scam

Last week my husband put in a real estate sales listing. He is not affiliated with Trulia, but listings submitted to our local MLS get on the site.

He was surprised yesterday when he got a call from someone wanting to rent the house. According to the caller his listing was on Trulia as a rental. It was also listed at an enticing rental amount—$700 a month for an area that would typically go for $2000 a month.

He looked on Trulia, and sure enough his listing was there, under someone else’s name and a phone number out of Bullhead City (according to our Internet search).

Don got on the phone and raised hell with Trulia. I created a fake email account to see what would happen if I inquired about the rental.

Today the ad is off Trulia, yet that didn’t stop me and others from receiving a reply from the scammers, in spite of the fact Trulia was informed of the scam BEFORE they forwarded my email to the crook, and his email back to me.

In my opinion Trulia needs to contact everyone they forwarded emails to, before someone sends the crooks money. To hell with Trulia’s lame “buyer beware” warning under the ad. They need to step up to the plate and do the right thing.

Lesson for the public: do NOT search rentals on Trulia.

This is a copy of the letter I received.

Phillips Lola
To me Today at 10:03 AM
Hello,

Thanks for mailing us in regard to the property. We’re looking for a responsible tenant that will take proper care of the property. We are couples that recently moved to (West Africa) owing to our job. We both work in an organization at the Christian care health system (christianacare.org) we wanted to sell the house but my wife advised against it since we will be in Africa for at list 8-9 years before we come back to the states, we will be needing the house in the future so we can have somewhere to stay when we get back. The property available for rent is in a convenient neighborhood that is peaceful and safe, It’s a 3 Bedroom and a 2 Bath house located at (xxx, Lake Havasu City, AZ 86406) You can easily take a drive down there to take a look at the exterior of the Property. The rent is $700 per month while the Deposit is $700 and the rent includes utilities such as electricity, gas, water, sewer, trash disposal, air-condition, Internet, Cable, washer and dryer, pets are also acceptable. I will appreciate it if you can get back to me on how you can keep the place clean. I look forward to hearing from you if interested.

Please if you are ready now to occupy the house kindly provide us with the rental application information below for record purpose.

Full Name:
Email Address:
Home Phone:
Other Phone:
Date of Birth:
Current Address:
City:
State:
Zipcode:
Reasons for Leaving:
Rent $:
Are you married:
How soon are you willing to pay the deposit:
How many people will be living in the house:
Do you have a pet:
Do you have a car:
Occupation:
Move In Date:

The rental fee is inclusive with utilities and my home available as at this moment. Remain Blessed.

You can reach me at +234-704-445-0883 or 011-234-704-445-0883

Phillips

10 comments on “Trulia Rental Scam – Renters beware!

  1. C Thompson

    I too, received the same email reply, when inquiring on the ad for a Stevensville house rental. Rent was too high for as nice as this house is, Phillips Lola is in W. Africa working, etc, etc — RED FLAG.

    I Googled his name – nothing. I Goggled his phone and got your website!

    Have reported this bogus ad to Trulia just now and would like to go further to report this scammer.

    Thank you for this article!!!

  2. melissa

    Yep, the tried to get me too. I reported them. This time the name was David. Oh, yes, tell me how you’ll pay my cable while you’re in West Africa. Haha!

  3. tim & jamie

    we were looking for a rental property got all the same scam letter as above except in our area and this time they are using the name chris edmond. when you google the number in the ad it is someplace in california and the other number leads us here!!!
    It is a shame what extremes people will go to scam others and yet play the “christian” theme to the tee!!!! WATCH OUT !!!!

  4. Dee

    Total SCAM. I Received the below response today when inquiring about a home for rent from Marley King

    Hello,

    Thanks for your interest and inquiries about my Unit. Sorry for getting back late to you, Yes the Unit is still available for rent and we are looking for a responsible person/family to occupy and maintain the Unit now that we are not around.Actually I did reside in the house with my family and presently we have moved out due to my transfer to (ALABAMA) for a program called SAVING THE LESS PRIVILEGE CHILD PROGRAM with DAVE THOMAS FOUNDATION.for more information visit our website on http://www.davethomasfoundation.org
    Take note that you can not see the inside of the Unit but you can only drive by the Unit for now because the Unit is locked up for security purpose due to my work transfer but you can peek at it from the windows Myself and Family just traveled to (ALABAMA) for the program. My transfer would be for a period between 2-6 years, so I would definitely be renting my House to whom ever that will take good care of it.

    DETAILS ABOUT THE House:
    Pets:Allowed
    Number of bedrooms:2
    Number of bathrooms:1
    Rental price: $1000 per month and security Deposit is $800(Security Deposit is Refundable)

    Utilities included in monthly rent Pets Welcome.

    Here is the address to the House:
    5847 Dashwood St, Lakewood, CA 90713

    1. Bobbi Holmes Post author

      Notice they like to say they are working in some charity. Like that will make you trust them. I wonder who really owns the house.

  5. D

    Hi Bobbi – they’re still at it on craigslist – got suckered into driving 80 miles with this version of their copypasta.

    I might have fallen for it, too, given how high prices are these days. Thanks for keeping the word out there.

    -D

    Hi,

    Thanks for mailing us in regard to the property. We’re looking for a
    responsible tenant that will take proper care of the property.

    NOTE!!! I have just moved to Houston TX 6 weeks ago with my family
    because of the new work transfer and we have the keys here with us
    that will be mailed to you if we approve you, initially we actually
    wanted to sale the house because we already had it listed for sale on
    multiple sites but we decided to rent it out for 1 or 2 years and sell
    it to you afterwords if you take good care of it properly, we have to
    rent out this property and we are just looking for someone that will
    rent from us so we can take if off market for sale now on till we are
    ready to sell.

    We both work in an organization at the Christian care health system
    (christianacare.org). The property is available for rent, property is
    in a convenient neighborhood that is peaceful and safe, It’s a 3
    Bedroom and 2 Bath house located at (15075 Konocti Vw,Clearlake, CA
    95422) You can easily take a drive down there to take a look at the
    exterior of the Property. The rent is $1000 per month while the
    Security deposit is $1000, utilities such as heat, water, gas, and
    electrical are included in the rent.

    You also have fully equipped kitchen, Refrigerator, Microwave, Gas
    Range, Dishwasher, Garbage Disposal, Hood Over Range, washing machine,
    trash disposal, air-condition, Internet, Cable, large living room with
    appliances including in-suite washer and dryer, electric heating, Wall
    Furnaces to enjoy in this house. Pets are also acceptable. I will
    appreciate if you can get back to me with your renting experience, how
    you can keep the place clean and anything you think we should know. I
    look forward to hear (read) from you, so if you wish to apply get back
    to me so i can forward an application to you and also discuss on how
    to get the property for rent.

    Warm Regards

    Landlord

  6. Amy Boisvert

    Hello,

    I received your inquiry about my property for rent at 46 Laurel St,Concord, NH 03301.
    My name is Donald D Ayers, Actually I did own and resided in the unit with my wife until my urgent transfer which brought us down to California. Yes the unit is still available for rent and we are looking for a responsible person/family to occupy and maintain the unit now that we are not around. My Wife and i just moved to California for a program called SAVING THE LESS PRIVILEGES CHILD PROGRAM with DAVE THOMAS FOUNDATION. The initial plan was to sell the property but I find it difficult to let go this adorable home, I stopped working with the real estate management because i am no longer selling the place but renting it to a good and potential tenant. So they have no access into the property anymore and i will be dealing directly with my tenant. We will be staying in California for at least 4 years or more and that is why we have made up our minds to put up the unit for rent to whom ever that will take good care of it and we intend getting a bigger unit again as soon we are done with the program. for more information

    visit our website on (www.davethomasfoundation.org)

    DETAILS ABOUT THE PROPERTY.
    Property address : 46 Laurel St,Concord, NH 03301

    Bedrooms: 3
    Bathrooms: 1.5
    Rent is : $950 and security Deposit is $750. Security Deposit is Refundable

    Utilities included; Heat, A/C in wall, window, cable, Garbage Disposal,Fireplace,
    Fridge, stove, Dishwasher, Dryer,internet access e.t.c. and all the utilities are
    included in the monthly rent,as i am in a governmental programmer that sponsors
    my utilities on monthly basis because of this reason and more we need a
    responsible person that can take very good care of it as we are not after the
    money, but want it to be clean and for you to take it as if it were yours. You
    can only drive by the property for now to check the outside and the neighborhood,
    it is available for a long/short term lease. Below is the rental questionnaire i would want you to answer so we can proceed further with the rental.
    N.B: I want you to know that we never had an intention of renting out the home
    until we got down here when my wife got sick so we had to rent out the home so we
    can use the monthly rent as a source of income to carter for my wife and the kids,so should in case we had an intention of renting the home then we would have drop

    down the keys with someone to handle the rental on our behalf but since we don’t then that is why we had to bring the keys over here, so we will be mailing
    out the keys to you as soon as we finalize the rental processes OK?

    Thanks.
    Donald D Ayers .

    RENTAL FORM

    I really appreciate your effort in renting my property, Due to my job, I spent less time in the state so I could not get a hold on any Realtor to handle this rent issue, although it was when I knew how long we are going to stay that I decided to rent out the property. However, the initial plan was to rent out the property with the property management. which I tried, but sometimes the agents inflates the prize and it takes longer to rent, i am telling you this in case if you find it on another website, that is the old advert. because of this reason and more we need a responsible person that can take very good care of it as we are not after the money , but want it to be clean and for you to take it as if it were yours. I want you to know that my unit is ready for you to move in. I will not be showing you the interior parts of the unit because I am currently out of the state and i will need you to promise me that you will take good care of the unit for me if you happen to move in as my new tenant.

    Below is the rental questionnaire i would want you to answer so we can proceed further with the

    rental.

    RENT QUESTIONNAIRE

    Full Name: ________?
    Phone numbers(home and cell)#:__________?
    Marital Status(Sex):__________?
    How many proposed occupants:__________?
    List all in addition to yourself including approx age(s):__________?
    Present home Address :__________?
    Do you have pets:__________?
    Please describe Breed/size/Personality of pet:__________?
    Present occupation:__________?
    Monthly Income:_______________?
    Do you work late night(work hours):__________?
    Length of previous tenancy :__________?
    Brief Rental History:__________________?
    Are you a section 8 applicant:___________?
    When do you plan to move in, please write exact date:__________?
    Intended length of lease:__________?

    Habits;
    Do you smoke/drink:__________?
    Do you party late:___________?

    Credits;
    Good/Bad:_______________?
    Any criminal record(YES/NO):_______?
    Reference(s):______________?

    Do you agree to make a down payment before you move in:__________?
    If you are asked to make a down payment to secure the property today and take it

    off market, How much will you be able to pay:__________?

    I _________________, Certify that answers given herein are true and complete to

    the best of my knowledge. I authorize investigation of all statements contained

    in this application for tenant screening as may be necessary in arriving at a
    tenant decision. I understand that the landlord may terminate any rental
    agreement entered into for any misrepresentation made above.
    Looking forward to hear from you with the rental application form 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 keys to you,
    please I am giving you all this base on trust and again i will want you to stick
    to your words, you know that we do not see yet and only putting everything into
    Gods hand, so please do not let me down in this property and God bless you more
    as you do this. You can move in with your pet.

    I look forward to hear from you ASAP so that we can proceed further.

    Sdex Dexd
    sdex.dexd@aol.com

    —–Original Message—–
    From: Haileyrosenh
    To: sdex.dexd
    Sent: Wed, Sep 20, 2017 8:28 pm
    Subject: Charming in town New Englander w/ fenced in back yard,

    Is this legit?
    http://nh.craigslist.org/apa/6313981120.html

    Sent from my Verizon LG Smartphone

    1. Bobbi Holmes Post author

      When I went to ck out the link, I got a message that said it was flagged for removal. Looks suspicious. If renting from a private party I did not know, I would probably check to make sure who actually owns the house. I would do some serious due diligence. Good luck!

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