You have a room for rent
Let’s say somebody wants to rent your room. They tell you that they want to send you a cashier cheque for a year’s amount of rent. These cheques are FAKE.
Why? When you get the cheque, the amount is for more money than necessary. On the day you receive the cheques; the scammer will contact you and request a REFUND for the amount of money that he/she “overpaid.”
Or they make your life miserable ( incessant calls, scary requests, etc) and the only thing you dream of is to give them their money back!!
The scam is this: THEY GIVE YOU FAKE CHEQUES AND THEN WANT YOU TO WIRE TRANSFER “PHANTOM” MONEY BACK TO THEM.
Your bank will call you 3 weeks after they credited your account and tell you the cheque was counterfeit.
Some other notes about scammers:
- Scammers are usually outside the country and most often use Western Union. NEVER SEND MONEY THROUGH WESTERN UNION, THIS IS ALWAYS A SCAM
- Scammers will not only send you cashiers cheques for a year - they will ask you to rent your room for three months. The cheque is then written for a large sum and the Scammer who sent it asks that the balance is sent back minus the rent and deposit. By the time the money is sent off, the victim finds that the cheque was counterfeit.
Example of Scam:
"Hi I am a very friendly and cool headed computer scientist from Lagos Nigeria, Looking for a person who is as accommodating as I am to live with for about 6 months. I am coming on my annual leave and intend to acquire some more knowledge while I am there. Please send me a mail and let me know your offer, I don't smoke, I drink occasionally and I'm neat. Mail me please…..
Please get back to me as soon as possible. So I can send you
a cheque for ($5,000). As soon as you have it, you deduct your amount and
send the rest back to me via Western Union Money Transfer"
"I have just been scammed by someone calling themselves "Jane Timi". It was quite simple, she answered an ad for a room I had in Calgary, Alberta, and then said she was sending a deposit. However, the deposit didn't come, so she emailed and said her mum was sick but that the deposit was coming by messenger.
A cheque arrived about the same time she told me her Mum had died and that the agent that sent the cheque had made a mistake and sent me all her money instead of the deposit and could I please send the balance to her so she could pay for the funeral and her plane ticket.
I waited 5 days for her cheque to clear (the bank told me 3 days) then I sent her the balance. After another 5 days the cheque came back as counterfeit”
- Never send money back to any body before you make sure that the cheque you have received is real and the money is in your account (3 WEEKS).
You are looking for a room
Let’s say you’re moving across the country or to another country.
You contact someone offering a great room at a great price.
The only issue is that he/she requests that you send a deposit BEFORE you actually get to see the room.
You’re so far away and need to get a room fast, so what do you do? You send the money.
A couple of weeks later, with all your stuff in a van, you are standing in front of your new apartment.
Only it’s not an apartment – it’s a dilapidated warehouse!
Your “new” roommate is nowhere to be found and neither is the money that you sent/him or her.
They may even ask you to send money to yourself through Western Union to prove that you have the funds. Sounds safe, but it's not. They will make a fake ID with your name, and pick up the funds without you knowing. When you go to retrieve your money, its already been picked by someone else.
Never send any money through Western Union.
This is a common SCAM. If you’re moving to a far-away place, don’t send a rental deposit without seeing the apartment first.
Contact Frank@easyroommate.com for more information.