Don’t Pay for an Online Credit Check When House Hunting

5 Comments

This isn’t a new scam by any means, but it’s getting more prevalent. Scammers are putting up fake apartment and house rentals up on Craigslist. The ads are usually pretty believable and will lead you into thinking you’re getting a good deal. However, the “landlord” is always in a time crunch and needs you to get a credit check immediately to bring with you before he or she will show you the rental. As luck would have it, the scammer refers you to a website he or she has used in the past.

The scam is that the apartment isn’t real and the “credit check” website is nothing more than a negative opt-in scam, meaning, you’ll automatically be signed up for some phony service that will cost you hundreds of dollars each month until you find a way to stop the charges. All of the charges will be non-refundable and you will lose out on a ton of money.

Here’s a copy of an email that has been floating around Craigslist lately…

Hi

Thanks for responding to my ad on Craigslist for the rental property.

The property is still available. In fact, I was in town to sell the property but the buyer
backed out at the last minute because of financial difficulties. My misfortune is your
gain because I must rent it out quickly before I go back to my practice in New York.
I only want to deal with somebody who has a steady income and can pay the rent
on time.

The rent is monthly with a yearly lease and it does not include utilities, except
water. It is available immediately and is not furnished. Small dogs and cats are
allowed with a refundable deposit of $100.00.

I need to get this place rented out as soon as possible because I am only in town for
a week so if you want to see it please contact me back right away and I will show it
to you immediately. I am available just about any time to show it to you.

I will have a lease prepared and ready when I show you the place so we can get you in
right away if you like it. I’ll give you the keys when you sign the lease. My staff will
handle the deposit and rent payments. Please bring some form of identification.

You will also need to bring a credit report with you no later than 30 days old. I will
not run a credit report for you because I don’t do this full time and I don’t have an
office in this area.

I recommend this place: http://walps.com/creditreportcouponcode41178 because I
have used them before and I know they are accurate. Also, my link will take you
directly to a trial page. If you are around 550 or better you should be fine.

Please let me know when you want to see the property. I can answer the rest of your
questions when we get together. We can first meet at a public place of your choosing
if you desire. I must keep my cell phone open for medical emergencies so for now,
please contact me through email.

Best Regards,
Dr. William Walps
Walps Enterprises, Inc
518-571-9257

Do not fall for this scam. There’s no reason why you would have to bring a credit report with you to a house you’ve never seen before. It’s absolutely sickening to hear of just how many people are falling for this garbage. If you’ve come across any similar emails, please post them in the comments below to help others learn of this scam.

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5 Comments

  1. I received an email from someone going by the name
    Joanne Gold goldjoanne999@hotmail.com
    Apr 7 (2 days ago)

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    =._=..,=-._=,.,=,__,_-,,_._=,-_=,,=,
    –,_,_-_..=-_,=-,.=-._,=-._-===-.,.=_

    Hello,

    First and foremost, thank you for your interest in the home. I am available to show the house this week if that fits your schedule.

    Just to give you a little more information about the home, the water, trash
    and garbage are paid by us. The security deposit can be paid in 2 installments if money is tight. (I know how that can be).
    The house has a fenced in backyard and we do allow pets. The deposit per pet is a one time payment.
    The house includes a washer and dryer, and we pay for lawn care so the renter does not have to cut the grass.
    There is NO application fee (our company policy and guarantee).

    I will be happy to show the house at an agreed upon time and date but I do require that all applicants and additional renters who will be living in the home complete a free credit report to ensure their eligibility.
    I have so many people apply for homes that I have to make sure they are qualified renters before I show the property.
    This ensures neither of us will be wasting our time.

    It is okay if you have bad credit (trust me). We just check to make sure that you don’t have several evictions on your record. (We won’t rent if you have 3 or more evictions on your record)

    I also had to recently stop giving out the exact address of rental properties before I am able to show them because last time I did that the house was vandalized (I will be glad to send you the address right after your reply) I assure you though that this is a very safe neighborhood. I actually lived in this home for 2 years (very cozy).

    As soon as you can, please click the link below and go to the secure website to complete the free credit report (takes about 30 seconds)
    Once you complete, I’ll call you once I receive the information from the credit company (very quickly usually).

    http://qreonlinescore.org/gFZwjM0aAZb/
    (Copy and paste this link to your address bar if it is not clickable)

    *** You don’t have to send me your credit report.
    Once you fill out the report the credit company automatically forwards me your name, email address and whether you have
    had any outstanding evictions in the past 5 years to determine your renter eligibility. This is the only information I am
    interested in. This is a soft credit report so it won’t touch your FICO score (which is why we work with them).

    This process turns some people off, so I completely understand if you decide not to complete them. In that case, good luck with your home search. I just want to be honest with you up front about our process, which does a good job of protecting us from ineligible renters and scammers. Also, the site above is one the safest and most secure website for credit reports in the world, which is good for peace of mind. I have worked with them personally for a couple years now.

    If you are truly interested in proceeding, take a moment and fill out one of the reports. Let me know when this is done and we can then work out the time and date to go see the home. Email me back once you access your fresh report. I will be forwarded
    the information. (Make sure to include a valid phone number. I usually call within 6 hours of submitting your report. Then I can forward you the address and we can set up a time to tour the home.)

    If eligible you will also be sent an email with my office number so we can set up a time to go see the house and discuss any other questions or concerns you may have.

    Thanks,
    Joanne

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    =,=.=.,=.._-===,,=,==.–=_=,–=

    I googled Joanne Gold as well as the email & nothing came up in google. So I Googled part of the email & saw tonns of scams stating the same thing. I did click on the link & received my free credit report (trial) you have to enter your credit card information. I clicked on it again today though & the link didn’t come up. BEWARE.

    Reply
  2. I came across this recently, under many listings on Craigslist for apartments. When I asked the person if there was any realty office I could visit in person, there was no response. Here’s a copy of the letter, with website links and personal information removed:

    Hi,

    First and foremost, thank you for your interest in the home. I am available to show the house this week
    if that fits your schedule.

    Just to give you a little more information about the home, the water, trash
    and garbage are paid by us. The security deposit can be paid in 2 installments if money is tight. (I know how that can be).
    The house has a fenced in backyard and we do allow pets. The deposit per pet is a one time payment.
    The house includes a washer and dryer, and we pay for lawn care so the renter does not have to cut the grass.
    There is NO application fee (our company policy and guarantee).

    I will be happy to show the house at an agreed upon time and date but I do require that all applicants and
    additional renters who will be living in the home complete a free credit report to ensure their eligibility.
    I have so many people apply for homes that I have to make sure they are qualified renters before I show the property.
    This ensures neither of us will be wasting our time.

    It is okay if you have bad credit (trust me). We just check to make sure that you don’t have several evictions on
    your record. (We won’t rent if you have 3 or more evictions on your record)

    I also had to recently stop giving out the exact address of rental properties before I am able to show them because
    last time I did that the house was vandalized (I will be glad to send you the address right after your reply) I assure
    you though that this is a very safe neighborhood. I actually lived in this home for 2 years (very cozy).

    As soon as you can, please click and go to the secure website link below to complete the free credit report: (takes about 30 seconds)
    Once you complete, I’ll call you once I receive the information from the credit company (very quickly usually).

    ****WEBSITE LINK REMOVED*****

    *** You don’t have to send me your credit report.
    Once you fill out the report the credit company automatically forwards me your name, email address and whether you have
    had any outstanding evictions in the past 5 years to determine your renter eligibility. This is the only information I am
    interested in. This is a soft credit report so it won’t touch your FICO score (which is why we work with them).

    This process turns some people off, so I completely understand if you decide not to complete them. In that case, good luck
    with your home search. I just want to be honest with you up front about our process, which does a good job of protecting
    us from ineligible renters and scammers. Also, the site above is one the safest and most secure website for credit reports in the
    world, which is good for peace of mind. I have worked with them personally for a couple years now.

    If you are truly interested in proceeding, take a moment and fill out one of the reports. Let me know when this is done and
    we can then work out the time and date to go see the home. Email me back once you access your fresh report. I will be forwarded
    the information. (Make sure to include a valid phone number. I usually call within 6 hours of submitting your report. Then I can
    forward you the address and we can set up a time to tour the home.)

    If eligible you will also be sent an email with my office number so we can set up a time to go see the house and discuss any
    other questions or concerns you may have.

    Thanks,
    Cassidy

    Reply
  3. I’ve seen these Craig’s List scams, as well. There are many other, similar apartment scams on Craig’s List. The scammer posts pics of a gorgeous, furnished apartment in a great part of town at a ridiculously low monthly rental. The caveat is that you can’t get near the place to check it out without first filling out an application, including SS #, driver’s license, current address, etc. — personal information you should never give to anyone whose bona fides you can’t get immediately in return, as with an apartment community whose offices you can physically visit. Craig’s list is a tough way to find a legitmate place to live. If you live near a university or large medical center (NIH has this), there are often online listings of available housing posted and updated by either the university or medical center. Beware anyone who wants personal information from you online, including your full name.

    Reply
  4. Heather Strampel says:

    They are running a similar scam using fake jobs also. They are listing an “Entry Level” position, that requires you to have a company credit card, and therefore need to do a credit check on you. They then send you to a web site they like and you sign up for a “free” credit check. Then a week-ish later, while not hearing anything else about the job, you are charged for your continuing enrollment in the credit check membership.

    I applied to one of these and got 15 e-mails from different people, different companies telling me they were the ones who posted the ad on craigslist, and sent me to 15 different credit check scam sites.

    Do NOT give these people any money!!! IF a real company, is looking at you for a real job, they will run their own credit check on you, usually while they are doing a reference check on you also.

    All of these credit checks to same time for whomever is a SCAM!!

    Reply
  5. I am disgusted with the scammers out there. Thet are getting away with ripping people off and can’t seem to be stopped. I note that this latest scam on Craigs list about the apartment, this crook as left a phone number, probably fake. If not the police should trace it and put him out of business. The RAT.

    Reply

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