Rental Scam ALERT!

Please be aware of a scam that a number of landlords have reported. Individuals (claiming to be from overseas) have been contacting them in response to their listings on off-campus housing sites. The potential tenant quickly agrees to rent the dwelling, offering to pay the entire year’s rent with a cheque or money order. Soon after the tenant-to-be contacts the landlord pretending that an error occurred or that the situation has changed, and asks the landlord to send back all but one or two month’s rent (deposit). They do this in the hope that the landlord’s bank will not recognize the forgery until the normal clearing process has happened. This would result in the landlord being out the money that has been returned as well as being responsible for attempting to process a fraudulent cheque/money order.

Below is an actual copy of a scam email you could possibly receive:

“Hello,  My name is rita smith from australia,lam 20 yrs is ur room/apt still available and l will like to know the details so get  back to me as soon as possible and God bless.”

and/or

“Thanks for getting back to me,I am okay with all you have said and do not have any question,I have to take up the place.I am ready to pay 650 the amount you mentioned as 1 month rent.I will like to pay this and secure the apartment.I will let you know the exact move in date when the deposit must have gotten to you and all arrangements concluded.I really need the place secured because i wouldnt want to get stranded on my arrival and that is the basis of the payment before my arrival.The former room  was to live in was given out because i did not pay deposit to secure the room.I dont intefer into other peoples businesses.I like to respect their privacy.I am open minded and also free with anyone.I am a trustworthy person.Please you have to make the documents for the lease ready for signing on my arrival.As regards payment my mom has a client in the canada that owes her some money,he has made out money order for the amount he owes my mom before he travelled to Europe for a business trip, but it is more than your actual deposit i will pay to you,He will have to send the Money Order to you,You will send the balance back to me  when you have deducted your deposit,this will take care of my flight ticket and other necessary arrangements before coming.Well i need the name as you want it to appear on the canadian Money Order and also the address to send the Money Order . Money order sent within canada will clear instantly.Money order does not clear in Australia  and even if it does it takes much more longer time.Please kindly get back to me ASAP.Hope to hear from you soon.”