Beautiful Home Available for Rental Scam

Below is a Craigslist posting for a house for rent that a woman found when searching for a home for her family. It seemed to be exactly what she was looking for and included pictures of a beautiful home.

Very spacious and modern home with fabulous amenities in Rock Creek.
Minutes to Interlocken and the new Flatirons Mall. Tons of community amenities! Easy access to Boulder or Denver! Bike to Flatirons Crossing, restaurants, and groceries! Excellent schools!  This beautiful home has 3,500 finished sq. ft. with 6 bedrooms and 4 bathrooms, finished basement, 3 car garage and some custom colors. Laundry room is on the second floor providing easy access to 4 bedrooms including the master. Main floor study
> – cats are OK – purrr
> – dogs are OK – wooof

She emailed to learn more and received the following response:

Hello,

God bless you for your interest about our House. This 5BR/2B is still
available for rent.
I am renting this house to a responsible and neat person or family who has
the fear of God and treat my house as his or her own.

Presently Myself and my wife have moved out of the house due to my work
transfer to Western Region in Africa and we will be away for good 5 years or
more and this is reason why we are actually renting it out so if you are
interested in taking good care of our house, then my family will be ready in
accepting you as our new tenant who be fully incharge of our house.

If you really impress us by taking good care of our house then you will be
allowed to stay as long as you wish okay…..This 5BR/2BT And the SQ is
2,600 5bedroom house 2 bath. Ready to move in…

Below is our address of the House:( removed for privacy)

So get back to us on how you could take care of our house or perhaps
experience you have in renting . Hope you are okay with the price of
US$1,200/month with heat laundry facilities, air condition and so on andthe
deposit fee is $800… PETS ARE FULLY WELCOME! We are looking forward to
hear from you ASAP.

So that will can forward you an Application to fill out and discuss on how
to get the House for rent and also the Entrances keys and the document of
our house,also are you ready to rent it now or when? Await your urgent
reply. Thanks for your understanding.

Please if you are ready now to occupy the house kindly provide the
information below for record purpose.

THE RENTAL APPLICATION FORM

PLEASE TELL US ABOUT YOURSELF
Full Name________ _________ _________ _________ _________ ______
Home Phone ( )___________ _________ ____
Date of Birth_______ _________ _________ ________
Other Phone ( )___________ ________
Current Address_____ _________ _________ ________Apt# ________
City________ _________ _ State______ Zip________
Reasons for Leaving_____ _________ _________ _____Rent $__________
Phone ( )___________ _________ ________
Are you married_____ _________ _________ _____
How many people will be living in the house_______ _________ _________ ___
Do you have a pet_________ _________ _________ _
Do you have a car_________ _________ _________ _
Occupation__ _________ _________ ________
Move In Date________ _________ _________

Thanks very much for your understanding.
(Name removed)
You can contact us at +(phone removed)

The flowery language in this email set off the woman’s scam alert, but the low rental price and photos of the house still made her wonder. Further investigation proved that it was a scam.  In this type of the scammer finds  a real estate listing of a home for sale then posts a phony rental listing on Craigslist. The pictures and details of the home that have been taken from the realtor listing. The rental price will be low, but not ridiculous. The victim might correspond with the scammer through a couple of emails before asking for money as a deposit. The catch is that the scammer has no ownership rights to the home and will take your money and disappear.

To avoid this one:

1) Drive by the location. If there is a for sale or rent sign at the property contact the number on the sign.

2) If you live out-of-town contact a property rental or realtor company to check on the address.

3) When moving to a new area contact a property rental company first.

4) If the home is posted as a For Sale by Owner, still contact a realtor to ensure that it is legitimate.

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