Sunday, December 27, 2009

Olympics Rental Scam Encountered

I posted an ad on Craigslist, trying to help a friend find accommodations in Whistler or environs while she volunteers up there.  I received many responses, all of which I presume to be legitimate.  But today I received this one:

Apartment Details

Jessica Campbell <>
 to Robert
  12:40 PM (7 hours ago)

Hello ,
The apartment is well furnished two bedroom apartment which has the following facilities .
* living and dinnig room
* 2 bedrooms
* 1 bathroom
* Open kitchen
* Toilet
* Air conditioner
* Central Heating
* Microwave
* Washing Machine
*internet facility

The apartment is located in the following address .
4759 Main Street, Whistler,  British Columbia, Canada.
The rental fee of the apartment is $800 per month including all utility bills .I have attached the photo of the apartment to this mail. kindly notify me if you are satisfied with the apartment in other for us to discuss on the payment procees and how you will get the apartment keys and documents.
looking forward to read from you .

At first I was very excited for my friend.  But the $800 per month rate seemed too good to be true, especially when similar places are going for $200+ per night!  So I did a Google search of that e-mail address and it returned an ad of a 2-bedroom apartment in Los Angeles with similar wording.  Finally, I searched for "4759 Main Street" in Whistler.  No such address exists!

Beware of the scam artists, my friends, do beware!


Anonymous said...

Some odd use of language -- maybe a clue. "Looking forward to "read" from you" ??? and "in other for us to discuss. Good to be aware of.

Anonymous said...

Isn't there some Vanoc oversight body looking into this kind of stuff? Lord knows their budget's big enough.
You've probably already informed Craig's List about the scam(?)...


randall g said...

This scam has been going on for years - Olsen has covered it on BCCTV. If you respond they will ask you to wire 6 or 12 months of advance payments on the lease, to some foreign place. There is no way to recover the money from a wire transfer.

People selling cars get a similar scam. Someone overseas offers to buy it at or above your asking price. They offer to send you a cheque for MORE than your price, for some contrived reason, and ask you to wire the difference to someone else. Your bank happily accepts their cheque, at first, so you wire the money. Weeks later the cheque turns out to be fake and you are out.

jacob said...

Got the same one today...had the feeling it was a scam due to the lack of personal touch, and when I couldn't find her email listing under anything, bingo. Good of you to post the warning too.