Nigerian Rental Scam in Daytona Beach
Recently, I had a customer who was trying to rent a home in Daytona Beach or Ormond Beach, prior to making a purchase. He found a listing on Craig’s List – WOW! In one of our premiere, gated neighborhoods a 4 bedroom, 3 ½ bath pool home with a summer kitchen and fenced yard – also, pet friendly for $1000.00 per month. So, he thought he had hit the “Mother Lode”.
He responded to the ad and was rewarded with an e-mail saying that by completing a simple application, and if he liked the home from the outside would give him an opportunity to rent this fabulous home. Encouraged to drive by and check it out, he did, resulting in a fervor to rent this home.
He completed the application, which did not request any of the usual info, such as: Driver’s License, References or Social Security Number and past addresses. But, so be it, the application complete and emailed back to the owner – anxiously awaiting an approval.
Bam! He got it! All he had to do was send an $1100.00 security deposit via Western Union and the keys and documents would be sent by FedEx to him the next day. Oh boy, are we smelling a rat yet?
The owner was in West Africa, and had no one here to represent him – so all would be completed via e-mail, phone and FedEx. The next thing he did was look up rental scams and guess what he found?
Apparently, this is happening all over the US. Unfortunately, Craig’s List is a source for fraud as well as a very worthwhile place to find goods and services, so beware and be careful. When something seems to good to be true, it usually is…