Sunday, January 20, 2008

Warning: Rental Scam [Updated]

One of my roommates is moving out and we're trying to fill the room. I put up an ad on my university's off campus housing website, as well as on facebook. Within 24 hours, I received 3 enquiries from "international" students who want to rent my room.

Thankfully, my mom was selling furniture on Kajiji this past summer and became suspicious when someone wanted to sell the furniture without seeing it in person, and sent her a cheque for more than the amount due, and mysteriously made a mistake and wanted her to wire the rest back. My mom brought the cheque to the bank saying that she wasn't confident about the situation and if they had heard of similar requests. The certified cheque turned out to be fraudulent.

I have had my rental ad out for 7 days now and have received requests only from "international" students. To get my email address they had to have seen the ad, which has all of the information they are requesting. I truly feel sorry for any real international students who are really looking for a place, but I can't afford to be a victim of some person's scam.

What upsets me, is that Carleton's housing website only warns landlords.



Universities really don't give a crap about students. I have written the housing department, as well as the university's communication department, in an effort to get the word out to students to be aware of this increasingly common fraud.

If you get letters like this be vigilant. Most times the abhorrent spelling/grammar gives them away, even though they want to appear North American/European.

Hello, My name is Annie Adams Born in Portland Oregon i am a female 27 years old ,I am honest and friendly,i lived in the Portland alone. My dad work for a communication company in UK and my mom passed away when i was still a little girl, presently am in Africa cos my dad as been transfered there for the expansion of their communications network.I will be relocating to Canada anytime soon but first i need a room/apt to stay for awhile to settle down, I am interested in your room/apt and i will like to know the rent per month and the exact date with the room would be available. I will appreciate it if you can reply me at annieadams4u@yahoo.com i do not check my facebook often Hope to hear from you today

Annie.


Hi Happy New Year.Am Angelina By name 21 years,i wish to inform
you that am interested in renting your unit for the period of 6 to 10 months depending,i will love to the actual asking price per month,terms of lease and details of how i can get it secured.Hope all the ultilities are working in good conditions?Looking forward in hearing back from you soon.Thanks.
Angelin
angelinaowen60@yahoo.com
Carleton

Hello sir/ma, I am tad dakes, am interested in renting your room, i am female 22 years old from Dubai.UAE.,i am international student coming to study my masters in { MainCampus in area university } So i need a room appt for a month,i do not smoke,no pets and i dont have friends and i dont walk late in the night.Do get back to me with the price of the room per month ,hope to read from you soon warmest Regards

am dianaam a graduate of Limerick University,
Ireland and work as a professional network engineer. I
am currently working on contract for my company;
Adavanced manufacturing,supply chain management. here
inwest africa. I am a very dedicated individual who is
totally committed to human development, friendly, very
trustworthy and value relationship above anything. I
love travelling, sporting and enjoy meeting people. I
dont smoke but do not mind people who do being around
me. I am cool headed and easy going person with no
criminal record and like to have an apartment / room
with you ..I saw your advert and i am sincerely
interested in the apartment. advertised as i will like
to move to as soon as i leave here
please i will love to hear from you .for the apartment
/room preferably through my email
dianamamasweet @yahoo.com )
Thanks as i anxiuosly await your mail.please i will
like to know the total cost of the apartment/room so
as to arrange payment as soon
as possible.You can as well mail me back through my
email address .
looking forward to hear from you soon .
kindest regards,
diana


Hello I am sera muse am interested in renting your room, i am female 24years old from united arab emirate dubai, i am coming to study,So i need an apartment to stay so i will like you to tell me more about the room and you can try as much to send me the pictures of the room,i do not smoke,no pets and i am not dirty and friendly as well.Do get back to me with the price of the room per month and the term of lease,hope to read from you soon warmest regards Sera

Update: Here's another one:

Hello,
I saw your housing advert at the Carleton University Off campus housing listing,am interested in your room and i will like you to kindly get back to me with the following.....

.... Rent per month
.... Exact date of available
.... Length of Lease
.... Security Deposit
.... Full address of the property

Also i will like you to know am an international student from US, i attended Canisius College Buffalo New York.

About myself.....

.... Sex: Female

.... Age: 23

.... Firstly i will like you to know i take my study first
before any other thing.

.... I am very neat and i don't have any pet but can live with
then if available.

.... My Hobby is sport... Basketball.

.... I make friend with every one around me.


I got admission into Carleton University and i will like you to kindly get back to me with the above details.Thanks i look forward to hear from you soon.

Best Regard,
Jean Baker

Another today (Jan 26th)

Gina Bowen (ginabowen001@hotmail.com)

Hello,
How are you Faring?My name is Gina,from England.I am coming for Research in Carleton University so i need a place to stay.A little about me.I am 28 years old,i am gentle, neat,respectful,i mind my own business, no smoking,no overnight guest,i don't attend night parties,i promise to keep the place neat as you ever wanted,my favorite colors is white.I will love to rent from you and i will love to rent for one year but i may extend the rent later so tell me more about the place and i will also appreciate some pictures of the place.If there is any application that i will need to fill please have it sent to me via email so i could print,have it completed and bring it over with me when coming over cos i do not have access to fax machine.I will be happy to rent from you so get back to me as soon as possible.
God bless you.

Gina

mariam tah (mariamtah2002@yahoo.com)

Hello,

My name is Mariam Tah i was born in Richmond,Virginnia.I am female 27 years old ,I am honest and friendly,i lived in Virginnia alone. My dad worked for a communication company in UK and my mom passed away when i was still a little girl. I will be relocating to canada anytime for further studies in Carleton University soon but first i need a room/apt to stay for awhile to settle down, I am interested in your room/apt and i will like to know the rent per month and the exact date when the room would be available.
Thanks i hope to hear from you today.
Mariam.


kelvin steve (kelvin_steve2000@yahoo.com)

Hello there,
Am Doctor Kelvin and I live and work in Ireland as a
veterinary doctor.
I would like to make enquiries on your accommodation. I would
like to know if its available because I would like to rent it
for my daughter who is a prospective student of U carleton If available,i'ld like you to provide me with the following
informations,
.... Rent per month
.... Exact date of available
.... Length of Lease
.... Security Deposit
.... Full address of the property -
Also i will like you to know a little about my daughter
She is an international
student from the Republic of ireland,
Her name is Linda,she is 21 years old ,
She is a very neat girl and doesn't have any pet but can
live with them if available.
She makes friend with every one around her and takes
her
studies seriously.
Thanks,
Best regards

6 Comments:

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hey thanks for posting this. I received similar emails when I posted my apt online. when I Googled their names, I found your site! Thanks again! I had never heard about this before.

Wed Jan 23, 03:45:00 PM EST  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hey got the exact same email from that kelvin guy. I will try to let people know about this.

Thanks for posting it.

Mon Feb 04, 12:31:00 PM EST  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hello, I have been communicating with this Dr. Kelvin and I see now that it's just spam. I have posted my townhouse for rent online and I had this message from him saying that he has a daughter Linda who is coming to study at the Ottawa U and needs a place for February. He also wanted to pay for the whole year plus extra for utilities and needed to know where to send the money to. I sent him the account name/number where he could wire the money/deposit and never heard back from him. I would like ewveryone to know that this message is just garbage, it was just a waste of my time. Regards, Anna

Mon Feb 04, 01:56:00 PM EST  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I googled up this page after a complaint about Kelvin from a student at another University in the same city, and dug into this a bit.

It looks like this scam gets aimed at a number of universities both in Canada and the US. Names change, slight variations of it, but it's still the same thing.

Gotta add some kind of warning to our web pages about this.

Thanks a lot for writing this up.

Thu Feb 07, 01:09:00 PM EST  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hi. I just got an email from this "Dr Kelvin" enquiring about accommodation I listed on the website of my university in Australia. So he's expanding his reach.
As other posters have mentioned, the appalling spelling and grammatical mistakes, along with strange sentence structure or syntax made me suspicious. So I googled his name and your site was the first link.
As for the person above who actually sent him their full account details, you'd better be careful that he doesn't use those details to either extract money to obtain more information about you.
How long ago was is that you gave him your information?

Thanks for this site.

Tue May 13, 05:50:00 PM EDT  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

SCAMMMERS a few emails.... mary.r2008@yahoo.com ,samanthafisher35@yahoo.com),janet_cole98@yahoo.com),

all tried to scam me.. but i ALWAYS ASK FOR POLICE REPORT which they ever so kindly ignored...

Wed Feb 25, 07:38:00 PM EST  

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