My mom found a really nice apartment, but the rent they were asking seemed too good to be true. And it was. The property owner "Jessica Taylor" said she was recently divorced and moving back to Paris and wanted to rent our her apartment while she was away. The woman wouldn't call my mom or answer any of her questions, she just kept repeating previously provided info and pushing her to "proceed with the transaction." My mom called me and I started to look into it, and the same scam had been reported on Craigslist. The emails were written almost exactly the same as what my mom had recieved, except the person renting the apartment out had a different personal situation (got a new job in London). The emails are below:
Property "owner's" 1st email:
Hello , I hope this email finds you well. The apartment is located at 305 Brooke Avenue 408, Norfolk VA, 23510. It has 2 bedroom, 2 bathroom, 1 kitchen and 1 living room at $700 per month (below market value) in return for taking good care of the place. [continued below]....
..... I am looking for someone who will be careful and thoughtful to live in it, as soon as possible, because I have recently suffered a divorced and I will move back home in Paris, France. The lease can be for a minimum 3 months. I'm the full right owner of the apartment and the utilities are included in this price (rent/month). Everything in this apt is functional because is recently renovated. Just to mention a few, it includes: (refrigerator, washer/dryer and most important a parking place.). I would also like to know how many persons will occupy the apartment and for how long would like to sign the rent contract. (any pets? cats or dogs?). Unfortunately I, have the keys no one else have access in the apartment because it is a private property. Thank you for your interest and wait news from you.
Hello, Thank you for your response and nice to meet you. Like I have informed you before, the price you have to pay for one month of rent will be $700 + $400 deposit. We can start with a basic 1 year contract with the possibility of renewing it or with the period of time suitable for you. About the payment, I would like to receive it monthly into my bank account and I hope there will be no problem for you to wire the money to it. You only need to receive the keys and the contract so you could check out the apt, and see if you like it. Since I'm Paris we need a way to complete this deal that will allow us to make sure we receive what we are asking for. I have found a way for us to complete the deal safely that will allow you to pay for the rent only after you will receive the keys and rental contract, you can receive them in less than 2 days. The solution is provided by a third party company called TNT Global Air Express which is similar to FedEx, DHL or UPS, and will handle the payment and delivery of the Keys. Through this service you will see the apt and decide if you like it or not, before sending the payment. Please click on the link bellow to see how we can complete the deal safely and fast directly from the web site of the company where this procedure is explained: http://www.tnt.com/express/en_gb/site/home/services/special_services/international_time_critical_services.html
Let me know if you are interested,
Hello again, If you are ready to proceed with this transaction I will explain you step by step how we can make it happen. You will only have to deposit to the Escrow Service TNT the first month of rent $700 + 400 deposit so they can proceed with the shipping. I will pay for a 2 days delivery so you will receive the keys and the contract signed by me right away.
1 - To start the process first of all I need is your full name and shipping info.
2 - I will go at TNT to deposit the keys and the contract in your name as the intended receiver.
3 - TNT will check the envelope to see if everything is in order and also the legal papers that will come along with the keys and proof of ownership.
4 - TNT will send you a delivery notification to let you know they have the keys and the papers in their custody and that I am the real owner of the apartment I am renting, in which you will also have all the instructions to complete the Western Union transfer to the TNT Agent.
5 - At this point you will have to go to a Western Union Location and make a money deposit on the TNT Agent Name for the amount we agreed, the total amount you shall deposit for the first month of rent.
6 - After you make the deposit you will have to send the transfer information to TNT (not to me).
7 - TNT will verify the payment information and if everything is in order they will proceed with the delivery of the keys and the contract.
8 - After you receive the package, you will go and check the apartment and in 2 days you must contact TNT to inform them if you keep the apt or not. If all is in order you will instruct TNT to send me the information about the money deposit and I will be able to receive the funds. If you don`t like the apartment you can ask for a full refund and you will send back the keys and contract. Also pay the Western Union transfer fees from the total amount you need to deposit and send the rest in balance. I hope you will take good care of the apartment in my absence.