirts...etc. etc.
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  #15  
Old 09-09-2009, 03:15 PM
pulykamell pulykamell is offline
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Obviously a scam, especially given the last email, but this is really tipped me off:

Quote:
You can get a copy of your score free below
http://www.howdoicheckmycreditreport.com/credit.php
AFAIK, there is no "free" credit score you can get through any service. Only the reports are free, the score you always pay for. (edit: unless you sign up for one of those trials you have to cancel.)

edit 2: Holy shit:

Quote:
If you do not cancel prior to the end of the 30-day trial, you will be billed at the annual subscription rate of $89.95 when the 30-day trial expires.
Wow. I don't ever remember it being THAT expensive.

Last edited by pulykamell; 09-09-2009 at 03:16 PM..
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  #16  
Old 09-10-2009, 08:56 PM
Serenata67 Serenata67 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ftg View Post
They have Crusades in the West Africa now? What a Modern the World we live in.
Tee hee... that's what I was thinking...
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  #17  
Old 09-10-2009, 09:43 PM
Projammer Projammer is offline
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Looked to me like the howdoicheckmy site is an automatic click-thru to a legit-but-overpriced site that has a referrer program.

Probably everyone that opens it generates a few cents for the "landlord" and anyone that actually signs up is a bonus.
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  #18  
Old 01-12-2010, 12:11 PM
melanie_luv melanie_luv is offline
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Almost the exact same response was given to me and I am all the way in CA

Hello,

We appreciate for your interest in our rental unit.
It is available as of right now and I can put you in for an appointment for come view the vacancy.

We have 12 month 6 months and even as little as 3 month lease options available.

We do not require a security deposit or application fee, only the first months rent.
$100 Pet Fee If you have any (Total)

You can fill out our application after you see the unit and bring a copy of your credit report with you to the viewing.

Rental App- http://www.scribd.com/doc/24649799/Rental-App Word

You can get a copy of your credit report for free here:
www.howdoicheckmycreditreport.com/credit.php


Poor credit will have no effect on your eligibility.
This property rents quickly so please bring these items with you to see the place.

DO NOT EMAIL ANY PAPERS TO ME
Thank you,

Brittny





...........This is such bull............
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  #19  
Old 01-14-2010, 12:27 PM
PunditLisa PunditLisa is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by melanie_luv View Post
...(B)ring a copy of your credit report with you to the viewing.... You can get a copy of your credit report for free here:
www.howdoicheckmycreditreport.com/credit.php
I can understand how people could get scammed into doing this. But then they add:

Quote:
Poor credit will have no effect on your eligibility.
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  #20  
Old 01-14-2010, 12:42 PM
statsman1982 statsman1982 is offline
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My scam radar went off as soon as I read the message in the OP. There is just something about how these things are written--too polite, almost to the point of obsequiousness--that screams scam to me.

My question is: Why haven't these people tried bringing in native English speakers into their scams to make them seem more realistic. It's almost as if they want to send out a subtle hint that it's a scam in order to trap only the most gullible people.
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  #21  
Old 01-14-2010, 12:55 PM
Agent Foxtrot Agent Foxtrot is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by statsman1982 View Post
My question is: Why haven't these people tried bringing in native English speakers into their scams to make them seem more realistic. It's almost as if they want to send out a subtle hint that it's a scam in order to trap only the most gullible people.
I'm guessing it's because they don't want to spend money on someone who can translate well, instead opting for they guy they already have who says, "I know some English!"

Last edited by Agent Foxtrot; 01-14-2010 at 12:57 PM..
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  #22  
Old 01-14-2010, 11:12 PM
Ponderoid Ponderoid is offline
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I read somewhere that the poor grammar and spelling is a deliberate filtering method. The theory is, the scammers don't want to waste their time trying to string along the less credulous who might back out at a later stage. So, they deliberately fill their ads with a bunch of groaners. The people who respond are more likely suckers.
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  #23  
Old 01-15-2010, 11:53 AM
Snickers Snickers is offline
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It is my gladness to be renting the apartment to you of which you have shown interest in.

I am Jack's suspension of belief.
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