Saturday, April 24, 2010

Nice Scam You Got There Nigerian.

You know of the typical Nigerian Internet Fraud scams right? The emails promising you money, saying you won an international lottery, or claims there's a wire transfer or package just waiting for you to accept, etc.

Well there's a new one making the rounds.

The fraudsters are copying ads of homes for rent from, then posting them on craigslist at a ridiculously below market price for rent. Then of course the sucker responds to the advertisement by email, gets sent an "application" which asks for you social security number and other info and is told to wire the money and they'll be mailed a key. You know how that's going to end right?

The problem is among the houses they're playing with, they're trying to pull this using my house. Amazingly, people ARE falling for it.

I've had multiple people come by the house based on this ad. Given that the rental amount in the ad is more in line for a studio apartment around here rather than a 3 bedroom house that should have set off some alarm bells - not to mention the international area code for the phone number the fraudster gives, and his Nigerian accent. He even tells people he's in Nigeria! And they still go with it!

I just managed to stop one poor yet nice sap from sending this scammer money that she would have never seen again - she came to see the house and I pointed out they were being scammed.

They gave me the phone number the guy had provided, and the ad, which I have since gotten craigslist to pull - and craigslist was pretty quick to take the ad down once it was pointed out that it was a scam - its down at least for now until this scumbag tries to put it up again. I've also reported it to the local police department, but obviously there's some limits on what they can do about an international fraud scheme.

So if you want to mess with this guy and try and sucker him to come to the USA and get arrested for scamming lots o' people (I doubt mine is the only house he's pulling this trick with - apparently this is a new endemic fraud tactic) here's his info:
phone 1-234-808-974-2766 - The 234 is the Area code for Nigeria.

It is amazing that people fall for this stuff - if it looks too good to be true - and $500 a month below what any other comparable house for rent in the area is going for is too good to be true. Then it really is too good to be true. Don't be a sucker.

The international area code should also have been a tip off. Nigeria should raise a huge red flag on any internet transaction - and sending personal info and money to Nigeria in return for a promise of a key in the mail should unquestionably have people running, not walking, away from the scam.

But, as P.T. Barnum said, there's a sucker born every minute, and the Nigerian fraudsters are trying to fleece every darn one of 'em they can.


Murphy's Law said...

Does this mean that I have to stop trying to rent out your house via e-mail too?

Aaron said...

Just for you, I have a very special price.....and you can pay in ammo.

Murphy's Law said...

I think they just caught 'em.

Looks like the economy in Nigeria is doing pretty good these days.

Of course they don't have a Kenyan President running it,

Anonymous said...

Someone with a Nigerian number is also trying to con people looking for Newfi puppies. He is supposibly on a mission to west africa. I asked if I could send them a COD and have not heard back from them yet.