I've recently been the target of not one but TWO money scammers from a well known website that ends with "tree" and starts with "Gum". The first scammer contacted me via an advert I had placed looking for a flat in London; it was a cleverly thought out scam, offering me a beautiful flat that belonged to her parents in Spain but by the second or third email, she desperately needed verification of funds so that a journey from Birmingham to London to show me the property wouldn't be wasted. The words "Western Union" and "transfer money" appeared in the email and the red lights which had slowly started flashing previously were now flashing at full speed!!
Imagine this flashing at full speed...and maybe with a loud alarm playing.
The second scammer was offering a property in Camden. I innocently emailed him thinking it was a legitimate advert because why well, wouldn't it be? His reply came, I read, and I wondered. His English was poor, the story seemed like it could be as much a lie as it could the truth but that part of me that wants to believe in people hoped that he was speaking honestly, so I emailed asking for his phone number. His reply came and that's when I knew he was another scammer.
So, I thought I would have some fun with my reply. Read on...
On Wed, Sep 29, 2010 at 2:04 PM,
Thank you for your interest in my apartment. I have the apartment from my aunt.I have it from 2008 with completely new furnishings are new and electrics .The apartment is in a very beautiful area and there are no problems with the local population . I am in this apartment for two years .because this property brings back many memories that I decided to rent it.
My occupation is a consultant in the marketing , I have a new contract in Spain. the employment contract have 5 years.the apartment is at the disposal and you can be active at any time you want.I am looking for serious people and I liked to rent the apartment for a longer time.The rent for one month amounts to 600 GBP including all costs (water, electricity, internet, waste disposal, heating costs). You have everything you need .Everybody is welcome there for me no problem as long as you keep the apartment clean . I liked to rent the property as quickly as possible. send me an e-mail i would be happy to answer your questions
Date: Wednesday, 29 September, 2010, 14:59
Do you have a telephone no. I can reach you on? It would be good to talk about the property over the phone instead of via email.
Date: Wed, Sep 29, 2010 at 9:54 PM
Thank you for your response.
I can come anytime to show the flat to you, but first of all I need to be sure you really are really serious and will come to meet me. Last week I was there in London to meet a potential client and when I got there nobody answered any of my calls. I even paid euro 300 GBP for the plane ticket and trust me I don't wish to happen this again. Please email me fast so we can decide on how to proceed further! Greetings !
Ok, let’s toy with this sucker…
I'm sorry that you have experienced some problems in the past with potential tenants. I want to ensure this doesn't happen to you again so I will transfer £16million to the bank account of your choice so that you know that myself and my friend are serious about renting your flat. I may have to move some money from my offshore bank account but it shouldn't take too long.
Obviously the £16million will come off the rent so in essence, we can live there for free. Everyone's a winner!!
His *unexpected* reply
You will live alone in the flat and the bills are included in the price. Do you have a good friend in UK ? I have thought with my wife and we found the easiest method for the two of us. For my security I will ask you a very simple way to prove me that you are serious and also that you will come to meet me when I will get down in the UK . You will have only to send the amount of 600 GBP ( 1 month rent ) from your name to a friend , relative name in UK ( someone that you can trust in ) via Western Union and email me the scanned receipt as proof .
I will immediately call at Western Union and verify the transfer and if the money will be there available I will book myself a ticket for next day and I will come to meet you , visit the flat and sign the contract with you , in the case that you will be 100% satisfied .
Please read carefully , I don't ask you any money in advance , you will send the money to someone that you can trust.
Thank you and please email me with your decision .
He obviously doesn't understand sarcasm. Or negotiation. I can't decide whether to respond with a higher offer, of say £20m or to tell him his mother would be ashamed.
To be continued...