Saturday, November 22, 2008

You might well ask...

By the time people ask me the same question more than once, I start thinking that I might want to answer them in the blog so that everyone gets the same information. C-J sent me these questions in an email the other day and it made sense (to me anyway) to answer them here.I am thinking about renting an apartment in Melbourne and I googled the mail addresses I’ve been keeping contact with. I

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

What we're up against...

Quite often a poster will express the opinion that the person behind whatever rent scam they notifying us about should be stopped. There's no argument on that point but it isn't that easy.I've said before that I think that Ruedeseine at has a good rent scam blog and I want to share a couple of links to articles that are posted there just as something

Saturday, November 15, 2008

The things ya see...

Wandering around is seldom boring ~DKK3000 / 2br - GLOOMING TWO BEDROOMS APARTMENT IS AVAILABLE FOR RENT. (COPENHAGEN) - Doesn't that seem like it should come with its own personal ghost story? Glooming ~ sounds like something MacBeth would come riding out of...** WERE SORRY SMOKING ALLOWED * - I'm sorry smoking is allowed too ~ I'm having a hard enough time staying off the evil weed. *sigh*well

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Let's keep the 'real' in realty...

While being involved in life, I hadn't been watching the ads for a couple of weeks ~ well, not terribly closely anyway. (For those who have suggested I get a life, I have one ~ what I don't have is a television which leaves me *lots* of time to noodle about.)Anyway, I noticed a whole series of ads in Amsterdam that contained this phrasing (with variables in the leasing amount):LEGAL contract by

Thursday, September 25, 2008

While you're passing through....

Thanks (I think) to Chris Walters at for posting a link to my blog with his entry at had been a quiet blog day until his posting and then... (Or as kapow! as it's been for the site. :D) I had gone out to pick up a couple of great pizzas, had a nice dinner with roomie and then stopped by to look at the statistics

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

As easy as ABC...

Boy, you just have to hand it to our bizzy scammers... Even when they are all tired out they are so willing to be obliging. They'll rent to you if you have pets, if you have large families, if you answer their ad, if you can breathe, if you're a Martian ~ and they'll even make it so smoooooooth and simple for them to get their sticky fingers into your pocket. Hardly any effort at all on your part

Thursday, September 18, 2008

WebsitesDotcom are not always your friend

So there I was with my morning cup of tea and I decided to wander around the Craigslist rentals while waiting for it to cool a bit and to stir my barely awake brain cells to life. Some people do crossword puzzles ~ I look for ad anomalies.I started with Australia since it has a very small ad section and because I figger 95+% of the ads there are complete fiction. (Read them long enough and just

Monday, September 15, 2008

Stolen lives

Early in the month, I received this email:Sent: September 3, 2008 8:06:58 AMDear Ms - whatsyourname..Found Your website and wanted to let You know that some one is using my name and private address in their "appartmentscam" dealings. How do I send message to all the webmaster to ban whoever is doing this ?? Regards and best wishes. Johan K. V. Svanholm, N3RF, Chm SVANHOLM RESEARCH LABORATORIES

Thursday, September 11, 2008

I can't resist...

This comment was attached to my previous post and, though I thought of just answering it with another comment, I feel it deserves a bit wider response.The comment was:I forgot to add that its very reliable here in San Francisco - a few scams, but it's more trustworthy than some of our slumlord rental agencies like Citi Apartments and Skyline Realty. Seems like this "scam" angle is a lot of hype,

Come on in....

This time there actually has been a head's up that there might be a few more of you than usual popping by today ~ well, those of you who read the The Province anyway. So come on in ~ you've been expected.I'll make this relatively short, ok? I tend to be pedantic enough as it is without encouraging me to be more so. :)This blog is *not* the definitive blog on rental scams abounding on the

Tuesday, September 9, 2008

If I had known you were coming....

If I had known so many of you would be showing up today I would have baked some cookies and made tea to welcome you all. I'm good at it ~ cookie making that is. My roommate, his dog and my hips will testify to that!I mentioned in an earlier post that my daily 'hits' are modest at the best ~ mebbe 50-70 a day on average. Lately it's kinda boosted up to 80 with the odd surge when someone posts

Sunday, September 7, 2008

Will the real whatever please stand up?

M'friend, Intrepid Renter, sent me this today and there's just something about it that is so..... shareable.This is the ad ~ slick, eh?$1300 / 3br - SINGLE FAMILY HOUSE FOR RENT (edmonton )Reply to: Date: 2008-09-06, 2:19PM MDTWhy rent with us? When you rent from a typical landlord, you’ll get lots of attention from them – right up until you sign the lease & hand over your

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Ahhh... A breath of fresh air...

Succinct ~ now that's not something that we get from our industrious 'Fawbush' scammers as a rule, is it? Here's an example of brevity we seldom get from the little bots.From: David K. Fawbush carlsboom01@yahoo.comSubject: details APT. InquiryTo: c***@yahoo.comDate: Tuesday, August 26, 2008, 6:29 AMThank you for taking your time in responding to my AD. the room is still available, well right now

Thursday, August 21, 2008

Did you know.....?

People sometimes ask me how I know an ad is bogus other than having it reported or by emailing the 'landlords'. Trust me, after reading a few thousand, it's not all that hard to figure out but sometimes it's so darned obvious. These are not hysterically funny but I get a good giggle now and again.Feel free to add any sure fire clues you find.Meanwhile, did you know:That Toronto is in Adelaide,

Into the Western Union/Moneygram black hole we go!

Receiver's Name: ERIC MURPHY Address : 32/45 PANSEKE ROAD. City : EBUTE METTA State : Lagos Country : Nigeria Zip code : 23401 TEXT QUESTION : WHO IS THE GREATEST?? ANSWER : ALMIGHTY GOD +2348022961927RECEIVER'S NAME: ERIC MURPHY ADDRESS : 360 VICTORY CHURCH STREET, LAGOS, NIGERIA 23401. TEXT QUESTION :FAVOURITE COLOUR ? ANSWER : BLUEReceiver's Name: Abraham Peter Address: #606 Walter

A little much, don'tcha think?

Someone forwarded me a scammail today and this was the first paragraph. Nothing personal to those who hold their spiritual beliefs near and dear, but anyone who comes at me this hard and heavy would find me backing out the nearest exit....Hello cheri ,I want you to know that am so happy and excited once again for promise to take very good care of my apartment my Almighty God continue to shower

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

For sure this ain't Kansas!

In traipsing around the 'net I run into lots and lots of sites and blogposts about scams and scammers, learnings things that I might overlook or otherwise not come across under ordinary circumstances.One I found a few nights ago is which I thought was quite organized and it's obvious the owner has been putting some thought into what s/he posts so I

Monday, August 18, 2008

For this you get that....

Answering this: Spacious One Bedroom Apartment (Paris)" Entirely renovated and refurbished in 2007, the apartment offers a cosy environment, bright and sunny and peacefully quiet,furnished with good taste in a modern style.A dining corner with a table for 3, and a partial wall separating the living room itself from the kitchen,fully equipped with all necessities including a dishwasher.The double

Saturday, August 2, 2008

Lies, damned lies and....

People are good at sending me copies of the emails they receive (and I manage to accumulate enough of my own) so I am quite used to the torrent of 'God' that comes out of them. Since I have a dim view of those who espouse a spiritual philosophy they have no intention of incorporating into their life practices, it may be safe to say that I find it more irritating than a comforting panacea to any

Friday, August 1, 2008

Ohhhh... Is that what the pest looks like?

I know that many of you have been doing searches on the Brunner/Tzonson clan who already are listed (lord, but the scammers using those names are a hyperactive bunch ~ they're everywhere!)M wrote to me this morning saying:I was searching for a flat in london, on, and I was ready to pay the deposit when the guy told me about western union, then I searched on the internet and found your

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

What you say...

I get an email of the comments people leave on the blog and I received this one today that I thought was such a good piece of quick thinking and paying attention to instincts that I'm putting it up exactly as I got it.Stand up and take a bow, dude!He was writing about klmfriends22@yahoo.comToday I was in Western union about to send the first condo payment to Nigeria when it didn't feel right...

Tuesday, June 3, 2008

Putting out the garbage...

This post really has nothing to do with rental scams ~ it's only that I have been rummaging through my mailboxes and cleaning out the trash.Are you like me and hate getting electronic crap mail as much as junk mail in your letterbox? I have some control over the paper mail delivered to us having placed a sticker on the mail box advising the carrier that they are not to leave 'general' junk mail.

Monday, May 19, 2008

Passing out kudos....

I think I've mentioned more than once that I have reason to be grateful for people who contribute/assist with gathering information for this site.There is one very special person, whom I call Intrepid Renter (remember Thor?), who has been an outstanding help to this blog for the last few months while I dealt with surgery, post-surgery and radiation treatments that left my brain cells tightly


If there's one thing that I've perfected as a skill, it's procrastination.Well, not all the time but it seems to be that way when it comes to writing ~ I had the same terrible habit when I was in university, often skinning my assignments in just in the nick of time to meet the deadlines. I had meant to make this post earlier this week but I shall have to succumb to the old saying, 'Better late

Monday, April 21, 2008

Some landlords are sooooo accommodating...

Ever since we crawled out of the ooze and figgered out the purpose of opposable thumbs, humans have cozied up to other critters on the planet either as a source of food and clothing, work or companionship ~ and the pet contingent tends to take their chosen species seriously.Nowadays it's hard to find a landlord who understands the human need for unrequited love provided by those creatures we

Thursday, April 3, 2008

Laugh? I thought I'd die...

My roommate came downstairs late the other evening in search of a glass of milk and found me face down on my desk just howling with laughter, tears running down my face, incapable of coherent speech ~ the works!You see, I do try to educate myself about internet scams and that means looking at it from all angles so I find myself reading through blogs, websites, tons of ads, forums.... You get the

Friday, March 14, 2008

Oh, the places you can go!

You'll remember this picture from one of my previous posts (well, if you looked that far back you would...).It's back!!I've been generally just muddling around on the internet lately kinda poking hither and yon into things that interest me, including the world of cons and scams (there's lots of fascinating stuff out there but that's another story).And then I decided to wander back to the postings

Friday, February 29, 2008

They will suck you drier than the Sahara

In a world where difficulties beset so many people in third world countries, it's no surprise that those who have no conscience whatsoever will stoop to whatever it takes to slither into your sympathies and suck you dry.I have no room in my compassion box for those who would so callously use the misfortune of others for their own gain nor for those who use legitimate agencies to hide behind (I'm

Thursday, February 28, 2008

Whoa! Just a minute there!

This was forwarded to me as part of an email response and supposedly is an application form. Aside from some of the questions being illegal (read your provincial Residential Tenancy Act), there are some questions which go beyond acceptable bounds in a world where identity theft is becoming far too common.Do you know which ones I mean? (I'll help you out by highlighting the worst one...)Hello,

Monday, February 18, 2008

Let's revisit Why I Do This

Last night I was talking on the phone to a young fella who had sent my roommate a resume for a job he had advertised. He was relocating from Ontario to BC and had saved just enough to pay for a month as he was confident he would find employment in the construction trades here (and he would be right on that ~ there's TONS of work for those who know which end of the hammer to grab).I didn't ask him

Saturday, February 16, 2008

Part deux of Extra! Extra! (Remember the fence...)

First I'd like to take a moment here to thank the people who have shared a lot of information - names, copies of emails, information on communities, etc... Give 'em a mental round of applause too, if you don't mind - they are speaking out.And then there is a very small group who have individually gone beyond anything they needed to do. They are inventive (and sometimes awfully funny) in pursuing

Extra! Extra! Read all about the Orange County invasion!

Yesterday while I was wandering around Craigslist, I first tripped across this ad in the Calgary section. When I looked at it, it fairly screamed 'ripped off from real estate ad' to me (c'mon - I bet you can see it...) so I looked it over a little closer.I've been a renter for ooooooh... mmmm... decades and I can honestly tell you that the only time the roofing materials counted were if they

Tuesday, February 12, 2008

Get out the hankies....

This one, posted at Craigslist by an anonymous poster responding to an ad I questioned the veracity of, just tugged at my heartstrings... *sob*I thought I would *wail* share it with you ~ it's a real tearjerker so get out the hankies first, eh?My name is Sandy Hart the owner of the apartment, My father is the owner of a juice company called ladu juice in west Africa, my mother left i am my father

Monday, February 11, 2008

I'm packing my bags...

I live on the west coast of Canada and I don't think that it's a national secret that the cost of housing is rather painful here - trust me on that one. To live in the main core of the city can be pretty debilitating to one's income and the 'burbs where I rent are reasonable but I can see where the cost is beginning to climb.Living in a city where housing is expensive is hard on those with

Sunday, February 10, 2008

There is some eye candy in housing ads

I guess if you chase them around long enough even they are bound to notice. For the last few weeks I have been following one particular ad around from city to city, hoisting it up in view every time it was posted and pointing it out for the scam it is.It's not like it's been particularly hard to find because, though they kept changing the email address attached, it was always the same pictures

Thursday, February 7, 2008

Coming attractions

(As fast as I have time to research and write 'em)There will be other posts added, if you're interested - I don't have firm dates for them yet.Perils and Pitfalls of scam ads with fake websitesJust what are Nigerian scams?Nigerian scams: Response to poverty?Who yah gonna call?If you want to suggest a topic or have one you want to submit, lemme know...Meanwhile, the lists are updated as people

Saturday, February 2, 2008

In case anybody wonders...

I have absolutely no axe to grind with Craigslist - I've been a fan of the site for some years and have watched it evolve into something quite..... uhhh... gigantic. It is because I am a fan of theirs that I use their site for the bulk of the material I use here. It helps, too, that their layout makes it easier for me to look at and review what's being posted. :)A month or so ago, I emailed

Sunday, January 27, 2008

Craigslist Rental Scammails Q - Z

And here is the last round as it stands today (whatever day that is cuz it's updated constantly)... (It's a peculiar hobby but it bemuses me. *g*)Probably could use a whole post just for the Rev.'s alone. :) Though, honestly, any email I see on a housing ad that has Rev. in it anywhere is now automatically suspect with me.Scammail Addresses Q - Z:Q** R

Craigslist Rental Scammails J - P

Just as an aside, I have no delusions that publishing this list of names will expose much of anything and certainly won't stem the flood of faked names they use for their emails. But I am rather hoping that it encourages people to think, be aware of scammers and to question practices they think are dubious.Scammail Addresses J -***

Craigslist Rental Scammails A - I

The list I was keeping was getting too long so I finally broke down and divvied it up over three entries ~ help yourself. :) I do my best to alphabetize accurately but make appropriately human errors at times. Most of the names have been submitted by contributors ~ some I have found on other warning sites/blogs and others that I have found for myself by emailing them or tracking some globally.

Friday, January 25, 2008

What do I have against Western Union?

Well.... Nothing actually. They essentially do what they are supposed to - they move money from here to there. The fact that they take no responsibility in any of the end results is no real surprise but I doubt if there is anywhere where they promise to hold your hand and help you sidestep those big nasty scammers - I suspect they figure that you've done your homework.Which is about the size of

A refreshing change...

Contributer Andi T. sent in these emails he received in November which is somewhat of a refreshing change from crusading in West Africa - part of the changing panorama of cajolery used to separate folks from their hard earned cash.I think you will appreciate the various subtle pushes used to pressure Andi into getting with the program and shelling out the bucks.Email #1:Hellothanks for the mail

Thursday, January 24, 2008

It's kinda like pulling teeth...

In regards to the post about Western Union, this exchange one of my 'secret agents' received serves as a good example of their push to have you wire them the money.$800 / 3br - Unfurnished BRIGHT Open three bedroom ApartmentReply to: hous-549973801@craigslist.orgDate: 2008-01-24, 9:15AM MSTUnfurnished BRIGHT Open three bedroom Apartment - All utilities included in price (electricity, heat, cable

Today's fine example...

... comes from Chris F. who is one of the people who have been generous in their contributions. I especially liked this one because this ad was just close enough to my 'gee, I don't know' line even though it didn't feel right and I was waffling about whether or not he was an actual scammer. Bingo! Thenk yew for the good work, Chris!Anyway, Chris was looking at : $1100 / 3br - Beautiful 4 Bed

It was in my mailbox when I got home...

So okay, cute eye-catching titles aren't my forte... The line up for volunteer writers forms at the right. :)I thought I would start posting copies of letters they use in response to rental inquiries - kind of a reference library, eh?This is the ad I'll start off with:$1000 lovely apartmentReply to: hous-540480360@craigslist.orgDate: 2008-01-15, 7:05PM MST3 large bedrooms - Plus 1 Big Living Room

Wednesday, January 23, 2008

It's a matter of taste...

I can't resist adding this picture (and my apologies to the original photographer who I would cheerfully acknowledge if I knew where the photo was from). This was one of a series of pictures one scamlord sent to illustrate the '$900 / 3br - Spancious Three Bedrooms Flat For Rent' that I had sent an inquiry about.(I don't always trust my judgement about picking out scam ads, ya know... I really do

Things to remember...

This is not an exhaustive list - it's things I thought of but I know there's probably more and, if you send it to me and it makes sense, I will be very glad to add it.

The following is mostly common sense but it helps as a reminder that sometimes it's easy to overlook the little things:


1. If it sounds too good to be true, it probably is.

2. Know your market.

3. DO NOT wire rent or

Questionable Rental Sites

It's not just the scam mailers you need to look out for - it's not that hard to throw up a 'webpage' (esp. if people don't look at it too closely) or even to get into the 'bottom feeding' business. It pays to really look...Highly questionable ‘businesses’: ( On August 17, 2008, this was posted on Paris Craigslist (

Tuesday, January 22, 2008

Scammers In Your Neighbourhood (Names from Cdn. Craigslist and other sources)

The names in this post are those from emails they have sent, scam notices people have posted on Craigslist or elsewhere, etc... . I got bemused one evening while sorting through emails people had forwarded to me or ones I'd 'harvested' myself and started sorting out who is where (according to whatever story they were using) and with whom ~ setting up the scorecards as it were.Please feel free to

Hullo again...

Either you're still with me or you've just come in but hiya anyway...Last post I left off musing that something kinda oughta be done about the rental scams in the Canadian section of Craigslist.Lest anyone wonder, I have absolutely no delusions that this kinda smoke and mirrors stuff is confined to just that venue. Where there has been a way to skin someone outta something of value, someone has

Monday, January 21, 2008

So how come...

I named this blog the way I did?Well, mostly because I was tired of having certain posts flagged at Craigslist and then having to be overly creative in rewriting them to repost them. (Craigslist apparently does a kind of scan and compare of content to see if you're posting multiples of the same posts so you have to rewrite and reconfigure each post to elude that little detective).Have I been
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