Computer Crime Research Center


Online renter scam

Date: May 07, 2007

Online scam artists con people out of an estimated $335 million dollars a year. The Internet has become a virtual hunt club for these criminals who prey on your trust to take your money.

Now, there's a brand new scam that targets anyone who is trying to rent a house or apartment, and in this current housing market, that's a whole lot of people.

Gloria Gali, for example. She and her husband turned to the Internet to advertise an apartment they had for rent after several print ads they purchased failed to draw in anyone.

"We were getting real discouraged, really fed up," Gloria says.

But then, out of the blue, Gloria got an e-mail from a gentleman in London saying he was moving to the United States and would need a place to live. He wrote that he was "sold" on Gloria's place and wanted to send her the money immediately.

The prospective renter from London further explained that his boss would send Gloria a cashier's check for $6,000. Some of that check, he said, would pay the total deposit cost of $3,500; the rest was to cover his $2,500 travel expense.
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