Thursday, June 2, 2011

The real 419 story

*long post but most of the paragraphs in color you can skim*

Ok so I am in the middle of moving to the dc area *excited* so I was looking for a decent, SAFE, cheap place to live. Despite what I have heard that decent places start at $1000+ in the dc area, my lovely budget was $700 a month. Now some people call me a cheap skate cos I could easily afford $1000 and up but why would I do that when I can get the same bang for my buck at $700 right. So ofcourse the go to place for cheap skates like me: CRAIGSLIST. Now since the whole craigslist killer thing, I have been apprehensive of getting anything or anyone of craigslist. But to get $700 in dc, i figured that was the way to go. I also found a mover for $15/hr.....GENIUS. Anyway back to the rent. So I saw a few $1000 plus places on there but then I saw a string of $700 postings that were really catching my eye, about 3 of them. From the description, it was to die for but the only thing was that they didnt put up pictures. so i emailed all of them and I gave them my list of things and asked if the apartment and apartment complex had those. Then I asked if I could come see the place. Here are the emails I got from the 3 "different" people:

Email 1:

Thanks for your email and it is my gladness hearing from you. I am Reverend James Alfredo, the owner of the apartment you are making inquiry about. Actually I resided in the apartment with my family, such as my wife and my only daughter before and presently we had packed due to my transfer from my working place and now situated in Beijing,China. and presently my apartment is still available for rent for $660 per month including the utilities like hydro, washer and security,it is fully furnished.


        More so Now, I went for a Crusade in Beijing,China.and I will like you to get in touch with my wife for more discussion as she is with the keys and the document to the house. Please i want you to note that, I am a kind and honest man and also i spent a lot on my property that i want to give you for rent,so i will solicit for your absolute maintenance of this apartment and want you to treat it as your own,is that taken,it is not the money the main problem but we want you to keep it tidy all the time so that i will be glad to see it neat when i came for a check up.i do that once in a while.I also want you to let me have trust in you as i always stand on my word.Where are you located and where do you see our advert also let us know if you need more pictures.




Email my wife  Elizabeth on (*i took out the email addy*@gmail.com) and she will attend to you better with more information and pictures.


Thanks and you are welcome.
Rev. James Alfredo.

Email 2: 

Thanks for your email and it is my gladness hearing from you. I am Reverend James Lens, the owner of the apartment you are making inquiry about. Actually I resided in the apartment with my family, such as my wife and my only daughter before and presently we had packed due to my transfer from my working place and now situated in Beijing in China and presently my apartment is still available for rent for  per month is $700 including the utilities like hydro, washer and security,it is fully furnished.

More so Now, I went for a Crusade in Beijing in China and I will like you to get in touch with my wife for more discussion as she is with the keys and the document to the house. Please i want you to note that, I am a kind and honest man and also i spent a lot on my property that i want to give you for rent,so i will solicit for your absolute maintenance of this apartment and want you to treat it as your own,is that taken,it is not the money the main problem but we want you to keep it tidy all the time so that i will be glad to see it neat when i came for a check up.i do that once in a while.I also want you to let me have trust in you as i always stand on my word.Where are you located and where do you see our advert also let us know if you need more pictures.




Email my wife Jennifer on (*i took out the email addy*@gmail.com ) and she will attend to you better with more information and pictures.



Thanks and you are welcome.

Rev James Lens


Email 3:

Hello,


    Thanks for your email and it is my gladness to hearing from you . My name is Rev Roland Rohr the owner of the Condo you are making inquiry of....Actually I reside in the Condo with my family,such as my wife and my only daughter before and presently we had packed due to my transfer from my working place and and presently my Condo is still available for rent including the utilities like hydro/heat dry washer and security and bills, everything in the Condo is fully furnished.More so Now,I went for a crusade in Western Region of Africa and i will like you to get in touch with my wife in London United Kingdom for more information regarding the Condo as She is with the keys and the document to the Condo Pls i want you to note that,I am a kind and honest man and also i spent alot on my property that i want to give you for rent,so i will solicit for your absolute maintenance of this Condo and want you to treat it as your own, money is not  the main problem but want you to keep it tidy all the time so that i will be glad to see it neat when i come for a check up.i do that once in awhile.I also want you to let me have trust in you as I always stand on my word.


Condo Address :*i took out some of the address* Arlington, VA 22204


Please Kindly  email my wife Emily, (*i took out the email addy*@gmail.com) and she will attends to you better on how to proceed.
Thanks and God bless you
Reverend Roland Rohr 

Knowing that something was up at this point, I still proceeded to email the wives and only 2 got back to me and this were their replies:

Wife of email 2: 

Hi ,


My husband and I owners of the Apartment . It was due to my husband transfer that makes us to leave the Apartment and also want to give it out for rent a looking for a responsible person that can take very good care of it as we are not after the money for the rent but want it to be clean at the time and the person that will rent it to take it as if it were its own. So for now, Am here in Beijing in China our new house so viewing at this time will not be possible...Hope you are not offended by that and also with the keys of the Apartment, We try to look for an agent that we can give this document before we left but could not see and were as well as don't want our house to be used any how in our present that is why we took it along to us here and as you know that, My husband over in Beijing in China for a Christian Mission of God, So I hope you will promise us to take very good care of the Apartment. So get back to me on how you could take care of our Apartment. Hope you are okay with the price with hydro, Heat laundry facilities, Air condition, Internet and so on, View more pictures at the attach file.. I look forward to hearing from you ASAP so that I can forward you rent application to fill out and discuss on how to get the keys/documents and move in,also are you ready to rent it now or when ?


MORE DETAILS:-
FULLY FURNISHED
SHORT/LONG TERM RENT
SPACIOUS AND LIGHT
KITCHEN BREAKFAST ROOM
POPULAR AREA
ONE BEDROOM
GOOD TRANSPORT LINKS
PARKING SPACE.

Reception room 14'5 x 10'5 (4.39m x 3.18m)
Bedroom 14'5 x 10'2 (4.39m x 3.1m)
Kitchen 5'0 x 3'5 (1.52m x 1.04m)
Bathroom 9'1 x 6'8 (2.77m x 2.03m)

Await your reply soon.

Thanks and God Bless You

Mrs Jennifer. 

Wife of email 1: 

Hi,


My husband and I owners of the Apartment . It was due to my husband transfer that makes us to leave the Apartment and also want to give it out for rent. and looking for a responsible person that can take very good care of it as we are not after the money for the rent but want it to be clean at the time and the person that will rent it to take it as if it were its own. So for now, Am here in Hawaii, United States our new, i came down here for a proper treatment, because i have a problem with my earing. so my husband received all calls because i cannot hear very well.. so viewing at this time will not be possible...Hope you are not offended by that and also with the keys of the Apartment, We try to look for reputable agent that we can give this keys and document too,but we did not see that is the reason why we came down here with the keys and documents. we as well as don't want our house to be used any how in our absent that is why we took it along to us here and as you know that, My husband over in Beijing, China. for a Christian Mission of God, So I hope you will promise us to take very good care of the Apartment. So get back to me on how you could take care of our Apartment. Hope you are okay with the price with hydro, Heat laundry facilities, Air condition, Internet and so on, View more pictures at the attach file.. I look forward to hearing from you ASAP so that I can forward you rent application to fill out and discuss on how to get the keys/documents and move in,also are you ready to rent it now or when ?


MORE DETAILS:-
FULLY FURNISHED
SHORT/LONG TERM RENT
SPACIOUS AND LIGHT
KITCHEN BREAKFAST ROOM
POPULAR AREA
ONE BEDROOM
GOOD TRANSPORT LINKS
PARKING SPACE.

Reception room 14'5 x 10'5 (4.39m x 3.18m)
Bedroom 14'5 x 10'2 (4.39m x 3.1m)
Kitchen 5'0 x 3'5 (1.52m x 1.04m)
Bathroom 9'1 x 6'8 (2.77m x 2.03m)

Await your reply soon.
Thanks and God Bless You
Love In Christ.
Mrs Elizabeth


Wife of email 3:

Hello,

Its very Nice to Read from you,My name is Emily wife of Rev Roland  Rohr owner of the 1 Bedroom Apartment for rent  out,so we are looking for a responsible person that can take Very Good care of the apartment..My husband in respect who owned the apartment and I also want you to know that it was due to my husband Missionary Transfer that made us to leave the apartment,so we want you to take very good care of it as we are not after the money for the rent but want it to be clean at the time and the person that will rent it to take it as if it were its own.So for now I am now at LONDON UK,and more also i am with the keys and document of the apartment,We try to look for an agent or friends that we can give this Keys and document before we left but could not see and we are as well as don't want our apartment to be used any how in our Absent that is why i brought the keys along with me here.As you know that,my husband over in Western Region of  Africa for his Job is also wanting a good tenant,so i hope you will promise us to take very good care of the apartment.

So pls get back to me on how you could take care of our apartment or perhaps experience you have in renting apartments, My husband how ever told me that you spoke like a lovely person to him in the first e-mail you wrote to him,Hope you are okay with the price  per Month ($977) with utilities like :- Stove - Electric ,Refrigerator, Microwave ,Ice Maker ,Full Kitchen ,Coffee maker ,TV/VCR ,Stereo ,Phone ,Linens provided ,High Speed Internet ,CD Player ,Cable/Satellite TV,Double/twin zip & link beds and a child's cot can be provided ,Fitted wardrobe, Kitchen Electric hob/oven,Kitchen utensils ,Microwave ,Washer & dryer ,Refrigerator & freezer ,Toaster ,Electric kettle ,Iron and ironing board ,TV & DVD ,Telephone and Fast internet access ,Pedestal Fan ,Free parking. I look forward to hearing from you asap so that I can forward you an application to fill out and discuss on how to get the apartment for rent,View attached file for the apartment pictures... Looking forward to hear from you soon.and below is the address of the apartment, So if you are OK with this pls request for an application form in your next e-mail... am so sorry that i cannot call you because some problems with my mobile phone,pls bear with me, My husband would be the one to call you once you have filed out the application form..and also you could call him.....  



Thanks and God bless you
Love in Christ

Also they sent me the exact same pictures when I asked for apartment pictures. At this point, I decided to follow the Jennifer lady to see where this was going, half hoping it wasn't what i thought it was...419. So I send her an email asking when she will be back as I need the place for 2 years and I don't know how long their "mission" is for. She proceeds to not answer that question and then send me a "rental application". I go along with her, filling the application and refusing to give her personal info like my address and stuff. In this email, along with my "completed" application, I asked her 3 times, in bold and yellow highlight, asking that since she couldn't show me the place, she should at least tell me the building name so I can know where it is and then give me the apartment managers name so I can talk to someone. She again ignores my questions and tells me that I have been approved. No property manager worth his/her salary will approve my application. Anyway she says I should send her $1200 which is $700 rent and $500 security deposit or $1600 which is $1400 rent for 2 months and then $200 security deposit. I should send the money via Western Union to them in China and as soon as they get the money they will send the keys and documents to me via dhl.........EHN, by virtue of the fact that I carry a 9ja passport, I shan't be mugurized o. So please if you see people with these name of Craigslist, please beware o.  The most annoying part is how they are throwing around Christianity and God to deceive people. God is merciful o


On that note: anybody with info on decent, safe places to live in dc or northern virginia and even maryland sef, where the commute to NE dc (red line zone) isn't terrible pls let me know o biko. My budget has been officially increased o to more normal levels for the dc area.

35 comments:

  1. Lol.. they didn't know they were dealing with a sharp eyed one.. Them fit be gbomogbomo sef o... :p

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  2. LOL, i've actually seen this same emails before on some other website by someone. Honestly, at least if you are going to try and run a scam, pay attention to what you are doing (not that i advocate 419). The tiger blood, abi Naija blood that runs through my veins (in addition to common sense) will not allow me to fall mugu to any of these scams

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  3. These emails are very Naija-ish. It reads like a Nigerian wrote it. We no dey try at all. You can not mugurize a Naija person. Infact, anyone that falls for this is not well. Why will I give you money then you mail me the keys...na craze?

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  4. omdz! Im in the UK and these same mails got to me! and do you know what happened? i called their number and it was a nigerian dude that spoke, i abused the living daylights out of him, then he changed his accents.LMAO! annoying

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  5. Choi!!! These people no try @ all sha!!!! HABa!!! I am still ROTFLMAo.

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  6. Hehehe!!! Dey no know say na 9ja chick they dey deal with? Any person that falls 4 dis obvious scam is really a mugu. But d way people play with God's name sha! Na wah!!! God is really merciful.

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  7. really God sure is so merciful.
    If i were God i would have struck them down asap
    www.secretlilies.blogspot.com

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  8. He he he he!

    These emails are so UNREAL! The english is bad as in BAD! I don't believe anyone would fall for such scam!

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  9. LMAOO...Gbese!!! see these pple oo.. ahhahaha.. I guess they didn't know you are an authentic 9ja breed. hahaha... too funny!

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  10. Laff wan kill me for here!

    So na ur money dem wan chop?

    no photo no address nothing nothing?

    do people actually fall for this stunt?

    Imagine!!!!!

    Anyway you mah gats to pay that 1000dollars sef to avoid miscreants na.

    Mena

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  11. It is really on the increase. Are these people Naija people??? They are giving us bad name.

    su2c9ja.blogspot.com

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  12. oh so dey are in uk too...everyday for the thief, one day for the owner. the scam is so poorly executed. poor wording and just sheer laziness to re-word/remix the emails. but i think their main selling point is the religion angle...it has worked for so may "men and women of God"

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  13. wow! thats crazy! i advertised myself as a babysitter on craigslist and got emails from two different people named "jules" asking that we meet. i jst knew sumn was fishy about it lol.\goodluck with the APT search :)

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  14. lolz, i reside in Nigeria and i see these crazy guys in cafes, yup, they all share the formats and the name of the game is aparte (apparently their slang for apartments) nd they are so lousy, den no go let pesin hear word for cafe. i always pray against arrest/police raiding any and everytime i have the opportunity to go to a cafe. didn't realize there were this dumb ass though. Imagine someone sending my dad email claiming he is theresa nkoyo (ibori's wife, for the uninitiated) and that (s)he is looking for somewhere to keep some large amounts of money. kia, kia, i sent a very nasty reply to the silly idiot. stupid mofos

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  15. why naaaw?
    Why are our people like this??
    I'm laughing, but then I'm also saddened by the possibility that they are Nigerians, going by Sisi Yemmie's experience.

    Good thing you upped you budget. Hope you find a place soon.

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  16. I just googled Reverend James Alfredo, because I literally just had the same situation.

    Obviously a little fishy, but who knows, some people just have bad English. Thanks for saving me some trouble.

    What I've done is flagged his posts as spam, so hopefully whoever's doing this just stops.

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  17. @Anon 3.51 its for reasons like this that I did this post so I am happy you found it useful. For that reason, I will do a post on some of the other scammers I have encountered in my apartment search

    @methinks now that u mention it how will person now explain to 9ja police dat dey were dere for honest browsing cos u know 9ja police. once dey come for raid everybody is guilty until proven innocent.

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  18. You just saved me from falling into the same trap! Thank you!

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  19. waoh! how stupid do they think people are? It's so obvious this is a scammer/group of scammers...thank God u didn't fall for their tactics, as u did your due dilligence very well. And claiming to be a Rev. on a mission? How sick!

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  20. I receive an average of 50 scam or 419 e-mails everyday becuase I display my email address on mu blog. Since I open the email address specifically for the blog' I don't bother to the emails. I delete immediately because most of the 419 emails always have same or si,ilar title.

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  21. I just googled Rev. James Lens, and found this blog. Definitely got this exact same e-mail, and the apartment just seemed too good to be true. Good thing I payed attention to that 6th sense!

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  22. What the hell..I got two of these e-mails (1st and 2nd). I am in India and I am looking for housing in the same region (VA).
    Thank you so much for the blog.
    Infact, even I asked them to show the housing to my brother living in Virginia, but they ignored it first and later denied it.
    @ ALL: People, please beware of such e-mails and property scams.

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  23. Oh man, I live in Hawaii (Oahu) and was researching places on CL because I want to move into a cheaper place. I saw an ad and replied to it and go the same email from "Reverend Roland Rohr". This is just after I watched 20/20 last night about internet scams! Typed, Reverend Roland Rohr into google and got this blog. Wish we could track down the bastard and bust his knee caps or break their fingers...something!

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  24. Folks, I recommend reporting this scam following the links at Craigslist. Glad you posted your experience and did that investigation for us, saved us all some hassle and wasted time and perhaps money. Hopefully these guys get shut down, cause some internet users are probably not that savvy and might fall for this crap.

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  25. I received the same email and this is a SCAM. Beware!

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  26. Thank you so much, just googled Reverend Roland Rohr, thought it was a scam and it was, when its to good to be true it is.

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  27. I got the same thing. I had fun messing with them!

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  28. Thanks for this post! I also received this e-mail - from "Robert" Rohr this time.

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  29. and people will fall for this o. smh

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  30. Wow.. The exact same thing happened to me.Same kind of posting, same reply same communication pattern.

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  31. I received the same email from rev james lens and seemed weird so i googled the name and found this site. Shame on them...i will flag it on craigs list and thank you for posting this! God Bless!

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  32. I received the same email from rev james lens and seemed weird so i googled the name and found this site. Shame on them...i will flag it on craigs list and thank you for posting this! God Bless!

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  33. I just got the EXACT same email from an apartment I inquired about in the DC Craigslist. I reported it to Craigslist as "prohibited". Thanks for the heads up.

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  34. I responded to an email for an apartment in Chinatown in Boston with a "london crusade" with the same name and details! I googled "Ref Lens" and got linked to this post. I wonder how many people actually fall for this! Thanks for the heads up.

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  35. Thank you SO much for posting this! On a whim I decided to google James Lens after inquiring about an apt. in Leesburg, VA and this is the first link that popped up. You saved me a lot of agony and disappointment!

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