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  #1  
Old 08-30-2009, 01:57 AM
cmac2012's Avatar
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Sounds Nigerian -- posing as a would-be renter

One of my main clients is a widowed sweetheart who owns four rentals. She asked me to help her advertise a basement apt. and so far, all I've got up is the Craigslist post. I listed her phone number but today I got this response:

Hello,

I come across your house for rent advertised on the internet and i am interested in renting it,please let me know if it is still available.I will be signing one year lease for this unit,and will be willing to offer you 2
months rent plus the security deposit in order to secure this unit prior to our arrival.Could you be kind enough to let me know what the electricity/utility cost would be?as i will really need to have this unit to myself.

You can send me the lease application,to enable be review it ahead of time. i would eventually have it signed physically when i arrive in person.

Please do get back to me in time because i will really appreciate a quick response.
Regards

Dr.Douglas Phillips


I replicated the paragraph breaks and puctuation best I could. No doctor I know of would send such a badly composed e-mail, and not many would want a one bedroom apt, a nice little place, but not in the best neighborhood in Oakland.

I'm going to play this nimrod until he asks me to send him the balance of a check that his secretary accidentally made out for too much, like $2,000 too much.

Aw hell, I'll sucker him into wasting overnight FedEd postage, the punk.
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  #2  
Old 08-30-2009, 07:27 AM
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Did you ever see that prank someone played on a scammer who wanted to buy someone's Macintosh laptop, and ended up paying hundreds of dollars in customs fees (because he declared the full value of the laptop, no one ever does that!) for some cardboard drawings of a laptop? Genius... though he was never heard from again. I sometimes wonder if he got caught for mail fraud or if the scammer hunted him down and killed him or something.
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  #3  
Old 08-30-2009, 10:14 AM
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It may be a scam, it may not. Many imigrants from the middle east come here to be doctors, and you may have one of them securing a place to live before he arrives for a new job.
See how it pans out.
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  #4  
Old 08-30-2009, 10:43 AM
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I like how he tells you what the lease terms and deposit will be.

Tell him you are going to need copies of all identification documents and 3 personal references. Fingerprints and criminal background check will be required for any non-US citizen. Afterall, she doesn't want someone living in the place, going to flight school and then crashing into buildings, right?
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  #5  
Old 08-30-2009, 02:13 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Wodnek View Post
It may be a scam, it may not. Many imigrants from the middle east come here to be doctors, and you may have one of them securing a place to live before he arrives for a new job.
See how it pans out.
Good points, you never know but then I read it again and the name "Douglas Phillips" sure sounds like an English speaking name.

I'll be patient. If he sends a real check backed by funds, God bless him. But no way am I going to keep it off the market til he comes through though.
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  #6  
Old 08-30-2009, 02:16 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ara T. View Post
Did you ever see that prank someone played on a scammer who wanted to buy someone's Macintosh laptop, and ended up paying hundreds of dollars in customs fees (because he declared the full value of the laptop, no one ever does that!) for some cardboard drawings of a laptop? Genius... though he was never heard from again. I sometimes wonder if he got caught for mail fraud or if the scammer hunted him down and killed him or something.
I remember seeing that one on the telly I think. He'd a been a fool to have any physical address listed to him that could be traced back. Not sure how easy it is to get someones street address from a hard wire web connection. One good reason to go 3G, as I am now.
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  #7  
Old 08-30-2009, 03:04 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cmac2012 View Post
I remember seeing that one on the telly I think. He'd a been a fool to have any physical address listed to him that could be traced back. Not sure how easy it is to get someones street address from a hard wire web connection. One good reason to go 3G, as I am now.
Why would it be harder to track you down with a wireless connection?
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  #8  
Old 08-31-2009, 12:48 AM
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That sounds like classic scam. I wouldn't waste your time on it. When I listed a place a few months ago I got 4 of those, all slightly different. Just listed a place and was surprised I didn't get any this time. I would not send the lease. He will soon want your bank info.
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  #9  
Old 08-31-2009, 01:30 AM
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No way he would get anything of value from me. It's definitely a scam. I was 99% of the way there and then I got another e-mail, part of it follows:

Thanks for your mail ,Yes i appreciate your wanting to help me inoursituation. I am a chemist by profession and i am currently working with NORTHWICK PARK & ST.MARK'S HOSPITAL,17 WATFORDROAD,HARROW,MIDDLESEX,LONDON. I will be in the states for the next oneyear and during my stay i will be working with the UnitedStatesEnvironmental Protection Agency on a private research work. We have a financier that is based in the states and he will be handling the rent deposit payment on our behalf,we will instruct him to send you the check for this as soon as you give us the go ahead to make payment to you.

Due to the limited time that we have before my arrival, i will be making and arrangements with a furniture company to supply the home with furniture, so we will need you to provide us with the measurementsof the living room and bedroom so that i can send it to the furniture company so that they can supply the unit with furniture that will fit in well. As regards the lease agreement, i want you to send it to me for my review,i will eventually have it filled and signed on my arrival in your place as i am of the opinion that such documents are best filled and signed physically.


I did a search for the hospital in England he spoke of and got several sites talking about similar scams. The hospital is real, but something in his combination of name and address only brought up this:

http://search.yahoo.com/search?p=NORTHWICK+PARK+%26+ST.MARK%27S+HOSPITAL%2C17+WATFORDROAD%2CHARROW%2CMIDDLESEX%2CLONDON&fr=yfp-t-501&toggle=1&cop=mss&ei=UTF-8

I was going to play the guy but the fun of that is wearing off. Just be a waste of time. Then again, I bet it's getting harder and harder for these guys to score with this dogeared routine, and I could imagine them getting excited when they think they've found a live one.

Oopsie, did I pull the rug out from under you? My bad.
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  #10  
Old 08-31-2009, 01:43 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Matt L View Post
Why would it be harder to track you down with a wireless connection?
Dunno. Just think it would be pretty hard for some fool from Nigeria who can't afford to come here anyway to do so. My actual address is not on any of my legal forms or contracts. I use a UPS store mail drop.

I don't really know how one traces either a land line or a wireless. I imagine the law can do it but they have substantial resources.
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  #11  
Old 08-31-2009, 02:43 AM
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Someone else here came up with the following e-mail response that I liked particularly. You can search for the original:

From: "FEDERAL BUREAU INVESTIGATION ANTI FRAUD DEPARTMENT"
Date: SAT, 13 June 2009 09:41:11 -
Subject: ANTI FRAUD DEPARTMENT UNITED STATE TREASURY.

ATTENTION:

THIS IS THE FEDERAL BUREAU INVESTIGATION / ANTI FRAUD DEPARTMENT UNITED STATE TREASURY.

DUE TO YOUR FRAUDULENT EMAIL SENT TO OUR UNDERCOVER INVESTIGATORS WE HAVE TRACED YOUR COMPUTER TO YOUR EXACT ADDRESS. HAND YOUR SELF OVER TO THE NEAREST LAW ENFORCEMENT OFFICE AS AN INTERNATIONAL WARRANT HAS BEEN SERVED FOR YOUR ARREST.

THE CONSEQUENCES OF NOT COOPERATING WITH OUR DEMANDS IS YOUR INFORMATION WILL BE TRANSFERRED TO OUR INTERNATIONAL SECRET POLICE, RESULTING IN YOUR ARREST, INJURY, AND POSSIBLE DEATH IF YOU RESIST. YOU WILL ALSO BE INCARCERATED FOR AN INDEFINITE PERIOD IN AN INTERNATIONAL PRISON WITHOUT TRIAL. YOUR HOME COUNTRY IS VERY COOPERATIVE WITH OUR AGENCY AND WILL NOT PROTECT YOU. THIS IS YOUR ONLY WARNING.

DIRECTOR
ANTI FRAUD DEPARTMENT.
UNITED STATE TREASURY
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1998 C230 330,000 miles (currently dead of second failed EIS, yours will fail too, turning you into the dealer's personal human cash machine)
1988 F150 144,000 miles (leaks all the colors of the rainbow)
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  #12  
Old 08-31-2009, 08:07 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cmac2012 View Post
the name "Douglas Phillips" sure sounds like an English speaking name.
Isn't that called "profiling"?
Do you think the scammer doing this might know the name sounds like a "english" name and used it for that reason?
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  #13  
Old 08-31-2009, 11:24 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MTUpower View Post
Isn't that called "profiling"?
Do you think the scammer doing this might know the name sounds like a "english" name and used it for that reason?
Oh dear, profiling. Get real. I'm using my common sense to put two and two together. The guy's English is way rough, no way is he a native English speaker and that name does not sound middle eastern or African in any way, shape, or form.

Of course he's using the name to try to slide by. The dumbass would have been much better off using a middle eastern sounding name and saying he was from Morocco or Egypt.

When I pull the plug on him, I'm going to point out that he'll never have the requisite English skills to pull this off w/o spending 5 years, at least, in the US or Britain, and if he could pull that off, he'd have better options for honest work.

I'm going to go all preacher on his ass and tell him how he's damaging the honor of his family and his nation.

I'm sure it will have an enormous impact.
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  #14  
Old 08-31-2009, 11:27 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mpolli View Post
Someone else here came up with the following e-mail response that I liked particularly. You can search for the original:

From: "FEDERAL BUREAU INVESTIGATION ANTI FRAUD DEPARTMENT"
Date: SAT, 13 June 2009 09:41:11 -
Subject: ANTI FRAUD DEPARTMENT UNITED STATE TREASURY.

ATTENTION:

THIS IS THE FEDERAL BUREAU INVESTIGATION / ANTI FRAUD DEPARTMENT UNITED STATE TREASURY.

DUE TO YOUR FRAUDULENT EMAIL SENT TO OUR UNDERCOVER INVESTIGATORS WE HAVE TRACED YOUR COMPUTER TO YOUR EXACT ADDRESS. HAND YOUR SELF OVER TO THE NEAREST LAW ENFORCEMENT OFFICE AS AN INTERNATIONAL WARRANT HAS BEEN SERVED FOR YOUR ARREST.

THE CONSEQUENCES OF NOT COOPERATING WITH OUR DEMANDS IS YOUR INFORMATION WILL BE TRANSFERRED TO OUR INTERNATIONAL SECRET POLICE, RESULTING IN YOUR ARREST, INJURY, AND POSSIBLE DEATH IF YOU RESIST. YOU WILL ALSO BE INCARCERATED FOR AN INDEFINITE PERIOD IN AN INTERNATIONAL PRISON WITHOUT TRIAL. YOUR HOME COUNTRY IS VERY COOPERATIVE WITH OUR AGENCY AND WILL NOT PROTECT YOU. THIS IS YOUR ONLY WARNING.

DIRECTOR
ANTI FRAUD DEPARTMENT.
UNITED STATE TREASURY
I like it. If I could come up with an e-mail address that was believable, I might send that myself. OTOH, most all these characters use various internet cafes and arresting the right guy by going to one of those places would be difficult, and they know it.
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  #15  
Old 08-31-2009, 12:04 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cmac2012 View Post
Oh dear, profiling. Get real. I'm using my common sense to put two and two together. The guy's English is way rough, no way is he a native English speaker and that name does not sound middle eastern or African in any way, shape, or form.

Of course he's using the name to try to slide by. The dumbass would have been much better off using a middle eastern sounding name and saying he was from Morocco or Egypt.

When I pull the plug on him, I'm going to point out that he'll never have the requisite English skills to pull this off w/o spending 5 years, at least, in the US or Britain, and if he could pull that off, he'd have better options for honest work.

I'm going to go all preacher on his ass and tell him how he's damaging the honor of his family and his nation.

I'm sure it will have an enormous impact.

But how do you know his family and his nationality? Sure obviously a scam, this letter doesn't necessarily originated from Nigeria.
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