Classifieds crime blotter 12/7/2017

Classifieds crime blotter 12/7/2017

Cloned iPhone X costs Chandler couple big:
Arizona. OfferUp. Knock off iPhones being sold online are actually Android phones. You can read more about it here as well.

Police: Teens shot attempting to steal during meetup to buy jewelry:
San Antonio, Texas. OfferUp. They’ll live.

Rural Brandon man arrested for apartment rental scam:
Iowa. 43-year-old Gregory Todd Selken is charged with allegedly renting an apartment he didn’t own on craigslist.

Man accused of sex trafficking girls out of a motel:
21-year-old Elijah Teel of San Antonio allegedly prostituted an underage girl on Backpage.

Man shot during Garfield Heights robbery arranged through OfferUp, police say:
Ohio. OfferUp. Victim shot in the hand.

Newark man falls victim to $3,400 Craigslist scam:
Delaware. Scammers used fake account on app to electronically transfer money to the victim. Probably Venmo if I had to guess.

Craigslist renters rent the same home:
Grand Rapids, Michigan. Michael Alan Hite accused of allegedly renting out a home he didn’t own to several people.

Police: Teens rob man during online marketplace exchange:
Flint, Michigan. Man robbed of Apple Watch during LetGo exchange.

Two teens accused of beating man with crowbar during robbery:
Columbus, Ohio. OfferUp.

Classifieds crime blotter 12/6/2017

Classifieds crime blotter 12/6/2017

Trial Date Set For Couple Who Allegedly Sold Baby:
Greenville, Tennessee. Deanna Lynn Greer, 38, and John David Cain, 27, are accused of allegedly trying to see an infant on craigslist back in March.

CSU Police report series of fraudulent checks, scams:
Colorado State University, Craigslist, Fake Check Scam.

Man shot by brothers while trying to sell PlayStation in Arlington, police say”
Texas. Man allegedly shot by Bryan Arriaga, 18, and Steven Arriaga, 20, while trying to sell his Playstation on OfferUp. Charges of attempted capital murder and aggravated robbery have been filed. The victim is recovering.

Tottenville woman acting as a real estate agent accused of ripping off potential tenants:
Staten Island, New York. Caryn Celestina, 61, is accused of allegedly running a craigslist rental scam.

Lakewood woman loses $8,000 Rolex watch to con artist in Craigslist scam:
Colorado. Scam artist switched $8000 in cash with a stack of singles.

Classifieds crime blotter 12/5/2017

Classifieds crime blotter 12/5/2017

Apartment Manager Finds Stolen Fridge For Sale On Craigslist:
(Sioux Falls, South Dakota, Craigslist)

Home rental scam steals mom’s Christmas money:
(Cincinnati, Ohio, Craigslist)

Lehigh Valley police discover nationwide sex trafficking ring including cities like Chicago, San Diego and more:
(Pennsylvania, Backpage)

El Paso men charged after stolen cellphone shows up on selling/purchasing app:
(Texas, Craigslist and OfferUp)

Couple warns rental scam has resurfaced in Central Maine with new twist:
(Craigslist)

Rental scam ruins vacation in Naples:
(Florida, Craigslist)

Officials warn public of online rental scams:
(Moorpark, California, Craigslist)

Huntsville police warn about ‘movie money’ counterfeit bills:
(Alabama, Craigslist)

Police: Stranger harasses woman with threatening texts, negative Craigslist ad:
(St. Louis, Missouri, Craigslist)

Don’t cash the fake checks from craigslist

redflag

Craigslist can also be a haven for scams:

Besides obvious headline being obvious this article provides a lesson to be learned.

It’s basically your usual fake check scam where a woman in Sebring, Florida was trying to rent a property on craigslist and received two checks and was asked the wire the difference via Western Union.

If you’ve been paying attention you’ll know that checks over the asking amount and being asked to wire money are two huge red flags of a craigslist scam.

Luckily the woman was smart enough not to fall for the scam. However it seems that her friends are not the sharpest tools in the crayon box. They allegedly advised her to deposit the checks so the scammer can be charged with fraudulent check writing. That is possibly the dumbest thing I’ve ever heard when it comes to these scams. Surprisingly this is not the first time I’ve heard this. So let me repeat this and be perfectly clear.

Don’t ever cash a check that was sent to you that was over the asking amount…ever.

If you cash or deposit the checks and they turn out to be fakes you will be held responsible for that money to your bank. The scammer will more than likely not ever br prosecuted because for the most part they operate outside of the country and are very difficult to prosecute.

As I’ve said before the more knowledge that is out there for people not to fall for these scams then the scammers will stop trying to prey on people. Unfortunately that is the only way to stop them.

Reader sends in Santa Monica, CA scam e-mail

I received an e-mail from reader Jacqueline whose friend is being harassed by scammers since Jacqueline’s friend responded to a scam rental ad on her local craigslist for a property in Santa Monica, California. According to Jacqueline they are contacting her at least twice a day and calling her on her cell phone at odd hours.

The scammer goes by the name of Rebecca Andre, using the e-mail address of roselin.andre@yahoo.com and claims to be the wife of another scammer that I’ve posted about before, Andre Ulla. The e-mail pours it on thick with claims of disability and cancer…

How are you doing today? Thank you very much for taking your time to write me, it is my sincere pleasure to write you back, and to let you know that the two bedroom apartment you are making enquiry of is still available.Utilities Inlcluded: Heat, Gas, Electricity, Water, Dryer, Washer, Internet/Cable and a secured parking space. Available from now, security deposit of $600 is required before move in,after two weeks of move in,first month rent will be required. Well trained pets are also allowed.Let me quickly introduce myself to you. My name is Rebecca and my husband’s name is Andre Ulla.My husband is the owner of the apartment you are making enquiry,but right now he’s in West Africa on a missionary work, l was suppose to travel with him, but some months before he traveled, l had a very serious car accident, that affected my back bone and brain, that lead to my disability, now l am using wheel chair and l find it very difficult to talk, but l can still communicate through any means of writing, that is the reason why l was unable to traveled with my husband. Right now, l am staying with my mother. She is also suffering from lungs cancer.Actually I and my husband both resided in our apartment before he traveled to West Africa on a missionary work, so we both agreed to rent/lease our apartment, to somebody that can take absolute care of it, in order to enable me pay for my mother’s hospital bill and take care of myself, We will not like to experience what we experienced from our last tenant, he destroyed most of our valuable home appliances ,and l know how much my husband spent to replace the things our last tenant destroyed in our apartment before he moved out.To be honest with you, a whole lot of people are contacting me regarding our apartment, but l am not sure of who to accept due to our past experience, so we’re taking our time to look for a responsible person, that can take proper care of our apartment, as if it is his/her own. My husband is a very busy man, due to the nature of his job, but he said if l find a responsible person, that promise to take care of our apartment, l should let him know. We don’t ever want to take the risk of putting our apartment in care of an agent again, because our last agent just leased our apartment, to somebody that destroyed most of our valuable home appliances, since my husband is a very busy person, he said l should be very careful with the kind of person l rent out our apartment to.lf you can assure me that, you will take absolute care of our apartment, as if it is your own, we will be more than happy to have you as our new tenant to be.Here is the address of our apartment (redacted) As soon as l hear from you, l will send you more information regarding our apartment. Expect to read from you soon, once again, thank you very much for the time you took in writing me me.. l must tell you that l really appreciate it.

Yours Sincerely

Rebecca

Even with the new additions to the old scam we still have some of the same old trademarks of the scam. First off the owner is in West Africa, missionary work and in a subsequent e-mail the ‘renters’ asked for the money to be couriered to them.

I advised Jacqueline to tell her friend that if they call again to let the scammers know that they’re on to them and to contact the Internet Crime Complaint Center.

Reader sends in scam e-mail for Costa Mesa

Another rental scam e-mail sent in by reader Rose. This time about a property in the Costa Mesa, California area…

From: Andre Ulla Jose Uribe [mailto:anrdreulla@yahoo.com]

Sent: Wednesday, November 12, 2008 9:50 PM

Subject: Re: $1000 / 3br – 2 bath single family home. (Canyon Cir Costa

Mesa)

Hello,

Thanks for your email and interest in renting my house..I am Andre ulla,the

owner of the house you are making inquiry of…Actually I resided in the

house with my family, my wife and my only daughter before and presently we

have moved out due to my transfer from my work now in Warsaw,Poland.

Presently my house is still available for rent for $1000 USD (rent already

includes utilities).Moreso Now, I’m currently in Lagos,Nigeria for an

international Christian follower’s crusade.

Please i want you to note that,i am a kind, honest and trustworthy man and

also i spent a lot on my property that i want to give to you for rent,so i

will solicit for your absolute maintenance of this house and want you to

treat it as your own, It is not the money that is the main problem but i

want you to keep it tidy all the time so that i will be glad to see it neat

when i come for a check up.I also want you to let me have trust in you as i

always stand on my word.This is the address of the House (**** ****** ***

Costa Mesa, CA 92627).

It has a dramatic entry foyer with ceramic floor. Extremely spacious rooms

throughout with lots of big windows…nice and light! New neutral paint and

some newer carpet..Very quiet, low traffic area. New fridge (7/07)…I

believe its absolutely a perfect home for you and your family.Utilities

include Water,Trash,Sewer,Gas

SO IF YOU ARE REALLY INTERESTED I WILL WANT YOU TO FILL THE

RENT APPLICATION FORM BELOW

RENT APPLICATION FORM.

FIRST NAME:__________?

MIDDLE NAME:__________?

LAST NAME:__________?

PROFESSION:__________?

PHONE:

(CELL)PHONE__________?

(WORK)PHONE__________?

(HOME)PHONE__________?

KIDS _____ (YES/NO), HOW MANY ________

PRESENT ADDRESS: _____________________

CITY: _______________

STATE:______________

ZIP CODE: ____________

HOW LONG? ___________IF RENTING

WHY ARE YOU LEAVING__________?

IF THIS HOUSE IS BEING GIVEN TO YOU,

HOW LONG DO YOU INTEND STAYING? ____________?

WHEN DO YOU INTEND MOVING IN? ______________?

IF YOU HAVE A PET,

NAME OF PET: _____________?

KIND OF PETS: _____________?

HABITS

DO YOU SMOKE ______________ ?

DO YOU DRINK ______________?

DO YOU WORK LATE NIGHT? ____?

Looking forward to hearing from you with all this details so that i can

have it in my file in case of issuing the receipt for you and contacting

you…Await your urgent reply so that we can discuss on how to get the

document and the keys to you,please we are giving you all this based on

trust and again i will want you to stick to your words,you know that we have

not seen yet and only putting everything into Gods hands,so please do not

let us down in this our property and God bless you more as you do this…

The house is available for rent at the moment so you are free to move in as

soon as you wish to…A Deposit of $1000 (which happens to be the first

months rent) is required before moving in…Feel free to call me for more

information and arrangements on how to get the keys and other necessary

documents delivered to you…my number is (+2347084066248 or

0112347084066248).The house will be available for rent for a period of 4

years so you have a choice of deciding how long you intend staying there…

God Bless,

Andre Ulla.

This one is right out of the Nigerian handbook. Warsaw, Nigeria, Christian missionary, all the usual red flags.

I wonder if scam rental ads out number the real ones yet on craigslist.

Another reader scam e-mail

I received this scam e-mail from reader Mike. The ad was on the Nashville craigslist. This one seems like they’re not even trying anymore…

Michael,

Thanks for the email. I Brink and my wife Dr. Betty own the Apartment and also want you to know that it was due to my transfer that made i and my wife to leave the house and also want to give it out for rent and we are looking for a responsible person that can take very good care of it as we are not after the money for the rent but want it to be clean at all time and we will appreciate it if the person will take it as if it were his/her own.

So for now, We are here in west Africa, in our new house and also with the keys of the house, we tried looking for an agent that we can give this documents before we left but could not see and we also don’t want our house to be used improperly in our absence that is why we took it along with us. I and my wife came over to West Africa for a missionary work, so i hope you will promise us to take very good care of the house.

So get back to me on how you could take care of our house or perhaps experience you have had in renting home. Hope you are okay with the price. I am looking forward to hear from you soon, please call us on how to get the house for rent, 011 then 234-803-923-7268 or + 234-806-330-0979

RENT APPLICATION FORM

1)Your Full Name :

2)Your Full Address & Phone Number :

3)How old are you?

4)Are you married?

5)How many people will be living in the house?

6)Do you have a pet?

7)Do you have a car?

8)Occupation?

9)What is your religion?

Looking forward to hear from you with all this details so that i can have it in my file incase of issuing the receipt for you and contacting you. I await your urgent reply so that we can discuss on how to get the document and the key to you, we have not seen you yet but we only put everything into Gods hand, so please do not let us down in this our property and God bless you more as you do this.Please i want you to drive to check the house at the address and let me know if you would like it, the house is locked and i have the keys.

Thanks and you are welcome

Brink and wife Dr. betty

Let’s review for those just joining us. Wanting, clean apartment, bad English (not the band), West Africa, missionary work, can’t see the inside of the house, Nigerian phone number, and finally lame fake names. I mean Brink and Dr. Betty and no last name?

I’m amazed that the people who fall for these scams can actually operate a computer.

Reader sends in apartment scam experience

I got the following e-mail from Christa who was looking for an apartment on Craigslist…

I’m 20 years old and this is the first time I began searching for apartments. When I saw an ad that looked too good to be true- I hesitated but gave the guy the benefit of the doubt and emailed him. This was his exact response:

“Hello. We are so much excited. My name is Mcgrath Garrett the owner of the apartment and also want you to know that it was due to my transfer that makes me and my wife and little daughter to leave the apartment and also want to give it out for rent and looking for a responsible person that can take very good care of it while we are not at the state as we are not after the money for the rent but want it to be clean at the time and the person that will rent it to take it as if it were its own. So for now, we are here in West Africa, our new house and put all my worries off concerning the maintenance of the apartment for, since i am not residing there for now. I left behind some Facilities and electonics which include the rent, DVD player, air conditioning, alarm system. The kitchen is fully equipped with all necessary cooking utensils, refrigerator-freezer, four-hob and oven, microwave, dishwasher and washing machine, my computer connected with Internet access also the keys and document of the apartment are right here with us in West Africa, and the lease document. Which i can send to you after all necessary agreement has been accepted. Also i will like you to know that the rent charges is not really the issue, hope you are okay with the price of $900 per month including utilities like hydro, water, gas, heat laundry facilities, air condition and so on, but your absolute maintenance of my apartment is most important thing, if you are really interested in renting this apartment get back to me so that i can forward you an application form for you to fill so that i can start all necesary arrangement asap.

Here is the apartment address : (California address)

…. Pls note that you will be viewing the apartment from outside only and 100 % sure that you would love to stay in the place because it is locatedin a very cool, quiet and safe neigbourhood. There was a man who want to rent my apartment his name was Mr Daniel called me about the apartment, i told him that I can’t give him the apartment because he loves smoking, drinking and dont want him to get drunked and damaged my property one day so If you are still interested, no extra fees. I will like you to give me a call at (foreign number) or (other foreign number) on this effect to know how serious you are. I personally will actually come visiting you sometimes during the year as our new tenant. Looking forward to hear from you with all this details so that i can have it in my file in case of issueing the receipt for you and contacting you. Awaiting your reply so that we can discuss on how to get the document and the keys of the apartment to you. “

I soon googled the e-mail and the only response was for a rental fraud website. I want to make sure this story gets posted because it might help a stupid person from making an even more stupid decision of sending money.

Thanks for your time 🙂

Thank you Christa for sending this in. It gives one more fake scammer name to post.

Nashville rental scam

I received an e-mail from Michael who was looking for a condo in Nashville and found one that was too good to be true. When he e-mailed the ‘seller’ this was the response he got.

Hello,

Thanks for your response regarding your interest in having my apartment for rent.The apartment is much available for now.I want you to know that I amthe owner of this building .But right now i am in africa on a Christain mission with my wife and we have the keys right here with us.I will like toinform you that it was due to my transfer that makes us to leave the apartment and also want to give it out for rent and looking for a resposible person that can take very good care of it as we are not after the money for the rent but want it to be clean at the time and the person that will rent it to take it as if it were its own.So for now,We are here in West Africa,NIGERIA our new house and also with the keys of the house,we are trying to look for an agent that we can give this document before we left but could not see and we are as well as dont want our house to be used any how in our absent that is why we took it along with us here.We are only willing to give the apartment out to a lovely and caring family only, so if you know you cannot give the apartment the neatness it deserves please don’t contact me.But if you promise to always take good

care of apartment,get back to me on how you could take care of our house or perhaps experience you have in renting home.Hope you are okay with the price of $650 with hydro,heat laundry facilities,air-condition and so on.i look forward to hearing from you ASAP so that i can forward you an application to fill out and discuss on how to get the apartment for rent,also are you ready to rent it now or when?

Thanks,

Marcie anderson.

So we can add Marcie Anderson to the list of fake scammer names.

Michael e-mailed Mrs. ‘Anderson’ back and then ‘she’ requested the usual personal information for identity theft purposes. Michael did not e-mail her back of course and he notes that the ad was removed the day after.

Let’s go over the red flags again…

  • Broken English: The apartment is much available for now.
  • Christian Mission: If there were as many Christian missionaries as they claim to be on craigslist the entire continent of Africa would be Christian.
  • Africa: Especially Nigeria, the birthplace of internet scams.
  • Asking for money sight unseen: It doesn’t matter how desperate you are for a place, never rent without seeing the inside of the place first.

And remember the old saying applies true even more with craigslist, if it looks too good to be true it probably is.

More reader scam mails

Received an e-mail from reader Hanna with a couple of craigslist scams she encountered.

Jamie Lescott to me

Thanks for your email and it is my gladness to hearing from you.I am RevJamie lesscott,the owner of the house you are making enquiry of.Actually I resided in the house with my family,such as my wife and my only daugther before and resently we had packed due to my transfer from my working place and now situated in the Madrid,Spain,and presently my house is still available for rent including the utilities like hydro,washer and security,it is urnised.Moreso Now,i went for a

Crusade in the West Africa and i will like you to get in touch with my wife in the state for more discussion as She is with the keys and the document to the house.Pls i want you to note that,i am a kind and honest man and also i spent alot on my property that i want to give you for rent,so i will solicit for your absolute mentenance of this house and want you to treat it as your own,is that taken,it is not the money the main problem but want you to keep it tidy all the time so

that i will be glad to see it neat when i came for a check up.i do that once in a while.I also want you to let me have trust in you as i always stand on my word.Where are you located and where do you see our advert also let us know if you need more pictures.

Email my wife Elizabeth.(Elizajamie@gmail.com ) and she will attends to you better.

God bless you

A crusade? Is he off to find the holy grail? His wife will attends to you better? Unrised? Is the house made of matzoh?

I’ll bring you more of Hannah’s scam mails in the days to come.

If you want to share your scam story either send me an e-mail.