Nigerian House Rental Scam

Kelsey is looking for a new apartment.  This was the response to one of the first that she came across on craigslist:

Hi,
I did get your response concerning the AD I posted on craigslist. The house is still available but presently I’m not around.. I did bid for a portion of petroleum land sometimes ago in West Africa and fortunately I won the  bidding so I have to move quickly down to Africa to have my company set up because I will still have to rebid for it in the next 10 years. I came over here with my wife, we both bought the house when we got married. As soon as we settle down here I had a thought of selling the house so I have to look for an agent, after getting one, we got a deal but later my wife advised against that. She said we may not be able to win the bidding next  time, in other to keep our head when we return that we have to keep the house. I reasoned with her and accepted her advise. So I contacted the agent back and requested for my keys and documents. Later we decided to  have the house rent out, we would have give the same agent this job also but the truth of the matter is that the agent would want to handle it professionally and the occupant may not be able to reason along with him later. If you notice, you will discovered that the price we are offering is far below standard price, this is enough for you to know that we are not after the rental fee but the  absolute care for the property. I know there is no  way I can be sure that you are the right person to live in the house because we won’t be able to see physical before sending you the keys and the documents to occupy the space. But I just had a  feeling that anyone who knows what it takes to put the kind of  structure down should know that maintaining a building is mandatory, so if you belief you can take good care of the house and handle it like yours then I will be more than happy to let you rent the house.Please if you are ready now to occupy the house kindly provide the information below for record purpose.

PLEASE TELL US ABOUT YOURSELF
Full Name__________________________________________________ Home Phone (        )________________________
Date of Birth_________________________________
Other Phone (       )___________________
Current Address_______________________________Apt#________ City__________________ State______ Zip________
Reasons for Leaving____________________________Rent $__________Phone (       )____________________________
Are you married____________________________
How many people will be living in the house____________________________
How many people will be living in the house____________________________
Do you have a pet____________________________
Do you have a car____________________________
Occupation____________________________
Move In Date____________________________
How soon can you pay the deposit_____________________

TAKE NOTE: YOU CAN ONLY DRIVE BY AND SEE MY HOUSE FROM THE OUTSIDE AND IF YOU ARE INTERESTED IN RENTING GET THE APPLICATION FORM FILLED OUT AND SEND IT BACK TO ME SO THAT I CAN  SHIP MY KEYS TO YOU FOR YOU BE ABLE TO GO AND LOOK AT THE INSIDE OR MOVE IN IMMEDIATELY. I WOULD HAVE REALLY LOVE TO SHIP THE KEYS TO SOMEONE IN STATE BUT I DON’T HAVE ANYBODY THERE RIGHT NOW AND I DON’T WANT TO MAKE USE OF ANY THIRD PARTY THAT IS WHY AM HANDLING MY PROPERTY MYSELF..

House Address
XXXXXXX
Washington, DC 20003

Monthly Fee ; $800
Security Deposit:$800
Pets Allowed:
Available :Available Now for move in.

So pls get back to me today.
I await your reply ASAP.
Regard and God bless you!!!

Owners Name:
XXXXXXXX

Cell phone:
+234-70233-XXXXX

For a nicer neighborhood in DC, this price – $800 / month for a 2br – looks almost too good to be true.  Of course, it was.  All the stuff screaming “NIGERIAN SCAM” in this email (absentee owner, no third parties, long and unnecessary explanation including the wealth of the owner, and the Nigerian phone number) should have stopped the conversation in its tracks.  However, even the sliver of a chance at such a good deal at a place in DC required a bit of faith.  This part killed it though:

KELSEY: The ad has been flagged for removal on craigslist and I can no longer access it and the photos. Do you know why this is?

NIGERIAN “OWNER:” Hello,
Thanks for the information you just pass to me,Have made the correction of it and it’s that you have interest in my house can you please fill up the application form so we can proceed on how to forwards the keys and document to the address you provided in the application form.

He did not acknowledge why the ad was flagged.  Obvious scam.  When I Googled “nigerian apartment rental scam” plenty of examples came up.  I had no idea they were into this market too, I thought they just liked to go for email spam!  Just look at all the crazy stuff in this blog, especially the comments, as a set of examples.

I just hope that when my job search comes I don’t get scammed by any job search Nigerian hoaxes!

Published by

Preston

Agent of Change, Former of Entropy, Seeker of a Stateless World.

One thought on “Nigerian House Rental Scam”

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>