Apartment hunting is the absolute worst. If you have ever looked for a place on Craigslist it can be a gasoline-fueled dumpster fire of slum lords, shady real estate agents and outright scams. While it is easy to dismiss the BS and slog through the river of excrement that is Craigslist sometimes it’s worth going down the rabbit hole.
Below is a text message exchange I had with a scammer who advertised an entire house for rent in Newark for $1000 a month.
(Note: I would normally cover the texter’s phone number but they are stealing people’s money so the hell with them.)
So we are immediately off to a terrible start. Who on God’s green Earth simply drives by a house for rent and says “Yeah that’ll work.” FOH…
So, this guy/gal is clearly swinging for the fences. I should a) be able to make a decision by driving by the place and b) I can occupy the space as soon as I send them the $1000 security deposit and c) I was subtly told that I can eff off if I don’t like the terms. This is the moment when I decided I was all in on this conversation. I start slowly, negotiating a lower rent for taking the place sight unseen.
So if you aren’t sure if you’re involved in a real estate scam one good sign is whether or not the potential scammer actually gives AF about the property. “Sure strange person on the internet. Feel free to hire a locksmith to enter my property. Why should there be any issue there?” I also managed to slyly negotiate a lower deposit because I’m that damned good.
It should be noted at this point that I am pretty good at internetting. If I have swiped you on Tinder or any other dating app please know that I already have already found your full name, all your social media, your credit score, and criminal history on hand. Reverse image searches are a hell of a drug. This also supports my theory that this is a scam. I literally just backdoored my way into finding out where your property is. HOW CREEPY IS THAT? Wait. Forget what I said about Tinder.
If you are ever unsure whether you are about to be scammed Western Union is the biggest of red flags. If, in 2018, your major purchase can only be completed by a financial institution parked next to the frozen food aisle run like hell.
Oops, I got greedy. That $400 wasn’t going to fly. The upside is that we are so deep down the rabbit hole they forgot what the deposit was supposed to be.
Chemistry you say? Go on…
It’s time to go into full troll mode now. Clearly, they will see that I’m playing with them at this point. HOW CAN YOU NOT SEE THAT I AM FUCKING WITH YOU!?!
Sounds great internet stranger, let me know when “Jesse” breaks into my home. And yes stranger I would love to be a part of your criminal enterprise. Just send me some money. Crystal meth you say? Sure…
I mean, what were you expecting from a drug dealer? Fair play? Ethics? Full rent? Come on now. Also, are you really going to call the police sketchy internet scam guy?
I am so pissed that autocorrect ruined the joke. They are also being fairly short-sighted considering that I am cutting them in on the profits. It’s also amazing that sketchy scam guy is offended by my taking over his fictional property. Has he forgotten that he is completely full of shit?
If you don’t get the Zihuatanejo reference we can’t be friends…