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Old 08.05.2012, 18:21
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Apartment rental scam?

Hi,

I'm looking for an apartment, in Lausanne, for 2 weeks now and I came across a great ad for a 2 room, 65m2 apartment, completely furnished with amazing pieces of furniture, real nice, for only 1200 CHF a month. I showed interest in his ad and he replied to me in the same day. Funny thing, after he replied me the ad vanished from the site. After asking some basic questions, now he wants to mediate the process through Skrill (old moneybookers) because he's not in Switzerland. Here are the emails we exchanged:


Hello again,

Thank you very much for your fast reply. Because of the distance I decided together with my mother to use a neutral third service company that will allow us to complete the deal safely and fast. The solution is provided by a company called Skrill. I have already signed a contract to use their services. They can take care about the viewing, keys delivery, payment, and they are offering assistance and protection for both, landlords and tenants. Hopefully this will be feasible for you.

If you decide to proceed with this rental transaction, I will have to contact Skrill and provide them all the necessary information, so they can start the process right away (keys and legal documents). I will need your: Full Name and Address for that. You will receive a notification from Skrill shortly after that, together with all the instructions to follow.
The keys and rental contract will be delivered to your address in no more than 24h. You will be given a 3-days inspection period from the day you receive the keys and contract at home. If you decide to rent the apartment, then you will have to sign the contract so I can receive the payment from Skrill. If you will not be satisfied with the apartment, you will have to send the keys/contract back through the same service and you will receive a full refund. I think this is more than fair for both of us and it is good to know that you do have this second option available.The move in cost in total is 1 month rent + rental guarantee (bond) CHF 1'200.- + CHF 1'200- = CHF 2'400.-
If you wish to proceed with renting the apartment, please provide me your Full Name and Address and also a phone number (mobile if possible), so I can initiate the process through Skrill right away.
I also want to confirm that I won't get any money until you view the apartment and decide to rent it.
I have also attached a copy of my passport to this email for your peace of mind and a copy of the rental contract in blank.

Greetings,
Jerome Francesco Amoros

(...)

Hello Mr. Jerome Amoros,

First of all, thank you for the quick reply.

I really enjoyed the apartment, it seems great and has an excellent location also.

So, a little bit about me:

I have a one year contract to work at Lausanne. I intend to rent the apartment for at least 3 months, so I guess it fits your timeline. I don't have, and don't intend to have, pets in the apartment.

Best regards,

Carlos Rocha

(....)

Hello,

My name is Jerome Francesco Amoros, I am the owner of the apartment located at Rue du Pont 22, 1003 Lausanne. The monthly rent is CHF 1'200.- (for the whole apartment) including some utilities (water, electricity, internet, cable, parking etc..). Actually I didn't buy this apt, I inherited it from my father who passed away last year in December. I never lived in that apartment because my mother and father were divorced and I was raised by my mother in Madrid, Spain. I tried to sell the apartment but I couldn't get a fair price for it so I decided together with my mother to rent it to some nice people.
The apartment is exactly like you see it in the pictures, fully furnished, but I have the option of sending all my furniture into storage if you want to bring your own (no extra costs). The rental period for my apartment can be minimum 3 months up to 10 years.
I'd like to know something about you, like how many persons intend to live in my apartment, for what period, if you have a pet etc. You can move in the apt in the same day when you receive the keys. The only problem is that I`m the only person who has the keys but I hope that we will find a solution.

All the best,
Jerome Francesco Amoros

P.S. Here you can find a description of the apt:
Beautifully furnished 2 room apartment
living room with sofa bed
bedroom with double bed (180 x 200 cm)
bathroom with shower
average fitted kitchen with window, well equipped, dishwasher, refrigerator, gas cooker, dining table with 4 chairs
washing machine in the apartment
TV set
hifi-stereo
internet-flatrate
65 m² / 700 sqf
Available immediately !!!

I don't know why but, I'm not getting a good vibe from all of this...It seems to good to be true. Skrill provides this type of service? I didn't know.

Do you smell something fishy here? Do you smell a SCAM?
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  #2  
Old 08.05.2012, 18:45
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Re: Apartment rental scam?

It's a bit hard to talk about this things since you wrote down all the details and I don't want to slander anyone. Sent you a PM.
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Old 08.05.2012, 18:45
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Re: Apartment rental scam?

Standard scam format. Run away.
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Old 08.05.2012, 18:46
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Re: Apartment rental scam?

Scam, walk away, Skrill is apparently similar to western union.

See your scam here, one of the first results googling for skrill
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Old 08.05.2012, 19:06
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Re: Apartment rental scam?

Scam. Anyone out of the country is a red flag.
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Old 08.05.2012, 19:10
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Re: Apartment rental scam?

Thank you everybody. I thought it was too good to be true so...I was suspicious!

The sad thing is that it was one of the few responses I got from landlords
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Old 08.05.2012, 19:22
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Re: Apartment rental scam?

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Thank you everybody. I thought it was too good to be true so...I was suspicious!

The sad thing is that it was one of the few responses I got from landlords
You will not get responses by email. You must call them. There is no getting around this. Anyway, you have lots of competition so something they just can't handle the # of requests.

Good luck.
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Old 08.05.2012, 19:40
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Re: Apartment rental scam?

Oh dear. It all sounded so nice ...... until it got to his Dad`s death details and how/where/when he was raised ..........
Then something "kicked-in" ... and even I got suspicious.
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Old 08.05.2012, 19:41
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Re: Apartment rental scam?

Oh sorry, his Dad didn`t die, parents merely got divorced. Surprised he didn`t go into more details about that?
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Old 08.05.2012, 21:06
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Re: Apartment rental scam?

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Oh sorry, his Dad didn`t die, parents merely got divorced. Surprised he didn`t go into more details about that?
Oh, no you were right in the first place. Not ONLY did his parents divorce, his dad now dead. Poor poor thing.
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Old 08.05.2012, 21:48
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Re: Apartment rental scam?

I have to smile when I seen these. For some of us who have repeatedly seen these scams, it takes about 2 seconds to see the scam. They will all fit the same model the details, the deaths, the hardships, being out of town and don't have anybody to give the keys to, on and on. Then the frequency seems to die down, until you see somebody who once again is the target.
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Old 11.05.2012, 11:58
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Re: Apartment rental scam?

Yes - I nearly got caught in this scam as well! I did some due diligence checking on the background of Skrill and also Jerome Franscesco Amoros. All is a fake! I am very grateful that you posted this on the forum.

However, I am still back to square one looking for an apartment in Lausanne for 1 July 2012 (preferably furnished, close to Lausanne Gare and M2 line). Does anyone have a recommendation?

Thanks in advance for all your advice!
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Old 11.05.2012, 12:35
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Re: Apartment rental scam?

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Yes - I nearly got caught in this scam as well! I did some due diligence checking on the background of Skrill and also Jerome Franscesco Amoros. All is a fake! I am very grateful that you posted this on the forum.

However, I am still back to square one looking for an apartment in Lausanne for 1 July 2012 (preferably furnished, close to Lausanne Gare and M2 line). Does anyone have a recommendation?

Thanks in advance for all your advice!
This is why people have problem finding apartments in Lausanne. (Probably everywhere really). Everyone one wants to be near trains station and pay no money. All those apartments are taken. You have to move further away. Period. Lausanne is tiny. There aren't infinite numbers of apartments within walking distance of the train station.

Look up and out. Good luck!
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Old 31.05.2012, 15:41
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Re: Apartment rental scam?

Total scam!!!

I received exactly same email some time ago when I was looking for an appartment in Zurich, with the only difference that in my case, the landlord was a woman and she was raised in London. The text was EXACTLY the same...crooks!!!
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Old 31.05.2012, 19:07
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Re: Apartment rental scam?

Hilarious! I was trying to purchase a kitten, my parrots grew up with and are habituated to cats but i can`t adopt a cat that hasn`t grown up with parrots. Anyway, i was referred to a pet forum/website in the pet corner here. I got the same type of responses from two postings i sent inquiries to. It was a life history along with that fact that she recently decided to move with her daughter to the UK for work and better schooling for her child, blah, blah, blah! Crazy people, chuckle!
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Old 31.05.2012, 19:29
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Re: Apartment rental scam?

Maybe post her name, in case anyone searches online for her?

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Total scam!!!

I received exactly same email some time ago when I was looking for an appartment in Zurich, with the only difference that in my case, the landlord was a woman and she was raised in London. The text was EXACTLY the same...crooks!!!
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Old 01.06.2012, 13:34
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Re: Apartment rental scam?

This was the email they've sent me...I wish there was a way of catching these crooks!!!


Hello again, Thank you very much for your fast reply. Because of the distance I decided together with my mother to use a neutral third service company that will allow us to complete the deal safely and fast. The solution is provided by a company called Skrill. I have already signed a contract to use their services. They can take care about the viewing, keys delivery, payment, and they are offering assistance and protection for both, landlords and tenants. Hopefully this will be feasible for you.

If you decide to proceed with this rental transaction, I will have to contact Skrill and provide them all the necessary information, so they can start the process right away (keys and legal documents). I will need your: Full Name and Address for that. You will receive a notification from Skrill shortly after that, together with all the instructions to follow.The keys and rental contract will be delivered to your address in no more than 24h. You will be given a 3-days inspection period from the day you receive the keys and contract at home. If you decide to rent the apartment, then you will have to sign the contract so I can receive the payment from Skrill. If you will not be satisfied with the apartment, you will have to send the keys/contract back through the same service and you will receive a full refund. I think this is more than fair for both of us and it is good to know that you do have this second option available. The move in cost in total is 1 month rent + rental guarantee (bond) CHF 1'450.- + CHF 1'450- = CHF 2'900.-If you wish to proceed with renting the apartment, please provide me your Full Name and Address and also a phone number (mobile if possible), so I can initiate the process through Skrill right away.

I also want to confirm that I won't get any money until you view the apartment and decide to rent it.I have also attached a copy of my passport to this email for your peace of mind and a copy of the rental contract in blank.

Greetings,
Sabrina Viktoria Papler
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Old 01.06.2012, 13:35
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Re: Apartment rental scam?

and this one "her" initial message. I really though the offer was too good to be true.....

Hello, My name is Sabrina Viktoria Papler, I am the owner of the apartment located at Doldertal 30, 8032 Zürich. The monthly rent is CHF 1'450.- (for the whole apartment) including some utilities (water, electricity, internet, cable, parking etc..). Actually I didn't buy this apt, I inherited it from my father who passed away last year in December. I never lived in that apartment because my mother and father were divorced and I was raised by my mother in London, England. I tried to sell the apartment but I couldn't get a fair price for it so I decided together with my mother to rent it to some nice people.The apartment is exactly like you see it in the pictures, fully furnished, but I have the option of sending all my furniture into storage if you want to bring your own (no extra costs). The rental period for my apartment can be minimum 3 months up to 10 years.I'd like to know something about you, like how many persons intend to live in my apartment, for what period, if you have a pet etc. You can move in the apt in the same day when you receive the keys. The only problem is that I`m the only person who has the keys but I hope that we will find a solution. All the best,Sabrina Viktoria Papler P.S. Here is the original description of the apt:Moderne, offen gestaltete 3.5-Zi. Wohnung am Zürichberg, geeignet für 1-2 Personen. Ruhige, sonnige Lage mit Blick auf Stadt und See. Grosse Fensterfronten, gedeckter Balkon, Cheminée, offene und grosszügig ausgestattete Küche, Schlafzimmer mit begehbarem Schrank, Bad/WC, Dusche/WC, eigene Waschküche, Keller, Aufzug direkt in die Wohnung, Parkplatz in Tiefgarage im Mietzins inbegriffen, Bus Linie 33, 2. Etage, Wohnfläche: 110 m2, Raumhöhe: 2.4 m, Baujahr: 2003. Per Sofort!
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Old 01.06.2012, 13:45
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Re: Apartment rental scam?

Yes these are all the classic scam ploys.
actually I don't know if you have heard of reverse scamming but I recently found this quite funny website which actaully manages to scam the scammers.
If you manage to find the time to read through some of the scams it is quite funny.

http://www.419eater.com/index.php
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Old 01.06.2012, 17:27
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Re: Apartment rental scam?

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Hilarious! I was trying to purchase a kitten, my parrots grew up with and are habituated to cats but i can`t adopt a cat that hasn`t grown up with parrots. Anyway, i was referred to a pet forum/website in the pet corner here. I got the same type of responses from two postings i sent inquiries to. It was a life history along with that fact that she recently decided to move with her daughter to the UK for work and better schooling for her child, blah, blah, blah! Crazy people, chuckle!
Ah. I got the same thing when I was on Anibis and found an ad for a puppy where the owner couldn't take care of the dog anymore and they were looking for a good home. Turns out she took the dog to Africa with her and I would need to pay for the dog to be sent to me. Yeah. Right.
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