Thursday, November 18, 2010

Rental scams still alive and well

We’ve been looking for a small 1 bedroom condo in downtown Phoenix for a very longtime customer of ours. Something in the range of $600.

I found an ad on Craigslist that advertised a two-bedroom condo at the Copper Square condos for $588 per month. Copper Square is one of the premiere upscale hi-rise condo communities in Phoenix, and other 2 bedrooms there go for $1800-$2200 per month.

It sounded too good to be true.  I emailed the landlord through Craiglist with this:

$588/mo for a 2bedroom at Copper Square, seriously? What’s the catch? I’m seeking a studio or 1 bedroom for that price, need to move in Dec 15 to Jan 10. Must have parking for 1 car and must accept cats.  Please advise if you have anything that suits.

The reply…

I've moved to United Kingdom with my job and decided to rent it because the rent is very expensive here.The price is so low because I'm here and is very hard to find a tenant.I can rent you the condo for min. 1 month and max. 6 years(or more).I really want to find a good and responsible tenant for it, and I hope that you can send me some personal information about yourself.The rent for the whole condo for 1 month is $600 including all utilities(water,electricity, internet, cable, parking , air conditioning, fireplace, dishwasher, garbage) and the security deposit is $600(you'll get the deposit back at your departure-or you can use it to pay your last month of rent) and I want to receive the money monthly in my bank account. You can move in the condo in the same day when you receive the keys. The only problem is that I`m the only person who has the keys and I have nobody in United States that could show you the condo. In order to check it, see if you like it(I'm sure that you'll love it), you need to receive the keys and the contract.
If you want to rent the condo, please e-mail me back and I will explain you how the payment and shipping will take place!
Here are a few pictures:

Tips that this is a scam

  • spelling & punctuation errors
  • price not as advertised
  • landlord is out of the country and no one else can show it to me
  • tenant must sign a contract and send money before s/he can see the condo
  • condo unit number is not mentioned
  • emailer asks for personal information about tenant

Landlord gave me her name in the email, “Dawson”.  I checked the tax records. No Dawson owns anything at Summit at Copper Square.

Grrrr!  I hate scammers. They all should die. It’s not bad enough we’re all dealing with a terrible economy. Some people have to make it worse by trying to scam people out of the little money we have left. Die scammers, die!

It’s a jungle out there. Be wary, dear readers.