I had a friend start to get sucked in on a rental scam that goes like this.
Vivian Coleman or Vivian Coleman posts a well written advertisement for a sublease of a beautiful furnished apartment for a below market rate.
She says that she and her husband have been relocated out of the area and they are looking for someone to care for the apartment while they are gone. But you can’t see the actually apartment until you agree to take it and Vivian approves you. The address of the place is listed in the advertisement so you can drive by and see it is a beautiful place.
Once you reply back to Vivian and say you are interested you get the following email.
Good hearing from you that you are promising us that our flat will be well taken care off,and I really appreciate your expression.So,Like I told you there’s none of my friends or relatives to show you the flat..I want you to stick to your words.Is that okay with you?And the below is the final question that you must answer to qualify for the rent.
Hope you have a nice working day,Infact I will like to meet you when coming to visit you soonest.We do a long term and short term renting anytime you which to leave the place will be grateful and we are ready to rent a long-term for 2 years lease or more.
Note that you will are not allowed to enter the flat,because the keys/document is here with me in New jersey.
*******RENT APPLICATION FORM*******
(Private & Confidential)
Also,Pls let me get this answer.
1)Your Full Name
2)Present Full Address(where you reside now) & Phone Number to Reach You
4)Are you married?
6)How many people will be living in the house?
7)Do you have a pet?
8)Do you have a car?
9)What is your religion?
11) Citizen of which Country?
11) How Many Month Deposit ???
12) When are you ready to Move In ?
13) When are u planning to leave the flat ?
Looking forward to hear from you with all this details for approval so that i can have it in my file incase of issuing the receipt in your name and contacting you.Await your urgent reply so that we can discuss on how to get the documents and the keys to you,Please we are giving you all this transaction is based on Trust & Honesty and again I want you to stick to your words,We are putting everything into Gods hand,so please do not let us down in this property of ours and God bless you more as you do this.
Thanks so much and have a nice day
When my friend Danny showed me the email, alarms immediately started going off. Who asks for your religion on a rental application and why was the ad listed by Vivian so beautifully worded and the email response is so crappy?
A little research on the net uncovered that this is a scam that is being run around the world. The rest of the scam runs like this. Once you fill out the crappy rental application and email it back you will be approved.
The keys and documents will be sent to you but you will need to send money first by Western Union or MoneyGram, sometimes to an address in Lagos, Nigeria. You will be asked to send around $200 to “Vivian” to pay for the FedEx shipping of the keys and documents. There is a variation that involves sending a deposit and first months rent as well.
Once you send the money, you never get anything. That is where the scam ends.
A few points to look for in the advertisement. It may use the term flat instead of apartment and says that it includes hydro instead of water.