Too good to be true?

Sometimes things are too good to be true aren't they? Sometimes we will be offered something that seems that way, we smell the rat but aren't sure. The more I learn about this one, the more uneasy I feel so I want to write the pertinent points and ask for opinions/advice [thanks in advance].

I answered to an ad on Gumtree for a 1-bed apartment downtown which on first spec to me looks more £700pcm than £600pcm though, nothing wrong with that, bargains do happen from time to time.

I email the landlord. Next day the ad is taken off Gumtree. I had no reply back so assumed it had sold but the day after [yesterday] the landlord mails me to ask if I have serious intention on renting.I am happy to share the email content in quote form here.

My name is Matt, I am from Denmark and the flat is still available for rent. It was redecorated last year is looking very nice and clean. Has a fully furnished kitchen, clean and well tidy sitting rooms, laundry room and fully furnished with home utilities like: shower, Lounge, Vacuum Cleaner, Toaster, Owen and microwave, dryer, iron, washing machine , refrigerator , dishwasher, power shower, heater, cable ready, TV set and DVD player, Internet connection, equipped kitchen and everything a house needs. I'm interested in finding someone clean who can take care of this house more then getting money from renting it if you know what I mean. The price I want is £610 for entire flat monthly, bills included and I am interested in a long term agreement, minimum 6 months! If you are decided to view the flat and have the money I could come in next weekend to show you the apartment and maybe sign the tenancy agreement if you like my flat (I am sure you will love it) but first I have to be sure you really do need a place to live because two weeks ago a person told me he is really interested and he asked me to go to ******* to meet him and sign the tenancy agreement and when I arrived there no one showed up to rent my place and I lost time and money for nothing. Please accept my apologies if I am rude but I hope you will understand me! I will wait for your e-mail.

Sounds great so far. And the Denmark bit - I'm thinking he probably works in London, not that he is actually in Denmark. After all, he was here meeting someone and they never showed, he said.

I am interested in the apartment so I email a reply asking for a viewing and regenerate my status that yes, I do really want to rent this flat. This is the reply recently received from him.

Hello, I've attached some pictures of the flat and a model of the rental contract(standard rental agreement)! The flat is located in ***************** but I can`t give you the exact address because there`s no one living out there and I`m afraid of thieves and I do apologize for this but I hope you understand me because I`m in Denmark right now! The property comprises a bright and spacious 1 bed flat, well equipped kitchen and modern bathroom. Parking place is included too! In the kitchen there is a dishwasher and also a fridge freezer! Regarding the council tax I can tell you that it is included in the price of £610 per month and also internet broadband, gas and electricity are also included in this price! I am interested in a long term agreement and I request one month rent in advance plus £610 refundable deposit which you will get back at the end of the contract.

I prefer the first payment to be in cash, against signed rental agreement, keys and receipt! Regarding the plumbings and all that kind of stuff I can tell you that the flat was recently renovated and all electrical part and plumbings are new so that won`t be necessary any repairs anyway I have a person who can manage this starting after I rent it. We can sign the rental contract starting from next weekend(not this coming) but I need to be sure that you have serious intentions in renting the flat that`s why I attached here a model of the rental contract and also we can discuss the terms when we will meet! If you are decided to view the flat let me know because there is another person interested in reserving it!

Well I for one would want to pay electronically by bank transfer so that there's traceable proof, I want all their details and to make a standing order monthly to an account, to say, we're unlikely to be paying cash each month, right?

I've been sent a shorthold tenancy agreement on PDF and happy to share any of it later if anyone has experience in these things and would like info on specifics. I've scrolled through it briefly and there are things there that I consider might not normally be written, seriously I have no true knowledge so this is one for the good ol' AVF court to consider, there are some good brains here and I feel this is an opportunity to gain some ideas as I might have to get this checked out by a solicitor, who knows, maybe there'll be one reading this!
 
Last edited:
I've made a collage of the photos he has supplied. From memory I think these are the same ones I first saw in the original ad.

image.jpg


I'm intrigued because if you read that second email he sent me, he is saying he does not know the exact address but I can see there is the front door - look, number 42 so I think he ought to know the full address of a property he wants to rent out BUT doesn't appear to have started renting it himself yet?

Regarding the plumbings and all that kind of stuff I can tell you that the flat was recently renovated and all electrical part and plumbings are new so that won`t be necessary any repairs anyway I have a person who can manage this starting after I rent it.

I'm equally concerned about this:

Lounge, Vacuum Cleaner, Toaster, Owen and microwave, dryer, iron, washing machine , refrigerator , dishwasher, power shower, heater, cable ready, TV set and DVD player, Internet connection, equipped kitchen and everything a house needs.

It's a bit overcooked I feel, just like, I dunno, too good to be true, for the price, hence this thread title. And who is Owen? :rolleyes:
 
Last edited:

bluedroog

Well-known Member
Blatant scam IMO, I got that from the first quote. There is a classic scam reference in there about the previous guy, he wants the money relatively soon and the 'too good to be true' element, this all plays on time urgency, loss of opportunity and greed / bargain. These are the techniques used. They basically panic people in to not thinking something through rationally by fear of missing out on something.

Add to that the element of cash payment and the amount of unnecessary and irrelevant detail in his patter and there you have it.

Avoid.
 
Thanks @bluedroog and @hippo99

What a pity! Thought it was too good to be true. I just mailed him this btw

Hi again Matt. I am very interested to rent this flat in the town. Please tell me when [next weekend 10/11 February?] we can meet here in ********. I would have an advisor with me too, we can view the property and sign the shorthold tenancy agreement you have sent which our solicitor can go through. I can pay you £1220 of course by electronic bank transfer only as there must be traceable communication documented between both parties I am sure you would agree. I would need your bank details after taking the tenancy in order to pay you the £610 monthly rent. Matt, please do not let this go to anyone else, I feel certain we will meet and you will have a very good person looking after your flat. If you would like, I can send you personal references to assure you of my good standing and payment/credit history. Write soon!

I am disappointed though, truly because at the beginning I thought I really had the chance to rent a plush seafront pad for our swinging parties.

Also, through AVF, I have become aware of and interested in the 419 Eater website, full of scams and scammers named and shamed and I have that to thank for my increased sense of alertness.
 
Add to that the element of cash payment and the amount of unnecessary and irrelevant detail in his patter and there you have it.

What I thought too. Who cares if there is toaster or a fudgeing iron. A lot of these people sit there thinking wow I am clever but they overcook details and for the most, people are not fooled.

But the downside is that someone, somewhere will be duped out of cash and I confess it could easily have been me if it weren't for offline and online friends.
 
I hovered over the contact to show this charming man's email address and it's GMail. I wanted to see if, by tracing his ip, he really was in Denmark and not Lagos!

Then I found this article:

Google's Gmail service omits the sender IP address information from all headers. Instead, only the IP address of Gmail's mail server is shown in Received: from. This means it is impossible to find a sender's true IP address in a received Gmail.

Probably why he opted for a GMail account then.
 
Out of curiosity we located the property, seeing as the landlord wasn't sure exactly where it was. Using the photograph given, we identified the flats of which there were three. Her indoors, who loves the detective malarky anyway, pressed one of the intercoms and spoke to Flat 1. No, none of the three flats (presumably the occupants all know each other) were available to rent. How strange!
 
I thought I really had the chance to rent a plush seafront pad for our swinging parties.

Have you told the potential landlord that you're going to have swinging parties there?

If I were renting out a property, this is something I'd like to be informed of prior to letting you rent the place.
 

IronGiant

Moderator
The flat is located in ***************** but I can`t give you the exact address because there`s no one living out there and I`m afraid of thieves


I think he's saying he doesn't want to give you the exact address, not that he doesn't know it. However, if you've just demonstrated it is occupied, then you have your answer.

I'm not sure how this scam is supposed to pan out but presumably it involves taking cash off you as a deposit and you never hearing from him again.
 

IronGiant

Moderator
Thanks, I saw that first link when I eventually managed to get Flash Player running. So I assume that at some point Matt would be coming up with excuses as to why he's stuck in Denmark and can't get over to London to allow viewings?
 

hippo99

Distinguished Member
Thanks, I saw that first link when I eventually managed to get Flash Player running. So I assume that at some point Matt would be coming up with excuses as to why he's stuck in Denmark and can't get over to London to allow viewings?
Yes, or the keys have been sent by courier.
And then pressure tactics come in. 'I've got someone else about to pay me a deposit for the flat this evening. If you don't want it/going to be this difficult, I'm just going to rent to this other (imaginary) person...'
 
I'm not sure how this scam is supposed to pan out but presumably it involves taking cash off you as a deposit and you never hearing from him again.

Good afternoon IG.

I watched the BBC clip that hippo99 linked earlier and it works by the landlord persuading the person to pay funds online and the keys are promised to them arriving by courier so the prospective tenant never gets to see the flat.

We've been here 20+ years so know the town and were able to easily use streetview and match the door in the photo he sent to the property.

In the video, it also said that bogus landlords put any house they like up for rent online and the home owners have absolutely no clue about it.

A lot of the websites fortunately spot many obvious fake ads and take them down but clearly this is a huge problem and many people have been victims.
 
So I assume that at some point Matt would be coming up with excuses as to why he's stuck in Denmark

Or Lagos. Just like a lot of the email scammers, anyone can say they are anywhere but traceable ip's tell you exactly where they are except... some use hide ip software? Maybe authorities have ways of getting past that problem. Still, it's been a learning curve today. It's getting to the point where I hardly believe anything I read! Thank heavens we don't have bogus moderators. :D
 

IronGiant

Moderator
You got me, I look like this:

3429488983_8ffe6c1fd8.jpg


But only when moderating for some reason.
 
I don’t know...I’ve always had this feeling that Iron Giant looks nothing like his Avatar :p

When I first started foruming [don't worry, this won't be a 'during the war' tale], I used to imagine that the posters looked like their avatars!

Now I see that you don't have one, yet you are distinguished! The avatar that stands out most for me here is Blue Max as he's got Zippy from Rainbow.

Bogus_Whole_Dolphin-max-1mb.gif
 
Last edited:

The latest video from AVForums

AVForums Movies Podcast: Streaming Theatrical Releases And The Future Of Cinema
Subscribe to our YouTube channel

Latest News

AVForums Movies Podcast: 1st December 2021
  • By Phil Hinton
  • Published
Rumour: Samsung even closer to OLED TVs in 2022?
  • By Andy Bassett
  • Published
Audio-Technica launches ATH-SQ1TW true wireless earphones
  • By Andy Bassett
  • Published
What's new on UK streaming services for December 2021
  • By Andy Bassett
  • Published
Best Projectors of 2021 - Editor's Choice Awards
  • By Steve Withers
  • Published

Full fat HDMI teeshirts

Support AVForums with Patreon

Top Bottom