Im looking for cheap apartments on craigslist.org and i sent out numerous emails for listings i liked. I finally get a hit on one that gets a response a few days later via email. The email was from a reverend Ben Brunce who said that he had spoken to his wife and that she could better help me with all the details of the apartment and so i soon get an email from a woman named Sandra Moore who claims to be the reverend's wife.
I don't know why at first i didn't seem suspicious to me maybe the fact that it started about 7am in the morning so i was half asleep admittably. In this first email from Rev. himself he sent me an address of the listing i was interested in and i google mapped it, it happened to be in an area i knew well and had family that lived around so i thought i would be good for me.
Mind you this is all happening today May 3rd, 2012. My emails from Sandra are pretty standard at first she wants me to describe myself and tells me whats she's looking for in a renter. [continued below]....
..... I realized it was a scam when she said her and her husband are in oregon on sone missionaries retreat and that they want someone to take care of there apartment but the keys and all documents are with her in oregon because they couldn't find a realtor to take the apartment listing.
I knew this was a scam but i played along anyway told some sappy made up personal store gave her false personal info about myself and convinced her that i was willing to make a $400 security deposit payment by May 11th. But what weirded me out was the phone calls i received from the supposed Rev. i ignored them at first because they were blocked and private but after the 3rd consecutive call i answered only to hear a fast speaking nigerian sounding man saying he was sandras husband and that he approved my application and wanted the money upfront today as soon as possible. i told him i could not today and that i would send next week.
He called again a few minutes later when i had not responded to his wife's email right way (because i was in the shower, preparing to go to work..... by this time it was 9am) i told him it was hard to understand him and he told me he was sorry that he and his wife were russian (??) and that they hadn't been in the states very long to learn enough english, so thats why they were so reliant on email. I was unconvinced but played along anyway, i wanted the western union info so i could have more to go on (and to research) this scam and bring them down.
they sent me info informing me that i was going to send it to reverends secretary Sherrill Strampher. i told them i would send them money next friday the 11th for security deposit in exchange for the keys and document. and i ended it there. But then to confirm my suspicions i entered all 3 of those names into google search and the first thing to pop up was this website im reporting to now.... and in this particle report i read i found many, many, many common facts that made me 100% sure this was a scam.
Now what i want to know is how do i handle this appropiately without looking my cool on these people that claim to be workers of god that are letting me live in this apartment in "good faith"?????? These are copies of the emails sent to me.... i will not show my emails for they a filled with false personal info that seems true but known the less could give away my identity.
this first email was in response to mine where i stated that i was available to meet with her during the week to set up a viewing and that i had searched the address of the apartment and liked the area
Thanks for the email,My husband own the Apartment, also want you to know that it was due to my husband's transfer that made us to leave the apartment and also want to give it out for rent and looking for a responsible person that can take good care of the apartment, we are not after the money for the rent but want it to be clean all the time So for now,
I am in Fairview Oregon in the United States in our new home and also I am with the keys and documents of the apartment,we tried to look for an agent that we can give this documents before we left but we could not see and we don't want the apartment to be used any how in our absence that is why we took the keys and documents along with us here and as you know that,my husband was transferred to London United Kingdom for a mission of God,
so i hope you will promise us to take very good care of the apartment,So get back to me on how you could take care of our apartment or perhaps experience you have in renting a home,Hope you are okay with the price per month with hydro,heat laundry facilities,air condition, internet connection and I am looking forward to hearing from you ASAP so that i can email you an application to fill out and discuss on how to get the apartment for rent. Hope to read from you soon Sandra
I expressed that i loved to clean and was tidy and very interested in renting. her response:
Good hearing from you that you are promising us that our apartment 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 apartment .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 had a nice working day, In fact I will like to meet you when coming to visit you soonest, You will not be able to see inside of the apartment. 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 as long as you want. Note that you will are not allowed to enter the apartment now until everything is being finalize as the keys/document is here with me in Fairview Oregon.
*******RENT APPLICATION FORM*******
(Private & Confidential) Also, Please let me get these answers.
1) Your Full Name :
2) Present Full Address (where you reside now) & Phone Number to Reach You
4) Are you married:
5) How many people will be living in the house:
6) Do you have a pet:
7) Do you have a car:
9) Citizen of which Country:
10) When are you ready to Move in:
11) When are u planning to leave the apartment:
12) How many months rent can you deposit upfront (plus security deposit.
Looking forward to hear from you with all this details for approval so that I can have it in my file in case 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.
N:B : We are doing this because of God as a good Christian, If you can pay two months, you will get one month free , I had an accident which affected my hearing and my legs , I am currently on a wheel chair right now, I do not use a phone that's why I am always online, if you are interested, you can fill out the rent application below and get back to me as soon as possible.You can also reach my husband at+447024077502
Note:- we're only looking for someone who is ready to move in as soon as possible since our apartment is free right now and we will be giving out a month free .Thanks so much and have a nice day. Sandra
To this i replied filling in the questionarre with false information with just my name and phone number being my only honest answers. I then received numerous calls from Rev. and after that the emails became persist, pushy and weird.
The security deposit is $400 and I can see your willingness in our Apartment. I want you to know that i'm satisfied with your profile and also believe l can trust in you because l would not like to experience what l experienced from our last tenant again.I will like to know the exact date you will like to move into the apartment,l want you to know that I can let you stay in our apartment till the period of time you wish to.I want you to know that the rent fee is among the apartment utilities all included, so you can use them anytime but make you take proper care of our property.I will be receiving the payment via Western Union and get back to me with the full address on where to send you the keys and documents.
Accommodation Features................................. ............................ Wood Floor : Heater : Central Heating :Equipped Kitchen : Tv: Cable/Satellite TV: Video/Stereo: Internet : Air Conditioning: Full Kitchen Refrigerator: Garage/Car park pets allowed. Kitchen Features............................ ...........Washing machine:Juice Machine : Iron : Toaster: Oven :Dishwasher : Coffee Maker :Microwave : Refrigerator:Stove:
As soon as the deposit payment has been confirmed by me via Western Union,l will go ahead and commence on how the apartment keys/documents will be delivered to you via DHL courier service on next day delivery and it will be delivered to the address you provided in your application form.Let me hear back from you as soon as possible so that l can go arrange for the delivery of the keys/Documents. Once again l'm giving you this apartment on trust and do not dissapoint me because l dont want our apartment to be destroyed again, if you wish to move in with your own property,I still have one extra room empty so you can easily put our own things that you think you dont need in there.
Here are the contents that will be delivered to you via DHL courier service. 1) Entrance and the rooms Keys2)Paper/Permanent apartment form(Containing your reference details)3)The apartment documented file.4)Payment Receipts.5)Full address and description of the Apartment. Get back to me via email if you will need me to send you the information which you will in sending the deposit payment via Western Union so I can proceed shipment on how to send you the keys and documents. Hope to read from you soon. Thanks and God bless you Sandra
I replied saying i would send money on the 11th of may and that i need the sending information, she sent this back:Thanks very much for your reply and also i can now see your willingness in this rent !!! So as i shall be renting you our apartment as it becomes yours till your due date, please again take care of the apartment so that we might be glad to meet it clean,so i would have the keys and documents send to :-
Brittany Smith23 Concord Ave. Cranston RI 02910
Am sorry you can only send the deposit through Western Union and if you did not have the transfer charges you can deduct it from the money you are sending so you are going to send the security deposit payment of $400 to my husband secretary in Portland Oregon, Below is the information to send the payment through Western Union at any local store Nearest to you,pls make sure that all the informations are correctly spelt.
Receiver's Name: Sherrill Strampher
Address: 21187 NW Galice Lane
City : Portland
As soon as you send the payment from the Western Union, you would be given some informations. You would have to get back to me with following information:
Sender's Address:MTCN# 10 Digits number given to you by Western Union.
Amount sent :
As soon as i confirms the deposit payment through Western Union,i will send the necessary documents and keys of the apartment to you through DHL courier Service and get back to you with the Tracking number in which you would use and track and see that the package's on transit and the arrival time of the documents and the keys. Looking forward to read from you the payment details asap. So let me know once you get this e-mail. Thanks and God Bless you Sandra
I agreed with this and said again that i could only send after the 11th, proceeding that she was adamant about me sending at least half today. and with an email labeled get back to me asap, sent me this:
Good to hear from you,can you send $200 today to secure down the apartment so by next week friday you will pay the balance when you got your pay check. I will be looking forward to hear from you soon.
I replied that i could not send any money until the 11th and that i couldnt get to a western union today even if i tried and finally she agreed to wait. Now my question is: what do i do from here?