Sunday, August 23, 2015

Too Good To Be True

Oh, I just remembered that I forgot to tell y'all about something that happened while we were looking for a place for Eldest Son to live in Fredericksburg, VA.

You know all those stories you hear about Craigslist and how it's full of scammers and people who use it to steal from people and even as a platform to find people to kill?
Well we had a brush with a scammer on there.

Granted nowadays even legitimate realtors and apartment complex managers use Craigslist to find people to rent their properties.
But you still have to be careful on there because not everyone is on the "up and up".

I found a listing when we were searching for possibilities--a house for rent for $800 a month.
A WHOLE house, fully furnished.
A 3 bedroom, 2.5 bath house that included utilities in a gated community in Stafford VA.

I would show you the actual craigslist listing but it has been removed.

When I found that listing and passed it along to Eldest son to email them about setting up an appointment to see the property.

Eldest son got a reply from the "owner" of the house, who claimed to be a minister who was transferred to Texas and was now living in Texas somewhere with his family.  He said this meant he couldn't show Eldest Son the apartment.  He would have to rent the house and after he sent a money order to TX the "owner" would send him the keys.

After I passed along the listing to Eldest Son I had second thoughts about that listing.
Who the hell rents out a 3/2.5 house in a gated community fully furnished including all utilities for $800 in that area?!?
Eldest couldn't find a decent unfurnished apartment for $800 down there. lolz

Then I did a little more looking and I found that this house for "rent" was actually listed for sale on various MLS databases in the area.
HERE is the exact house that the supposed Minister in Texas was trying to rent out.

There was also a video of the listing on You Tube HERE.

Now thinking it IS possible that someone was trying to rent it out while it was for sale(as it's easier to sell a house if someone is currently living in it after all and a renter could keep up the lawn and keep it from sitting vacant and keep vandals away).

So I called the realtor and yep, it was a scam!

I guess it's a big thing now to find a house for sale, steal the photos and information and then put up an ad on Craigslist to rent it out and scam gullible people out of their cash.

When Eldest Son told me the guy couldn't show him the house I said, "Sure he can!  If he's legit tell him to have his realtor lend you the key to see it, because she still lives in the area
Of course after that the "minister" never responded to Eldest Son. lolz

Eldest son, subsequently to emailing about that listing, also turned up at least one more scam rental.
It's been, oh......1983.....since I've rented an apartment and my how the world has changed.  ;-)

You just can't be too careful these days!



  1. Rental scams are all too common here in Hawaii, especially since the rental market is VERY tight. Rule of thumb is unless you can see the place first and meet the landlord/property manager, forget about it. And, if it seems to good to be true, it probably is. I have read horror stories about people here getting scammed out of their deposits, or thinking they were renting a lovely clean apartment but arriving and finding out it's actually a roach-infested, dirty shack that's about to fall down.

  2. We had the same thing happen when we were selling a vehicle privately. Overseas scammers offering to send money orders if we would ship it sight unseen. Then a few weeks later the bank realizes the money orders are fake and wants their money back. If I can't meet a seller/buyer then no sale is taking place. Unfortunately though, they scam enough people to keep it going.

  3. There are a lot of jobs posted on CL that are too good to be true also. :-(

  4. The same thing happened to a woman I work with. Found a listing on CL and it ended up being a scammer. Fortunately, she found out before she paid any money.


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