Christopher – Aug 13, 2020
Victim Location 44111
Type of a scam Rental
I emailed the contact listed for an ad for a rental home listed for $900 per month to lease. A man identified himself as Jonathan Mark Collins and explained that he was renting his home rather than selling it, as it had recently been taken off the market. He explained, convincingly, that he wanted to rent to a person who could maintain the property and said that he had to suddenly move to CA right before the pandemic because of his family. The part I red flagged was when he told me he couldn’t show the house because he had the keys. He encouraged me to look around the outside, which I did. The property was well maintained and I almost bought his story. He communicated with me regularly, over the course of a week and even had a conversation on the phone with me. He sent me a proposed lease copy and rental application.
My second red flag was when he told me a story about how he had been scammed previously by a renter and therefore needed to be sent a deposit and first month’s rent ($1800) before he could mail the key. I backed out at that point. This man, who I believe was pretending to be Jonathan Mark Collins, who is actually the owner, most likely has multiple rental scams. I never saw the man but did speak with him, he has a Hispanic accent. Luckily, I never sent him money but he was convincing. The house checked out and was listed under multiple agents as a pending status for sale.