RENTAL PROPERTY SCAM

March 22, 2011

Legitimate Listing Hijacked By Nigerian Criminals

Spring is often a time when people begin looking for homes to buy or rent, and the Madison Police Department (MPD) urges residents to be aware of a scam. It is not new, but it has popped up several times already this year.

In the most recent reported case, a Madison woman found a Euclid Avenue home for rent on Craigslist. A commercial rental company does have a legitimate listing for this property. That rental information was pirated by a criminal enterprise operating out of Nigeria, which used Craigslist for the bogus listing. The criminals' goal is to get personal information and money from would-be renters.

This is part of the email sent from Nigeria to the Madison woman who expressed interest in the Euclid property via Craigslist:

Hi,

I can see you are interested in the ad I have posted, I am currently in Nigeria(WEST AFRICA) with my family where we work as a volunteer with the Missionary, here is the site WWW.missionary-blogs.com for more details about why we are here in Nigeria(WEST AFRICA).we spent less time in the States so we could not get a hold on any Realtor to handle this rent issue, although it was when we knew how long we are going to stay in Nigeria(WEST AFRICA) that we decided to rent out the house. However, the initial plan was to sell out the house. which we tried, but sometimes the agents inflates the price and it takes longer to sell we are telling you this in case you find the house on another website, that is the old advert So we need a tenant to take care of it but since we are out of the state now, we have received some proposals regarding the rent because it is located in a very good area of *****Euclid Avenue, but we still have to make sure it is rented out to someone who can take good care of it.The keys to the House are right here with me and i could send it to you after all necessary agreement has be accepted by my family,It includes facilities such as water and heat laundry facilities, air condition, internet and telephone access and a car park and other necessary facilities, also comes with trash collection, pets are allowed as well as long as they are not destructive,we also want you to let us have trust in you as we always stand on our word.So if you know you are capable of the task,It is available for a long lease.The monthly rental fee is $1000 per month including the utilities and the security deposit is $700 which is refundable back to you at the end of your stay if nothing is damaged from my properties.It is not the money that is the main problem but we want you to keep it tidy all the time so that we will be glad to see it neat when we come for a check up.You will only be able to drive by the house for now but not have a look at the interior until we have sent the keys and documents of the house to you.So we wouldn't want any violation on our property if finally rented by you.Please if you are ready now to occupy the house kindly provide the information below for record purpose

Description: 4BR/3BA Single Family House - Madison
Rent this near West Madison home in the desireable Westmoreland neighborhood. Convienantly located near Whole Foods, Trader Joes, University Hospital, with ease of access downtown. This home features an open floor-plan on the main with spacious kitchen, dining and living room with brick fireplace. One bedroom off main living space. Three bedrooms including a master w/bath-stand up shower and a walk in closet. Two additional bedrooms, another full bath and a library nook round out the level. Large dry storage basement with laundry. One car attached garage. Available NOW! Midvale-Lincoln Hamilton West High School Hardwood floors Brick… fireplace One car attached Patio-fire pit rear yard Double ovens Master suite with shower/bath…

* Price: $1,000
* Status: For Rent
* 4 Bedrooms
* 3 Bathrooms
* 2,087 sqft
* Single-Family Home
* Rent: $1,000

PLEASE TELL US ABOUT YOURSELF

Full Name__________________________________________________
Home Phone ( )________________________
Date of Birth_________________________________
Other Phone ( )___________________
Current Address_______________________________Apt#________ City__________________ State______ Zip________
Reasons for Leaving____________________________Rent $__________
Phone ( )____________________________
Are you married____________________________
How many people will be living in the house____________________________
Do you have a pet____________________________
Do you have a car____________________________
Occupation____________________________
Move In Date____________________________
How soon can you secure the property with the down payment____________________________
How soon do you want to receive the keys and documents of my property____________________________

House Address
***** Euclid Avenue
Madison WI 53711, USA

A Deposit of $500 (which happens to be the security deposit) is required before moving in...Feel free to call me for more information and arrangements on how to get the keys and other necessary documents delivered to you...my number is ( +234-704-115-9195 OR 011-234-704-115-9195 ).The house will be available for rent for a period of 4 years so you have a choice of deciding how long you intend staying there...

Looking forward to hear from you with all this details so that we can have it in my file in case of issuing the receipt and contacting you. Await your reply so we can discuss on how to get the document and the key to you.Please Note that your rent only starts counting after you have finally moved into the house,so you need not to worry about making the deposit payment now and not moving in immediately,all you're doing is securing the house in your favor in order not to loose it to other interested applicants..

Hope to read from you soonest...
Thanks so much.
(email was signed by the name of the property's real owner)

The MPD urges everyone to be aware of scams similar to these, do your homework, and make sure the party with whom you are dealing is reputable. It is unlikely someone renting a property in Madison would be in Nigeria.

Contact:
  • Joel DeSpain, 266-4897