Nigerian house scam

So I’ve been browsing Craigslist off and on looking for a new place to live. This was going on before Jason’s adoption, although certainly the pressure’s on a wee bit more now. One such ad, a too-good-to-be-true $500/mo 2br south of Los Angeles, seemed so improbably well-suited I had to send an inquiry email, to see whether it matched up to reality.

Lo, but it didn’t.

Below are the emails in full, minus contact information.

from Kris Ligman
2:07 AM (4 hours ago)
to hhomes46

Hi there,

I saw your Craigslist ad about this property. I’m a recent USC masters graduate looking for a change of pace and your ad seemed very
interesting to me. I had a few questions if you don’t mind.

-What kind of lease is it? Six month, one year, more?
-How much is the deposit?
-Do pets require an additional deposit? I have a small cat, very tidy
and already box-trained.
-Are any utilities included in the rent?
-Does the renter pay to continue the active security system?
-Do you know which telecom/internet service providers serve the area?

Thanks in advance.

Kris Ligman

Yeah, I know there are a few more questions I as a prospective tenant should have asked… But it was two in the morning! At least, where I lived.

This was the reply that I got back a mere hour and a half later. All formatting is original.

from hhomes46
3:30 AM (3 hours ago)
to Kris Ligman

God bless you and thanks for your time and response to our advert.Please I importune you to read this carefully! Our available Single Family Home is a lovely one for rent in Lakewood,You can drive by to view it if you like from the outside at [REDACTED].We are looking for a God fearing and a neat family that can occupy it as you can see our home is more decent and well kept.Please note that your rent starts counting from move in date so we want you to be sincere to us and always remember to pay your rent when it is due.My name is Bishop Dorothea R Murray and Rev. mrs. Jessica L Murray happens to be my wife.Due to my quick missionary movement as a parish Bishop,my family and I had to leave the house that was posted on craiglist at Lakewood to give it out for rent and now we are in africa to spread the word of God also build a new parish,where people can worship.So we’re currently in west africa reaching out to the underprivileged ones here,it has become our lifestyle to see people happy.You can reach me through this # [REDACTED].We have been finding it difficult to rent it due to we won’t be able to see the tenant in person until when we come for check up, but we pray about it and belief we would find someone with a good heart and good intention. You should count yourself lucky to meet with this offer,because we decided to offer a price below standard of $500 per month(rent already include utilities).So that anyone can also have a home.An agent was to handle this for us at a high price.The truth is no agent will handle this for the amount we’re offering,because their commission charges are high and the requires increasing the rent.But we reduced it and decide to handle it ourselves,so be informed not to give your money to fake agents because,we are handling this privately now,we did not authorise any agent for our property anymore,so we are very much okay that you are contacting us directly without an agent.So right now we are with the keys and the document of the House here in africa.And please bear in mind that this is real and not a scam secondly is in our doctrine to scam people or rip people off their hard earn money.It a dreadful thing to do to people knowing full well the consequences that involve in it.

Property Basics;
Bedroom:2.
Bathroom:1.
Sq footage:1,341 ft² .
Rent:500
Security deposit:300
Pets Allowed(hopefully trained ones)
Lease Term:A year or More.

Please if you are ready now to occupy the house kindly provide the information below for your paper work.

LEASE APPLICATION FORM

FULL CONTACT NAME?
OCCUPATION?
RESIDENTIAL HOME ADDRESS?
YOUR CELLPHONE NUMBER?
YOUR HOME PHONE NUMBER?
YOUR WORKPLACE NUMBER?
ARE YOU A BORN AGAIN?
AGE & MARITAL STATUS?
OWN A PET?
OWN A CAR?
HOW MANY PEOPLE SHALL RESIDE IN THE PREMISES?
ANTICIPATED MOVE IN DATE?
HOW SOON CAN YOU MAKE THE PAYMENT?
REFERENCE?
FAMILY PICTURES IF ANY?

Best of regards
Bishop Dorothea R Murray.

I started trying to pull excerpts from this to quote over Twitter and then realized I JUST HAD TO SHARE ALL OF IT.

Ah, Craigslist, you wretched hive of scum and villainy, you.

HOUSE OF ALL THE BLOOD image credit Erdenstern.

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Comments

  • thene  On 07.27.12 at 12:49 pm

    I got a very similar message when I was looking for a pet-friendly apartment in Boston – house to let at $800 with only one exterior picture, and I enquired, and got a blah blah religion West Africa blah response. I also got one more polished scam attempt that was after $2000/month, so polished that I deleted it for being too pretentious for words and only later realised it must have been a scam anyway. (landlord regrettably out of the country, blah). The Craigslist anti-scam notes even say to avoid people who mention being abroad or otherwise unable to meet in person.

    I am verrrry happy with the place I ended up at, which was on Craigslist with no pictures at all, just a street name, because the previous tenants wrecked it and the landlord desperately needed to get a deposit cheque in order to fix it up to be habitable again. It’s completely fixed up now, we’re paying about $300/month less than market value, the kitchen is enormous and the location is perfect for us.

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