ABERDEEN, Wash. - A common craigslist scam has come to the Harbor, and the Aberdeen Police Department is warning potential renters to be cautious. Police Captain John Green tells us one local renter almost lost their identity and $900 to the scam.
The scam goes like this: someone takes a photo of a rental home, posts it on craigslist and begins an email conversation with potential renters. Applicants are told the property owner is out of the country and asked to email their personal information to the scammers.
Green said a local property manager notified them of the scam after seeing his own home up for rent, at a lower price. The information given to the Aberdeen Police Department involves the advertising to rent a local home by an unknown person who does not own the property or have the authority to rent it to another person.
The complaint received outlined that a legitimate Aberdeen rental home was advertised for rent. An unknown suspect placed a photo and address of the same home on Craigslist listing it for rent at a price cheaper than the legitimate owner had.
The fraudulent listing gave an email address as the only way to make contact. When the suspect was contacted by email they advised that they were out of the country on a "mission" in West Africa. The suspect emailed a rental contract for the interested person to fill out and return.
When the interested person asked to be shown the house they were told in an email that the "owner" had gone to West Africa with the keys to the house. The suspect wrote in the email, " If you are interested in my property kindly drive by and get the application form filled and send it back to me via email so that we can start a lease."
It is believed that identity theft and an attempt to obtain $900 dollars in currency from an unsuspecting person was the intent of the fraudulent Craigslist rental home listing.
The Aberdeen Police Department has issued this information to warn and inform our citizens of this reported scam. Consumer scam protection information may be found on Craigslist and at the Federal Trade Commission website, http://ftc.gov
Below is an example of one letter that has been used for years in this scam.
Good hearing from you am Dr Eric Neville,the Leaders of (WHO) world health organisation appointed by the World Health Assembly on 9 November 2006..
We own the House and also want you to know that it was due to our transfer that makes me and my family to leave the property and was post on craigslist.com to give it out for rent. We are looking for a reputable person that can take very good care of it, as we are not after the money for the rent but want it to be clean at the time and the person that will rent it to take it as if it were its own.
We are a Multi-Million Organisation authorized by the UNICEF AND UNITED NATION HEALTH GROUPS. Our work is to travel around the world, we supply food, drugs, and shelter to the poor,our organisation is known worldwide due to our good work and faith. we want to know if you also have love for the sick and poor around the world.We are in conjuction with Susan Collins the Senator of United state of America.
So right now we are in West Africa. with the keys and the document of the House. We try to look for an agent that we can give the keys and documents before we left but could not see any trusted and responsible agent and the only person that we trust was dead last year on plane crash,so we have nobody that can give the keys and documents before we left and we are as well don’t want our house to be used anyhow in our absent that is why we took it along with us. You can drive by to view it from outside at 11761 Via Vera Cruz Ct Las Vegas, NV 89138.
So get back to us on how you could take care of our house or perhaps experience you have in renting home.please let us know If you are staying for a long period of time, We are okay with one month deposit payment of ($1,250) including the security deposit,looking forward to hear from you.Our rental form has been attached to you that you will have to fill to qualify for this rent.
Looking forward to hear from you with all the application details so that i can have it in my file incase of issuing the receipt for you and contacting you.
Await your urgent reply so that we can discuss on how the keys and documents would be ship to you via Fedex company.
Thanks Remain Bless