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?

9/14/2007 Update:

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.

brooklynbridge.jpgA 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 There is a posting on 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.

Thank you.

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.


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And this is the final crack from her : ********** I have given a great deal of thought about this and i think that sending the keys is not such a good ideea. I want to use a third arty to handle this for us and i hope it’s ok for you too. I want to use the ColdwellBanker company. Their website is They are a well known company all over the world. So, i went to their office in Athens and i told them that i want to rent my apartment and they told me that they have a service i can use, i will describe it below. I ‘ve already paid the fees. So, here is how it goes: you must tell me if you agree to use them and then they’ll e-mail you all the information you need to continue the transaction. You have to send them the funds so they can deposit it in their safety account and they’ll hold it there while i send you the keys and a leasing contract. If you decide to rent the apartment the company will send me the funds and, of course, we sign the lease, if you decide not to rent the apartment the company will refund you within 24 hours and you return the keys to me. No fees involved for you. The deposit you have to send it’s $3,200 and it’s for the first month and for the security deposit. Should i tell ColdwellBanker that… Read more »

Lol, I responded to the Tea building ad the other day with a new junk gmail account. I did receive a response along with a spam message a few minutes later, so they are probably just collecting email addresses. I responded “excited” to move in asap, want to see if they take the bait and give me some personal info.


Well, the value of apartments in the Tea Building COULD have gone down following Eli Manning’s performance yesterday. 😀


Here’s a new adage: if it sounds stupid, save your money. :mrgreen:


there is a old but great adage”if sounds too good don’t believe it”