Victim Location 26003
Type of a scam Rental
A home was posted for rent on Craigslist. I responded to the ad by sending an email to the address listed on the ad. I then received a response that contained more information regarding the person who was renting the property and the terms of the rental agreement. The owner stated that he was renting out the property while he and his wife were out of town for a work assignment. The owner stated that he was a reverend and that he worked as a volunteer with *** *** ** *** *** *** and provided me with a link to the website for more detail. (The organization is legitimate, but they do not have any record of this owner ever being involved with them.) He also stated that his wife is a missionary who is dealing with Bible Translation and literacy worldwide and that they were currently working in Houston, TX. The person then went onto a discussion of how he takes great pride in his home and that he wants me to be able to do the same to ensure that his house is kept in nice condition. He said that they thought about selling the house with an agent, but after getting one that he decided not to work with the agent and requested the keys and the documents back. Instead, he decided to rent the property on his own without the help of an agent. He also said that the rental price is below the standard price and that it was enough for me to know that he is not after the rental fee, but the absolute care for the property. He provided me with a description of the amenities that the property would have and also a variety of photos of the property. He provided me with an address of the property. He stated that the rent would be $750 per month and the security deposit would be $850. Additionally, he provided me with the rental agreement for me to complete that asked me for a variety of personal information. Some of the information included: name, phone, present address, current rent payment, number of people living in the house, how soon I could make the payment for the deposit, and a photo of me or my family as well as my driver’s license. He also stated that he awaited my urgent reply so that we could discuss how to get the document and the keys to me and that he was giving me all of this based on trust and that he will want me to stick to my words. He went onto say that they are putting everything in God’s hands so please do not let us down in this our property and God bless you more as you do this. The photos of the house were beautiful and the rent was within my budget so I was all set to complete the paperwork and send a personal rental check, but whole thing seemed a little too good to be true so I asked one of the attorneys that I work with to investigate this further before I signed or sent anything to him. We discovered that the name used belongs to a deceased person and that the owner was not employed by the organization. Additionally, the house was listed for sale on multiple realty websites and was owned by a different person than was listed on the Craigslist ad. I contacted the realtor and she said that the home was not for rent, but was only listed for sale. She said that other people had reported similar occurrences. After I found out this information, I sent another email to the same address and have not received any additional response. I am thankful that I caught this scam before I sent any money to the person, but I want to make sure that other people do not encounter the same scam so I wanted to report this information about my experience.