Craigslist: Breeding ground for scammers
Flipping through one of yesterday’s papers while on line at the newsstand, I noticed yet another unsuspecting idiot fell for this Craigslist scam Hoboken411 has already been talking about all year.
With rents so high and people looking to save money wherever they can, a 20-something guy quickly fell for this “too good to be true” offer without realizing it. A fool and his $1300 soon parted.
I wonder what he thought the Hoboken Police Department could do to help him with a global internet scam? I guess he needed a police report for insurance purposes?
Just a friendly reminder for those that don’t already know, but if you see an apartment for rent on Craigslist, and there are all sorts of “wacky” circumstances, such as the owner being out of town, or more than reasonably flexible move-in dates, just stay away! This type of scam has been going on quite rampantly on CL, so I guess it works!
A reader had sent Hoboken411 yet another example of this “Slim Shady” scam, but the posting had already been flagged and deleted.
A reader sent this in today. It’s about a scammer on Craigslist supposedly hawking a nice furnished Hoboken apartment for $1300 bucks a month. I assume most of us are seasoned veterans when it comes to scam-artists, because I’d always stay away from any fruity transaction that A) sounds too good to be true, and B) requires “wiring” of money and C) the persons phone “broke”. The post was since flagged and removed from the Craigslist community, but here’s what the reader had to say, a link to the scammers single-page blog entry, and a copy of it in case the site is taken offline.
I’m seriously thinking of offering up a Hoboken411 “Scam or No Scam” service. You pay me a small fee, and I’ll tell you if it’s worth pursuing or not. It’ll save you a lot of trouble! Oh, and I have a bridge to sell as well.
“Hi. I am an avid reader of your website and wanted something to be brought to the many other readers of Hoboken411.com. There is a posting on craigslist.com for an apartment located at 300 Grand St. It is being listed for $1300. The person who is “renting” the apartment is saying that she is the owner but has recently moved to California for a job. She asks for $3,900 to be wired to her via Money-Gram to a friend/relative of your choice and to only email her the receipt at this point she will send the lease/keys to you and if you like the aprtment you just have re-wire the money to her. This is not the case, there is some way she can take the money from the friend/relative you sent it to. Anyways, I just went to the police station to report this and it turns out that have had multiple reports of this. One individuals unformtuately sent the money to her and now needless to say is out $3,900! If this sounds like an interesting article, please let me know and I can send you more details.”
See the scammers blog, find out why it’s phony and more below.
I emailed her and said I was interested in viewing the apartment. this was her response to me.
The 2 months rent payment are for the first 2 months. The lenght of the lease is flexible, but min 3 months. I have to tell you that i am in CA now, i am here with a 5 years job contract, i come to NJ each 6 months. If you want the apartment i would need your address to send you the keys to view it, we will talk about the payment process for the $3,900 and about the other details, but first if there is something else that you want to know please feel free to ask.
She then sent another email to me requesting that instead of her sending time the keys- I should wire the $3,900 to one of my friends/family members and email her a copy of the receipt. Once she received it then she would send us the keys/lease and if we liked it then we could re-wire the money to her and she would refund us the wiring fees ($125 each wire). I was emailing her for a week and continually asked her if she could call me because I was leery of sending money without verbally talking to her. She continued to tell me that her phone is broken.
Eventually, I told her that i was uncomfortable sending her money via a wiring location and I thought this whole thing was a scam. This morning I called ArchStone who is the management co. of 300 Grand Ave. I explained this rental opportunity- they told me it was impossible because they are the only owners of the apartments and no individual could own it. I then called the police and told them what was going on. It turns out the this has been an ongoing problem and there really wasn’t much to do other then filling a report.
Here’s the fabulous website.