A prime example of, if it sounds too good to be true, it probably is. There is a laundry list of aliases that I have dug up on this operation from the Reverend Lucas Smith to JOHAN K. V. SVANHOLM but if you really want to identify this con, look at the grammar in the e-mail, it is practically a signature.
"I understand how you feel but i don't have a phonebecause the accident i have the last time affect my hearing so you can only reach my husband or i should told him to call you"
This con starts with them placing an add in a popular search website like Craigslist. Offering a decent apartment for a steal, almost half of the going rate for the area they are in. You contact them and they send you an e-mail featuring the terrible grammar and syntax above, but seem like generally nice people.
The man is out of the country (the story with me was he was on a mission trip) and so he defers to his wife to handle the business she is infirm (told me she lost her hearing in a car accident) They ask reasonable questions and send a form like this:
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.
previous incarnations included questions about religious preferences.
You provide the information and they reply back with your application has been approved and ask you to money gram or western union the money to them at a specified address. But since the 'wife' cannot move around the 'husbands' secretary is there to receive the money and they promise to send you the keys and 'documents' as soon as they get the money, just like wimpy will surely pay you Tuesday for a hamburger today.
the last nail in the coffin to ensure that you are being drawn into this scam is, if you can get a phone number, look for the 403 area code.
I was not the first one to come accross this scam and my internet search revealed an awful lot of message board posts about this scam as far north as Canada, as far South as San Diego and as far east as New York. I found a post on the Bay area Craigslist site and was almost ready to send them $800.00 before I got to scratching my head and did some research.
These guys are big, they do this scam often and that means that they are making money on it. I found out for sure it was a con when I did a Google search on the address, came up with a phone number and spoke to a representative from the apartment building who verified my suspicions.