Victim Location 98117
Total money lost $112
Type of a scam Rental
This was a rental scam using a "hijacked ad" method. This person saw an actual ad for a home for rent and replicated the details and pictures, then posted their own ad for the property with a cheaper rent and their own contact information on Craigslist. They even found the name of the individual who owned the property and posted the original listing, and they used that name as their own during the correspondence, impersonating the actual landlord. They’d said that they had just moved from the property listed to a home in Arkansas, and that was why they wanted to find a renter right away but was unable to meet with me in person. They even invited me to check out the property and walk around the yard and outside of it, I guess knowing that it would still be unoccupied.
Our first couple of communications were through email and then later through text messages. They provided a simple rental application form and asked for a $100 application fee (wired through Western Union), two references, and pay stubs. I’d originally been able to provide the first two but needed more time for the pay stubs. They were very pushy and insistent on receiving them, so I suppose the pay stubs were an important component of the scam. They made it seem as though it was a done deal and promised that the lease and keys would be Fed-Ex’ed to me. They then provided me with bank account information (under the name Jesse Okuma) in which to deposit the rental deposit of $1300. They said I’d be able to move into the property after I gave them the first month’s rent.