ED Magedson – Founder
Ronald Lindo, Select State/Province USA
Rental Property Scam Watch out for this scam for rental/condo property Chicago IL
Beware this scam!
I used padmapper.com (which collects rental properties from Craigslist and maps them) to search for my next apartment. I found what appeared to be the perfect, but too good to be true unit in downtown Chicago. I contacted the owner of the condo, Ronald Lindo, who sent the following message:
"The apartment located in 1600 South Prairie Avenue, Chicago, IL, 60616 is still available. As you can see from the pictures is in excellent condition, very clean and very well kept. Is the first time I'm renting this apartment and I'm trying to find a responsible tenant to take good care of the place. The apartment has 2 bedrooms and 2 bathrooms. You can use my furniture if you want and everything from the apartment otherwise you can deposit it in the storage unit that is near the building not far away. Of course I will cover the costs for movers. The apartment rent is 1220CAD/month with everything included-all the utilites (heat, hydro, water, electricy, 2 parking spots, laundry in-suite, washer and dryer also included, cable and internet- full package paid for 1 year in advance). You also have full access to all the building amenities (sauna, pool, fitness room, gym, party room, restaurants, visitor parking). Everything in the apartment is new or renovated so there is no need for repairs but just in case I will cover the costs. "
He went on to say that he was a middle aged man with two kids that traveled a lot as a part of his job with MWH Global Engineering. He mentioned that the apartment would be available for at least the next six years. Given the red flags (super cheap rent in downtown Chicago, large apartment, six years) my boyfriend and I decided to proceed with extreme caution.
We stopped by the building and asked the front desk if anyone named Ronald Lindo owned a unit in the building (this is public information). The door staff explained that they had no record of a Ronald Lindo. We also searched LinkedIn, Google, and his employer's site for a record of the owner. We came up with nothing.
At this point, we knew something was very wrong, so we decided to play along to get an idea of the scheme. We wrote Ronald explaining that we needed more information about how this would work. He responded:
"The monthly payments can be wired to my Bank Account (TD Bank) or we can setup a payment method that is suitable for both of us. The apartment is in excellent condition, you only need to receive the keys and the contract so you can check the place. The apartment is perfect and I am 100% sure that you will keep it. Since I'm in London, United Kingdom obviously we need a safe way to complete this deal. The solution which can be used is to use a wolrdwide third party company called RentReporters (www.rentreporters.com), They will provide assistance in handling the payment and delivery of the rental package. With their RentReporters Safe Exchange service you will be able to check the apartment before I receive the payment."
After looking up the company "RentReporters" we saw other rip off reports. Then we knew for sure it was a big scam. My boyfriend sent Ronald one last email asking not to be contacted again. We then received what must have been an automated response - as it had nothing to do with our message. Ronald wrote:
"You only have to deposit to RentReporters company the first and last month of rent from contract total of 2440USD so they can proceed with the shipping, and you can receive the rental package (the keys and the documents). I will pay for a 3-4days delivery time so you will receive the keys and the contract signed by me right away. I will explain you step by step how this process will work:
- To start the process all I need is your full shipping info (full name, address and your phone number).
- I will go to the RentReporters Safe Exchange office to deposit the keys and the contract on your name as the intended receiver.
- RentReporters Safe Exchange will check the package to see if everything is in order and also the legal papers that will come along with the keys and proof of ownership with their Real Estate Professional Department in London. They will also confirm with the building manager that I'm the legal owner of the apartment I'm renting to you.
- RentReporters Safe Exchange will send you a delivery notification to let you know they have the keys and the papers in their custody. They will also send you all the payment instructions to complete the rental transaction
- You must send a money deposit on the RentReporters Safe Exchange Agent Name for the amount we agreed (for the first month of rent & damage deposit). The payment needs to be sent within 24 hours after you receive the transaction details or else they will charge me an additional fee.
- After you make the deposit you must send the payment details to RentReporters Safe Exchange.
- RentReporters Safe Exchange will verify the money transfer and if everything is in order they will start the shipping procedures using UPS or TNT Next Day Shipping Service
- After you receive the package, you must go to check the apartment and in 5 days (inspection time) you must contact RentReporters Safe Exchange to inform them if you keep the apt or not. If everything is in order RentReporters will forward the funds to me. If you don`t want to keep the apartment you will receive a full refund in the final inspection time in cash from the agent who will come to your place to sign the rental contract.Please note that RentReporters Safe Exchange will not release the funds to me without your approval.
Let me know if you have the funds available (2440USD) so we can move forward and e-mail me your details (full name, address, phone #). For any questions regarding the transaction you can contact me or send me your phone number and I will call you."
This report was posted on Ripoff Report on 08/12/2013 01:46 PM and is a permanent record located here: http://www.ripoffreport.com/reports/ronald-lindo/select-stateprovince/rental-property-scam-watch-out-for-this-scam-for-rentalcondo-property-chicago-il-1075150. The posting time indicated is Arizona local time. Arizona does not observe daylight savings so the post time may be Mountain or Pacific depending on the time of year.
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