updated december 2015

A reverse reversion of the "I want to rent FROM you" scam. Pretty much a sub-genre of the Bogus Check scam.

The basic scam is: "I will rent you a { house, room, whatever }, if you put down a deposit, whereupon I shall disappear."

See also

To see how scambaiters deal with this, read
DEAR LANDLORD - Wheelchair-bound Lovey Howell answers bogus rental ad
Bird on the Wire, featuring Norman Bates, shy proprietor of the Bates Motel.
This took an interesting turn when the scammer switched to French and badgered Norman's ex-Legionnaire pal Serge de Nîmes to send money.



Here's one for the archives. I left all of it intact, except I edited this out to remove information concerning my female friend. The address comes back to a very pricey condominium. I Googled this as soon as I read through and I knew it was a scam thanks to your site. As soon as I found this out, I texted my friend and let her know.

(a Scamoraman)

PS: Long time reader of the site. Completely funny.

From: (Scamoraman's cautious friend)

Check this out.does it seem phoney? Yup!

-------- Original message --------
From: john Abraham <>
Date:11-30-2015 11:50 AM (GMT-05:00)
Subject: Apartment

Hello ,

Thanks for the email about your interest in our apartment I am John Abraham a missionary with the General Board of Global Ministries of the United Methodist Church, and I own of the Apartment and It comes loaded with amenities: Furnished Living room and Bedroom, Leather furniture and a walk-in closet, a balcony or patio, ceiling fans, gas stove, garbage disposal,and central air conditioning and heating, I bathroom and Toilet, Fully equipped kitchen. Easy access and transportation options are numerous. The rent fee includes utility bills(electricity,water,etc) so you don't have to worry about that. This apartment is available for short or long term rental.

I used to reside in the apartment with my wife, Carol Abraham, but due to the fact that I was transferred to Edmonton on a missionary transfer, and now reside here for the time being, We have decided to put our apartment for rent to someone neat, honest and trustworthy. I will be here for a while and very busy with missions and crusades.

We are looking for a tenant who will take very good care of it, we are not really after the money for the rent but we also want a responsible, and neat person/people with good conduct. I will be away for long so the apartment is available for short or long term, so you can rent it for how long you wish. For now I am in Edmonton and I am with the keys and documents of the Apartment, I will send them to you after you have filled the form and made payment the deposit, damage and security fees to my wife. We tried to look for an agent or friends that we can give this keys and document before we left but could not find any at that time,we don't want our apartment to be dis-organized in our absence that is why I brought the keys along with me here . Please we need you to re-assure to us that you will take good care of the apartment.

Upon confirmation of your interest, You would have to fill rent application , after you have filled the rent application form and made payment for a month's rent deposit or damage fees, the keys and documents will be sent to you through DHL. The application form is subject to approval.I want you to note that I am a kind and honest man and also I spent a lot on my property so if eventually we give you our apartment, I will solicit for your absolute maintenance of this apartment and want you to treat it as your own.I want to know if I can trust you to handle my property with care... Please note that we don't have anyone over there to show you the apartment, So we will have to send you the keys & Documents via h DHL Courier Service on a next day delivery after you have made payment for the first month's payment or security deposit so you can move in asap.

Hope you are okay with the price of $550 Per month(utilities included) for the whole apartment. You can live with any of your friends, no problem so far you keep it tidy always. The apartment is newly furnished throughout, there is cable and internet, all you need to do is bring your computer. It is air-conditioned, fully equipped kitchen, and standard bathroom with hydro and heat. The apartment is very close to various public transport. There is a parking space available.

Below is the address of the apartment, the rent and security deposit fees..

Rent: $550per month
Damages and Security Deposit :- $500 (Refundable once you're evacuating the
xxx xxxxxxxx St West (anonymized to protect the innocent)
Toronto (Central)
Ontario, Canada M5V 1P7

If this is okay by you, below is a rent application form which you are to fill
and send back to me ASAP. The paper work of the agreement will be sent to you
along with the keys and documents as soon as you have made the payment $650.
You are to make payment to my wife via Western Union Money Transfer , hope
you're familiar with this mode of sending money overseas.

If you a ready to proceed, please complete the form below:

=========== RENT APPLICATION =============
1)Full Name(s):
2)Present Address(Current residence):
3)Direct contact phone number(home and cell):
5)Marital Status:
6)How many people will be living in the flat:
7)Do you have a pet ?:
8)Do you have a car? If yes, how many? :
11)How long do you intend to stay?:
12)How many months rent can you pay upfront? Minimum ( 1month + security deposit of $500 ) or ( 2 months + deposit of $500 and you get 1 month free) .so which option do you prefer????

As soon as you have filled the form completely and ready to proceed, I will email you back if approved or not I will give you necessary instruction needed for payment.I want you give me a call after you have filled the form. Upon receipt of your payment, I will send out the the keys and other documents to you via DHL express delivery and provide you with the tracking number for your reference. I will need your your address where the keys and documents should be sent to. Looking forward to your email with all this details so that I can have it in my file in case of issuing the receipt in your name and contacting you. You should know that we are giving you all this based on trust and the believe that you will take good care of the apartment. I will be expecting your email ASAP.

Thanks and God bless.
John Abraham
Global Ministries .


Feb 8

Hello! So I recently encountered a scammer while searching for an apartment. This isn't uncommon, I've interacted with a lot of scammers in my hunt for a home, but this guy took the cake.

He has been taking house listings and existing rent listings, and posting them to Craigslist for bargain prices that are believable for places that are almost too good to be true.

Below are the emails we exchanged. He had posted an add for a little house in my town that was a bargain price. I messaged him and he replied to tell me that he was currently living in Malaysia with his family as missionaries (and even gave me a link to a missionary website calls SIM) and that they had tried to sell the house before they moved but the realtor had put too high a price on it making it difficult to sell before they had to leave on their mission trip. We exchanged phone numbers so he could text me with info and reach me quickly.

Below are the emails that were exchanged:

- - - - -


Thanks for your interest and inquiries about my house. Yes the house is still available for rent and we are looking for a responsible person/family to occupy and maintain the house now that we are not around. Myself and husband just travelled to Selangor,Malaysia for a program called SERVING IN MISSION (SIM), you can view the link for more info: (

We will be away for 2 to 3 years or more that is why I have made up my mind to put up my house for rent to whom ever that will take good care of it. However, my initial plan was to sell the house but it was not successful because the Realtor raised the price which made it difficult for me to sell before leaving the States so never mind if you see the for sale sign in front of the house, It has already been taken off the market as for sale so there is no need to contact any Realtor.

Also how long do you intend to stay? How soon do you intend to move in?

FEATURES : Laundry, Electric Range, Electric Heat, Master Bedroom, Playground, Car Park.
AMENITIES: Air Conditioning, Patio/Party Deck, Cable TV, Ceiling Fans, 24 hours Internet service, Dishwasher, Fireplace, Garbage Disposal, Microwave, security alarm, Pets Friendly, Refrigerator, Washer / Dryer.

Rental Price: $600 per month and security Deposit is $600 (Security Deposit is Refundable) Utilities included in monthly rent
Pets are Welcome.
Below is the address to the house:

You are welcome, It is good to hear from you . I may not be returning to the house because we plan buying another house upon arrival. For more inquiries, Here is my cell phone number, call or Text me ASAP (240) 382-2682Below are some questions I need you to answer so that we can discuss further.


Name (First name/ Middle name/Surname ) : __________?
Phone numbers (home,cell and office line ) # :__________?
E-mail :__________?
Best time to call :__________?
Marital Status:__________?
How many proposed occupants :__________?
List all in addition to yourself including approx age :__________?
Present Address :__________?
City/State :__________?
Will you have pets :__________?
Please describe Breed, size :__________?
Personality of pet :__________?
Preferred move in date :__________?
Intended length of lease:__________?
Do you agree to pay the payment before you move in:__________?
Earliest possible date of deposit payment:__________?
Length of previous tenancy :__________?
Present occupation :__________?
Are you a section 8 applicant
Do you work late night :__________?
Do you smoke :__________?
Do you drink :__________?
Send your picture or family picture __________?

Looking forward to hearing back from you with all this details so that i can have them in my file in case of issuing your rent payment receipt to you and for contacting you. Your quick response will be highly appreciated so that we can discuss on how to get the documents and the keys of my property to you via Express Delivery Services. May GOD bless you and your family.

Regards. (FAKE NAME)

*I filled out the information and sent it to him. We exchanged some text messages about payment and he told me he used Western Union. I also forwarded the listing to my mother. She drove by the house that afternoon and called me saying there was a "Sale Pending" sign in the yard, a car in the driveway, and that the house looked well kept and taken care of.*

*My mother gave me the name and number of the realtor. I called and it was confirmed that (Fake Name) was in fact, trying to scam me. *

*The email exchange after realizing he was a scammer:*

Me: When I drove past the house, there was a car in the driveway, the house looked well kept and taken care off, drive way shoveled, and the sign out front said "Sale Pending". I called the realtor.

Him: I will like you to send me the down payment so the keys can get to you on time.

Me: I called the realtor. He told me what was going on with the house.

Him: I no longer work with him i discarded the info i had with him

Me: He told me the house is for sale and not by you.

Him: Nope i intended saleing the house before so i discussed it over with my wife we came to a conclusion on renting the house to a responsible person

Me: The realtor said you're scamming people by finding listings and posting them as "for rent" for bargain prices in an attempt to get people to transfer money to you. I found the house listed online and that it has been sold.

Him: i own the house okay

Me:Why would the realtor lie? There are lots of scammers out there, you are overseas, and I was able to get a hold of the realtor who knew exactly what property I was talking about, and said that he had received other calls regarding the property and how you are attempting to rent it when it isn't yours.

Me: I would love for this to be a real thing, because the house really is precious, but the facts and evidence aren't balancing out. You could easily have gone to the online listings, saved the photos to your computer and then sent them to me and others who would believe they are your photos

Him: Okay i will like you to send me the deposit

Me: I'm not going to send you a deposit until you provide proof of your ownership of the house.

Him: Okay can you send me half of the deposit first

Me: No, I am not exchanging any money with you until you can prove you really hold the ownership of that house.

His constant use of exclamation points and question marks, and broken English were signs this wasn't a real thing.

JUNE 2012

In response to a query to an anonymous craigslist reply email on an ad for a rental property in Fayetteville, Arkansas, I received the email posted below. The real realtor handling the house says that about one in three of the listings he posts on craigslist get this treatment. What an idiot. Says he's in Warsaw, visiting West Africa, and gives Nigeria numbers for contact.....

From "Kevin Brown" <>
Add sender to Contacts

Thanks for your email and interest in renting my house..I am 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 (rent already includes utilities).More so Now, i.m currently in the (West African)for an international Christian follower.s crusade.Pls i want you to note that 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: xxxxxxxxxxxxxxx Drive Fayetteville, AR
Monthly Rent:$700
Moving in Security Deposit:$600
Contact or Text me on (+234-803-702-2876 or 011-234- 803-702-2876)

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 I believe its absolutely a perfect home for you and your family.Utilities include Water,Trash,Sewer,Gas Etc....

Name (First name/ Middle name/Surname ) : __________?
Phone # : __________?
E-mail : __________?
Best time to call : __________?
How many proposed occupants : __________?
List all in addition to yourself including approx age : __________?
Present Address : __________?
City/State : __________?
Will you have pets : __________?
Please describe Breed, size : __________?
Personality of pet : __________?
Preferred move in date : __________?
Intended length of lease: __________?
Earliest possible date of deposit payment: __________?
Length of previous tenancy : __________?
Present occupation : __________?
Monthly Income: __________?
Do you run a business from home : __________?
If so what kind of business : __________?
Do you work late night : __________?
Do you smoke : __________?
Do you drink : __________?

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 $600 (which happens to be the security deposit) is required before moving in. for more information and arrangements on how to get the keys and other necessary documents delivered to you, contact me.The house will be available for rent for a period of 4 years so you have a choice of deciding how long you intend sm/property.

Thanks And God Bless You
Kevin Brown