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Rental Scams Ruse Online Surfers

Online scammers making money out of fraudulent practices estimate to $335 million per annum. Scams are of various forms and targets of various kinds. Consumer Reports warn of a scam that targets landlords who seek to rent out apartments.

One landlord went to the Internet to advertise an apartment for hire when he failed to receive proper response from print ads. Soon enough the landlord got an e-mail reply from someone who said he resided in London. He intimated that his employer would provide a cashier's check of $6,000 to the landlord. A part of the check, $3,500 would pay as the deposit for the apartment and the remaining $2,500 would pay for travel expenses. He wrote, when the landlord would receive the check she should send him $2,500 so he could do the shifting.

The landlord could not understand why anyone would pay a $6,000 check to any unknown person. However, the landlord deposited the check in her bank and the money credited to her account. But she didn't dispatch the $2,500 amount. According to the FBI, when these scams trap people, by the time the victim finds the check to be bogus, the scammer has disappeared with the victim's money.

In another incident, Hamilton police alerted the people about an Internet scammer who defrauded a person from Toronto, Canada of $4,000. Police found the con artist to be based either in the U.K. or Africa from where he sends tricky e-mails to Canadians advertising housing accommodation for students.

This scammer would call the respondents over the telephone to finalize a rental agreement in the name of his son or daughter. He says these children will be studying in the local college or university. The scam takes place when the victim transfers an international check or money order for an amount greater than the original agreed sum. The scammer contacts the recipient falsifying that his accountant made a fault and therefore asks for the difference amount.

People should ignore any such offer of cashier's check that asks to send money in return, cautions Consumer Reports. The best defense is common sense.

Related article: Randolph Bank Clients Struck with phishing E-mails

» SPAMfighter News - 2/20/2007

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