Fraud / Scam Alerts - Landords

 

Most of the landlords using our website have found it to be a safe and convenient way to advertise their rental properties. However, as with all websites, we occasionally receive reports of scams and fraud attempts.

TIPS FOR AVOIDING INTERNET SCAMS AND FRAUD:

 

  • When in doubt, check it out! Nearly all scammers we have encountered operate out of foreign countries, claiming to be students that are moving to North America. Their emails are often full of grammatical and spelling errors (see examples below). In most cases, legitimate international students will already have been accepted at their academic institution. To verify, you can request a copy of their confirmation letter.
     
  • Never wire funds (using Western Union or any other carrier) to anyone claiming to be a student from a foreign country.
     
  • Never give out personal financial information (checking account number, SSN, etc).
     
  • Trust your instincts. If something seems strange, or you don't feel completely comfortable with an applicant, do not do business with them and discontinue further correspondence.  
     
  • Be cautious when personal information such as pictures, student Visa, passport number, etc. are provided without requesting it, as this is typical scammer behavior.
     

PLEASE NOTE: 

Places4Students.com staff would NEVER ask you to EMAIL credit card data to our office. Credit card transactions are always performed via our website by you entering your information online OR verbally providing it to our staff over the phone.
 

I have been contacted by a tenant who is trying to scam me.  What should I do?


1) Don't respond.

Often times your best recourse is to not respond to the scam email at all. In most cases scammers will send emails out to hundreds of landlords, hoping that one or two will reply. If you do not reply to them, they will usually move on. Also, scammers will NOT have your email address unless you reply to their initial inquiry, as our website keeps all email addresses confidential from users.

 

2) Block the sender’s email address.
This will stop any future correspondence from being received by the sender.


Who can I notify?
 

 

COMMON TYPES OF SCAMS:

International student offers to send you a high-value cashier's check:

  • You receive an email from a student outside of North America, who would like to rent your place. Usually the email will sound odd, and there will be spelling/grammar mistakes.
  • The "student" offers to send you a high-value cashier's check to pay for the rental. They often provide an excuse as to why they are sending extra funds above the cost of the rental.
  • The value for the cashier's check far exceeds the rental rate, and the "student" asks you to wire the balance back to them via a money wire transfer service (Western Union, etc).
  • Banks will often cash these fake cashier's checks, then hold you responsible when the check fails to clear

International student asks you to send funds via Western Union, or another money transfer service:

  • The "student" will often claim that a confirmation code is required before he/she can withdraw your money. This is a lie. Once you have wired money to them, it is gone.
  • Sometimes the "student" will offer you an incentive, or a percentage of the funds in exchange for wiring the rest of the money back to them.

Landlord is out-of-country and unable to show the property personally:

  • A deposit is requested first, before the student can view the property.
  • The landlord states an “agency” will show the property and deliver the keys.

     

EXAMPLES OF SCAM EMAILS:

PLEASE NOTE:

We have left all spelling and grammatical errors within these examples, as such errors are often another tip that the email is not legitimate. Also, some fake student names have been included below, because they have been used repeatedly in scam emails that have been reported.

 

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NAME: Bill Collins (father) and Rose Collins

E-mail Addresses: 

bill_collins65@hotmail.com 

rosecollins80@yahoo.com.ph

 

1st MESSAGE:
Hello,

Good Morning! This is Bill Collins, father of (Rose Collins) that want to rent a room from you. My daughter is a potential tenant, very clean, polite, easy going, hard working and responsible, she is a dream of every family. I'm very proud of her and i can assure you that you will have nothing to lose by holding your accommodation for her.

I have a financier firm based in the States and he'll be handling the payment and some other expenses, so he'll be the one taking care of the service payment throughout her stay. I will instruct him to send a Paycheck for her rent deposit before her arrival so as to secure the room. I will send you her flight details immediately she's through with her assignments in Philippine. So my financier would be needing the following Information below to make out the payment

(I)Your Full Name On Payment:
(II)Your Residence address where it will be delivered to (no P.O.Box please):
(III)City & State:
(IV)Zip Code:
(V)Mobile and Home Phone numbers:
(VI)Email address:
(VII)Amount for the rent per month:

NB: She will sign the lease agreement paper when she arrive. I will be waiting to hear from you. Thanks

Have a blessed day
Bill
 

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NAME: Rachel Lentsch

E-mail Address: raclentsch@gmail.com

 

1st MESSAGE:
Hello,

Thanks for your prompt response,Am so sorry for my late response..I understand your explanation. A little about me....I am M.s Rachel Lentsch a 27years, female, from Zurich,Switzerland...I presently live and work in Geneva as Medical doctor with UNAIDS,(www.unaids.org) I will be coming to Campus for medical research due to nature of our work. This was why i made inquiry as per the availability of your space.Please let me know the Utilities that are available in the rent.(ALL application will be signed when am back in state.)

 

For the payment that is not a problem at all...Because my boss will be highly responsible for all my expenses, all i have to do is to confirm the amount of the room which i have done  including the utilities(if there is any) and then get it sent to him.

 

However i will be in need of  the information in which the payment  will be issued to..,So all i require of you is for you to send me your..

 

FULL NAME

FULL ADDRESS(Apt#,City,State and Zip code)

PHONE NUMBER

EMAIL ADDRESS

 

So that I can forward it to my boss because my boss will be paying for the rent, my flight and some other things so all you have to do is that as soon as you receive the check he will send. You will deduct  your rent fee and the utilities from it and then get the rest back to my flight manager so that my ticket can be booked. Waiting to hearing from you. I will want all this information for quick payment asap pls.

Stay Blessed.

 

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NAME: Helen Abraham
E-mail Address: h2rita.abraham@yahoo.com

 

1st MESSAGE:
Hello,

How are you doing today? My name is Helen Abraham, easy-going, cool headed and friendly. I'm seeking an accommodation near XXXX.

I'm an international student coming down to secure another degree in Biology. I'm looking for some down to earth people to live with! I'm a British Citizen coming from a career building seminar in Manila, Philippines (Asia)  and not much familiar with the surroundings!  I'm interested in a long term lease, from six months to a year  precisely, If it's for a short term lease, no problem I may be okay with it. I'm here in Philippines for a seminar which is very important to the career I'm building to contribute my small part in caring for mankind.

Are you the landlord or tenant, lease consultant or you are subletting it?
I can live with friendly pets, though I have none and not planning to have one.

I will be sending you some of my necessary documents in the subsequent mails. Get back to me on the accommodation that is available for rent.

Thanks
Helen

 

2nd MESSAGE:
Thank you for your recent response and warm welcoming with respect to my interest in your accommodation. Any size is okay by me so far it's conducive. I am a low-key type for the place needs not to be too flamboyant.

I don't know if you would have the time so we can make video chat on Yahoo Messenger or on Skype.  I will be coming from Manila Philippines where I'm having a seminar which is very important to my career building. Most questions I wanted to ask are what you've stated.

I'm 22 years old, I don't drink, I don't smoke and I have no pet  but I can leave with someone who does either and well behaved, I'm not a tenant who is after luxury, all I need is a place to keep my head at night. I do a lot of serious reading and also have time for road jog and exercise to help keep fit, I love skating,swimming, I like my Xbox video game.

When less busy I also go for log distance walking and rigorous body stretching medically this aids longevity.I'm a Christian but I think religious and politics should be left out in the conversation at home.

My dad (Eric) is a General Merchant, always on business trip and my mum (Hanna) was late when I was five, I don't have much to say about her as a Nurse but her pix tells a lot. I'm renting the place all by myself.

My dad is responsible for my staying in the United States and he will be responsible to pay the deposit in advance. He always hope I shouldn't have problem securing accommodation as an international student but he was relieved when I told him I've gotten one in your possession.Please tell me more about yourself.

Looking forward to hearing you.

Thanks
Helen

 

3rd MESSAGE:
Hello,

Thanks for the mail once again. I would be through with the seminar that is on health issues on the 29th of September and for this my arrival will be on the 30th of September.

I'm sending you this mail concerning the payment and deposit specifications, kindly send me your info in the next e-mail in order to make arrangement for it, you can send it in this format:

Full name.
home address.
post code .
phone/mobile no.

Attached are copies of my ID, my photos and my dad's photos.You can choose to forward or CC the info. I requested for to my dad (Eric) at eric.abraham1960@yahoo.com   he would love to read from you. I can't wait to read from you ASAP.

Cheers
Helen

 

4th MESSAGE:
Hello,

Thanks for the info. I will get back to you as soon as the payment for my accommodation is sent, I will send you my flight details when I got it booked,

Sincerely I really appreciate your effort holding the room for me till I arrive. I hope I may ask of your help for anything and everything at this point in time?

Cheers
Helen

 

5th MESSAGE:
Hello,

Thanks for reaching me at this time. How are you doing today, I do hope fine ? My dad informed me that you said you have not hear from me for long I thought I updated you about the extension at the seminar and this happen to be the reason why. I am sorry for delay in updating because of the seminar but as at now it has reached conclusion I am only left over with some paper works for my certificate. Already I am making preparation for my arrival.

My dad has sent the deposit payment to you, go ahead and follow his instruction by processing the payment this morning, deduct one month room deposit and send the remaining funds to my travel agent ( Lakeisha Chambers) to book for my flight ticket as soon as possible.

Please get in touch with my dad with the details as soon as the western union transfer is completed so that I can leave here on time. Thanks and keep me posted soon. Have a nice weekend.

Cheers
Helen

 

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NAME:  Brian Pepper
E-mail Address: brianpper@yahoo.com

 

1st MESSAGE:
I want to know more about this unit you  posted for rent . My name is Brian Pepper , am a student, Male 26yrs of age from Denmark , i need the place for my studies on Environmental Science and Research program . I am presently in  US for a 3 weeks seminar. I am a cool and easy going person also friendly, i do not hang out late at night and i do not drink and smoke . I would like to know the monthly rent? and also for how long can i rent the place for, i mean ( when the rent starts and when it ends .) Await your response, also i do not have a pet and i would be the only one staying there .

Kind regards ..
Brian Pepper
 


2nd MESSAGE: payment

Thanks for your prompt response ... just to  let  you  know  that am okay with the price and  condition  of the  place - 525  /month ,  please  kindly email  the details  for payment  so that i can  contact my  friend to send  the advance payment  for  the  first  and last month  rent to secure the  place  because am  still in  US at  the moment , and  when  get there I  will sign the lease  and give  other details  needed  in  person before having  the  keys if necessary  ..

Details needed for payment .....
Name to be written on check :
your full house address to post it to:
Postal or zip code :
Tel/Mobile number :

Thanks for your kind response and hope  to  meet  with you soon.

 

3rd MESSAGE: consider the place rented

Thanks , please consider the place rented , I will  let  you  know once payment is sent, when I get  there  we can  sort  other things in persons before I  moved  in , hope  to  meet with you soon . 
Brian

 

4th MESSAGE: payment on the way

Just to let you know that my friend has sent the  payment  via  post and it  will get to you today or  tomorrow ,  please  keep an eyes and let me know as  soon as it get  to you .Once  I confirmed my flight  details I will let  you know the exact  that am coming  over so we sort  every other details needed in  person  before moving in  .
Kind regards .
Brian  

 

5th MESSAGE: Ticket Fare

Thanks for the update, I really need your urgent assistance, was to send two  different payments, one to my agent for my flight ticket  and  the other to you, but he did not read the  instructions I  sent to him clearly then made a mistake  in sending all the  money $ 2,900 to you instead of  $1,050I have tried to  contact him concerning this, but  the auto response I got is  that he's out of town for  an urgent business trip. please  kindly deduct your  money for the first and last month rent,  then locate  any money mart outlet and send the excess money  via  western union to my agent so that I can sort out my  ticketing, am done here already with the seminar and  my  bills are accumulating, so I really need your  urgent  assistance in order secure my flight ticket..

Here are the western union details to send the money to my agent:
Receivers name : Christopher Blaetz.
Address : Maple Shade NJ 08052

After sending the money by western union you will email  me  the following details correctly as it is in the  western  union receipt...

    Sender's first and last name...
    Senders Address..................
    Amount sent after deducting the western union charges.....
    MTCN......................................................

If western union outlet is far from your location,  kindly  take $20 from the money and use it to buy gas  or pay a cab  to get there. Once I secure my flight  ticket, I will email  you details on my arrival, hope  to meet with you soon and  sort other details needed in  persons before moving in..
Apologies for the inconveniences.
Brian Pepper
 

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NAME:  Chloe Anderson
E-mail Address: chloeanderson01@yahoo.com

 

MESSAGE:
I am making an inquiry on this AD you posted for rent, My name is Chloe Anderson, am a 26yrs Female student and am  from Cyprus, i need the place for my studies,i am currently in United Kingdom for seminar. I am a cool and easy going person also friendly, i do not hang out late at night and i do not drink and smoke . I would like to know the monthly rent? and also for how long can i rent the place for, i mean ( when the rent starts and when it ends .) Await your response, also i do not have a pet and i would be the only one staying there ..i will like you to give me more details about the place and the price,i am looking forward to hearing from you soon you can contact me at chloeanderson01@yahoo.com.... Thanks

Kind regards
Chloe,

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NAME:  Sarah Scott
E-mail Address: sarah85scott@yahoo.co.uk

 

1st MESSAGE:
Hello,

How are you doing today? My name is  Sarah Scott, easy-going, cool headed and friendly. I'm seeking an accommodation 

I'm an international student coming down to secure another degree in APPLIED AND COMMUNITY-BASED RESEARCH. I'm looking for some down to earth people to live with! I'm a British Citizen coming from a career building seminar in Manila, Philippines (Asia)  and not much familiar with the surroundings!  I'm interested in a long term lease, from six months to a year  precisely, If it's for a short term lease, no problem I may be okay with it. I'm here in Philippines for a seminar which is very important to the career I'm building to contribute my small part in caring for mankind.

Are you the landlord or tenant, lease consultant or you are subletting it?
I can live with friendly pets, though I have none and not planning to have one.
I will be sending you some of my necessary documents in the subsequent mails. Get back to me on the accommodation that is available for rent.
Thanks
Sarah


2nd MESSAGE:
Thanks for the mail once again. I would be through with the seminar that is on health issues on the 6th of September and for this my arrival will beon the 7th of September. My dad is a general merchant. I would like to rent your place for the next one year and probably get it renewed. I'm sending you this mail concerning the payment and deposit specifications, kindly send me your info in the next e-mail in order to make arrangement for it, you can send it in this format:
     Full name.
     home address
     post code
     phone/mobile no.
Attached are  copies of my ID, my photos and my dad's photos.
You can choose to forward or CC the info. I requested for to my dad (Richard Scott) at richardscott1990@yahoo.co.uk he would love to read from you>
I can't wait to read from you ASAP.

Cheers
Sarah

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Hello
thanks for the interest in my apartment located in (XXXXX, Canada) the apartment is still available for rent.It has 2 bedrooms,2bathrooms, living room,dinnig and a total of 78 m².  we are renting out the apartment due to changing of our location we are just looking for a responsible tenant who can take good care of the apartment for us while we are out of town. As a result of this I want to rent the apartment out at this price and also to find the perfect person for our apartment.The apartment is fully furnished with new furnitures but we have the option of sending all the furniture into storage if you want to bring your own(no extra costs for you).The monthly rent is $800 and the deposit asked is $500 (as you know the deposit will be returned to you at the end of your stay in the apartment,if nothing is recorded damaged,. Utilities cost like water,electricity, Internet, cable tv, garbage, parking space are included in the rent.
 

Hello thanks for the interest in my apartment here is my number +1XXXXXXXXXX you can only text me on it  accepted i will respond shortly.

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Hello XXXXXX
How are you doing today  hope you are cool, gentle and fine, if soo  thankxx  a million , i just wanna let you know  that my dad have sent you the payment check  for the apt already on the way to you, plz let me  be inform as soon as you recieve this  via mail from my dad. my best reguard cheers XXXX 

 

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Hello XXXXXXX  

Today  i tried to call you on phone but  i got no reply cos my dad  told me the same. now what i heard from  my dad is that he have sent you the payment check writen out in your name  with your full address  you can contact him on this number XXXXXXXXX ore-mail XXXXXXXX@yahoo.com     rightnow  his in africa but am  still in uk trafford road street london  my own number XXXXXXXXXX  you have to help him out with the money order thanks    cheers XXXX   

 

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Hi XXXXXX,
How are you, family, and everybody around you?  I'm XXXX's dad. I tried to call you on phone to have a good talk with you as regards my daughter XXXX.  I had wanted her to live safely with you but unfortunately the message i got from her lastly wasn't favorable. She told me you'd already rented the apartment to someone else after the check had been issued in your name. The money order will be arriving your domicile in soon. Well Sheila, here is the favor I want from you since you could not give my daughter the appartment to live in. Kindly cash the money as soon as you get the money order and wire it to me via Western  Union. I'd pay you for your trouble ok?   Thanks for your anticipated cooperation.    Regards  XXXXXX


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Thanks for your prompt response,
Am so sorry for my late response..i understand your explanation. A little about me....I am XXXX 27years, female, from Zurich,Switzerland...
I presently live and work in Geneva as Medical doctor with XXXX,(website address) I will be coming to CAMPUS for medical research due to
nature of our work. This was why i made inquiry as per the availability of your space.Please let me know the equipment that are available in the rent.
For the payment that is not a problem at all...Because my boss will be highly responsible for all my expenses, all i have to do is to confirm the amount
of the room which i have done  including the utilities(if there is any) and then get it sent to him.However i will be in need of  the information in which the
payment will be issued to..,So all i require of you is for you to send me your..

FULL NAME
FULL ADDRESS
PHONE NUMBER
EMAIL ADDRESS

So that I can forward it to my boss because my boss will be paying for the rent, my flight and some other things so all you have to do is that as soon as
you receive the check he will send. You will deduct your rent fee and the utilities from it and then get the rest back to my  flight manager so that my ticket
can be booked. Waiting to hearing from you. I will want all this information for quick payment asap pls.
Stay Blessed

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