Looking for a rental home on Craigslist? Be VERY careful!

We see dreadful rental scams popping up on Craigslist more and more often.

I have this home at 1127 Brookhill Way in Cary listed For Sale.  It is not For Rent.

Since Sunday, I have received four phone calls asking about the Rental post on Craigslist.

That is a predatory scam.  And that sort of scam is becoming more common, particularly in Cary and Raleigh, NC.

In a nutshell:

The scammers take the photos and some information and post a rental on Craigslist.  They set a very low rental price, to get a greater response as people see a nice house at a bargain price.  The proposed rent for 1127 Brookhill Way was $800, about 60% of a true market value rent for the property.

The scammers use a Yahoo email address made up for this property.  When the hopeful tenant responds, the scammer replies with a polite and completely false letter.

The scammer tells a story of carrying the keys out of the country, since they have no friends or family to watch the property.  And they ask the tenant to wire them the deposit and/or first month’s rent, for which they will mail the keys back.  You may find it hard to believe, but people fall for this scam.  They fall for it often enough that the scammers have been working the Raleigh Cary area for well over a year.

I know of one sad story where a lady lost over $900, because she wired it out of the country instead of working with someone locally to secure a home.

 Here is the email reply from one of the scammers that was forwarded to me from one of the alert callers:

Thanks for the email and it is my gladness hearing from you. I am the owner of the  house you are making inquiry of… Actually i resided in the  house 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 the( West Africa)   My real intention was to sale the house, so l listed the property with realtor agent but my wife advice me not to do that, and l have asked the agent to remove the sign board in front of the house, l got a call from him that he has move down to UK. So l ask him to send back the keys/paperworks of my house to me in my present location., I decided to put it on rent and  also put it in craigslist for rent for a year leasing and presently my  house is still available for rent.Including the utilities like hydro, washer and security, it is furnished but  if u which to move in with your furnishes no problem.
 
Pls 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, i will want you to take absolute maintenance of my  house and want you to treat it as your own, money is not the most important thing but i 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.
 
SO IF YOU ARE REALLY INTERESTED I WILL WANT YOU TO FILL THE  RENTAL APPLICATION FORM BELOW……..
 
Also, Pls let me get this answer..
FIRST NAME:_________________
MIDDLE NAME:________________
LAST NAME:__________________
PROFESSION:________________POSITION:__________
HOME PHONE (____)__________
(CELL)PHONE (____)__________
(WORK)PHONE (____)__________
KIDS_____ (YES/NO), HOW MANY ________
PRESENT ADDRESS:_____________________
CITY:_______________
STATE:______________
ZIPCODE:____________
HOW LONG DO YOU INTEND STAYING?____________
CURRENT RENT PAYMENT:____________
WHEN DO YOU INTEND MOVING IN?______________
DO YOU HAVE A PET:_____________
NAME OF PET:_____________
IS THE RENT FEE AVAILABLE NOW?______________
REASON FOR MOVING OUT?______________
KIND OF PETS:_____________
DO YOU SMOKE?______________
DO YOU DRINK?______________
 
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.
Looking forward to hear from you with all this details so that i can have it in my file in case of issuing the receipt to you and contacting you.Await your urgent reply so that we can discuss on how to get the document and the keys to you. Note that the keys and documents of my  house is with me here in  West Africa… Please we are giving you the  house base on trust and again i will want you to stick to your words, you know that we do not see yet and only putting everything into Gods hand, so please do not let us down in this our property and God bless you more as you do this…
                                    
HOUSE  INFORMATION
Bedrooms: 3 Bedrooms
Bathrooms: 2 Bathrooms
Square Footage:2,707 (Approx.)
Rent per month: $800
Deposit Req’d: $700
Application Fee: $0.00
Parking: Reserved…..
Available:  Now
ADDRESS:1127 Brookhill Way  Cary, NC 27519.
Smoking: Allowed
Lease terms: As long as you wish
 can be reach on my cell phone   +2348024481061 or 01123480244810611
Awaiting your reply soon..
Thank you

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