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Brent Williams' Apartment Blog

Thoughts, comments, and ideas about the overall multifamily industry, as well as a property-specific focus on resident retention and apartment marketing.

Scammer Needs Scamming Lessons

I was looking around on Craigslist today and found this amusing post. It was a post by a property manager (the first part is the email from the scammer). I love how the property manager couldn't help with the apartment itself, but was happy to provide consulting on how to improve their scamming capabilities!

Gloria Rollins wrote:

Thanks for your reply.I am a chemist by profession and i am currently working with St. Mark's Hospital,28 North wick Park,Wat ford Road, Harrow,Middlesex HA1 3UJ,United Kingdom.I will be in the states for at least 6 months and during this period,i will be working with the United States Environmental Protection Agency on a private research work.My financier in the States will be responsible for the rent deposit ,so I will instruct him to send you the payment as soon as you give me the go ahead to.Due to the limited time that I have before my arrival,have make some arrangements with a furniture company to supply the home with furniture,so I will need you to provide me with the measurements of the living room and bedroom so that the furniture company can supply the unit with furniture that will fit in well.As regards the lease agreement,i want you to send it to me for my review,i will eventually have it filled and signed on my arrival in your place as I am of the opinion that such documents are best filled and signed physically.Let me know how to move ahead as i intend to complete this deal before i move in some days time,I will let you know the exact date as soon as I get a booking on a flight to the states.So kindly provide the neccesary information for the payment to be sent to you asap(Name to be on the payment,Address to send it to and phone number).Thanks and sincere regards from me



First, for someone from the UK your English is atrocious. Second, we require a 1 year lease. Finally, we do not rent apartments to individuals who have not seen the apartment and even then we only offer tenancy to individuals whose credit and references meet our standards.

You're message smacks of one those Nigerian bank scams...let me offer some advice:

1. Grammar. Use it. Try picking up a pocket writers guide. They are available at amazon.com and they ship worldwide. You can't convince me you're British, much less an educated Brit coming to do research for the EPA, using grammar like that.

2. Suspended disbelief. It's a Hollywood term used to describe that point in a movie where you know it wouldn't happen in real life, but you choose to "suspend" your "disbelief" and believe anyways. You've got to work on your story. EPA needs a British chemist so bad they fund the trip over the pond? I'll give you credit for the room dimensions detail, but you rushed into it too quickly. People would be asking about things like the neighborhood, local amenities or the distance from the apartment to work...not about ordering furniture.

3. Patience and timing.
This goes hand in hand with suspended disbelief. You don't have a flight yet, but you need the apartment RIGHT NOW! Displays no patience. Look, I realize this is a numbers game. The more emails you send out the better your chances of finding the sucker who will grant you the bank account or personal information you're fishing for. But part of a confidence scam is gaining the persons confidence, and online you just can't do that in one or even two emails. Take your time. Slow it down. I'm sure you'll find you get much better results.

If you'd like more advice its gonna cost you. For a small monthly retainer I'd be happy to consult you on how to build confidence in your mark, use proper English, and help you avoid these kind of mishaps.

Better luck next time!

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