Consumer reviews and reports on scam companies, bad products and services
Erika K Riley Amazing deal for Downtown apartment. SCAM. Craigslist Apartment Scam using TNT service to exchange keys and contract for first month re
16th of Oct, 2011 by User968987
My sister and I were looking for an apartment in Ottawa and we found a listing on craigslist that was a crazy good deal for a big downtown apartment. There was only the reply by e-mail and I contacted the person. You will see all the details further in the e-mails but basically the apartment is too good to be true. The person wants to use a TNT service (or fake it), it will take 2 days to reach you and you will get the keys and contract and you have 2 days to check the place out to decide. It is supposed to make you feel more comfortable and safe that you are putting your money with a respectable third party and not just paying over the money to a stranger. TNT's brand is being used but from their site it shows they are aware of the fraud but it has not stopped. Hope this helps. Here are the e-mails for you to compare to: The Listing:
"5 minutes walk to Parliament Hill, Byward Market, schools and bussesDate: 2011-09-18, 4:08PM
Spacious sunny south facing 2 bedrooms, 2 bathrooms condo in safe desirable Queen Elizabeth Towers. Large kitchen with separate eat-in area & pantry. Open concept living and dining room, spacious master bedroom with 3 piece ensuite includes shower. Quality ceramic flooring, in-unit laundry, large balcony, A/C, covered parking space, excellent amenities including salt water pool, Jacuzzi, 2 gyms, 24hours security. First reply:
My name is Erika Riley, I'm 39 years old and I hope this email finds you well. The apartment is located at 530 Laurier Ave W, Ottawa, ON K1R 5Y9, Canada. It has 2 bedroom, 2 bathroom, 1 kitchen and 1 living room at $810 per month (below market value) in return for taking good care of the place. I am looking for someone who will be careful and thoughtful to live in it, as soon as possible, because I have recently suffered a divorced and I will move back home in Oxford, England. The lease can be for a minimum 1 month to 6 years or more. I'm the full right owner of the apartment and the utilities are included in this price (rent/month). Everything in this apt is functional because is recently renovated.
Just to mention a few, it includes: (refrigerator, washer/dryer and most important 2 parking spaces.). I would also like to know how many persons will occupy the apartment and for how long would like to sign the rent contract. (any pets? cats or dogs?). Unfortunately I, have the keys no one else have access in the apartment because it is a private property.
Thank you for your interest and wait news from you. Second Reply:
Thank you for your response. Like I have informed you before, the price you have to pay for one month of rent will be $810. We can start with a basic 1 year contract with the possibility of renewing it or with the period of time suitable for you. About the payment, I would like to receive it monthly into my bank account and I hope there will be no problem for you to wire the money to it. You only need to receive the keys and the contract so you could check out the apt, and see if you like it.
Since I'm Oxford we need a way to complete this deal that will allow us to make sure we receive what we are asking for. I have found a way for us to complete the deal safely that will allow you to pay for the rent only after you will receive the keys and rental contract, you can receive them in less than 2 days. The solution is provided by a third party company called TNT Global Air Express which is similar to FedEx, DHL or UPS, and will handle the payment and delivery of the Keys.
Through this service you will see the apt and decide if you like it or not, before sending the payment. Please click on the link bellow to see how we can complete the deal safely and fast directly from the web site of the company where this procedure is explained: http://www.tnt.com/express/en_gb/site/home/services/special_services/international_time_critical_services.html If you don't see the link, or if you click on the link and it appears broken, please copy and paste the URL into a new browser window. Third reply:
Hello again,
If you are ready to proceed with this transaction I will explain you step by step how we can make it happen. You will only have to deposit to the Escrow Service TNT the first month of rent $810 so they can proceed with the shipping. I will pay for a 2 days delivery so you will receive the keys and the contract signed by me right away. 1 - To start the process first of all I need is your full name and shipping info.
2 - I will go at TNT to deposit the keys and the contract in your name as the intended receiver.
3 - TNT will check the envelope to see if everything is in order and also the legal papers that will come along with the keys and proof of ownership.
4 - TNT will send you a delivery notification to let you know they have the keys and the papers in their custody and that I am the real owner of the apartment I am renting, in which you will also have all the instructions to complete the Western Union transfer to the TNT Agent.
5 - At this point you will have to go to a Western Union Location and make a money deposit on the TNT Agent Name for the amount we agreed, the total amount you shall deposit for the first month of rent.
6 - After you make the deposit you will have to send the transfer information to TNT (not to me).
7 - TNT will verify the payment information and if everything is in order they will proceed with the delivery of the keys and the contract.
8 - After you receive the package, you will go and check the apartment and in 2 days you must contact TNT to inform them if you keep the apt or not. If all is in order you will instruct TNT to send me the information about the money deposit and I will be able to receive the funds. If you don`t like the apartment you can ask for a full refund and you will send back the keys and contract. Also pay the Western Union transfer fees from the total amount you need to deposit and send the rest in balance. Let me know if we can do this.

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