Since: Wednesday, January 19, 2011
Email Address: markjohnp12yahoo.com
Location: new york city
For the record, anyone who knows how craigslist works knows that you can find almost anything, there was even a time where it basicaly solicited prostitution, however that is not the issue at hand. Although I only listed the first name on the top, there are others involved (as you will soon see) and I aim to expose all of them! A little background. I am at the end of a 5 yr active duty tour in the Marine Corps, 4 of said years were spent overseas. As Im winding up my career its only natural I would want to find a place to reside as I have been out of the states for several years and parted ways with my apartment a long time ago. I was browsing around looking for affordable apartments for rent and I had no such luck when a phonecall with my mother introduced me to the wonderful world of craigslist (sarcasm). I couldnt believe my eyes when I saw how low the prices were on some of these places and I couldnt wait to jump on one. Im from Manhattan so naturally I wanted to go back to the same place I called home for over 2 decades, so I decided to contact a few of the people who listed apartments for rent. This was the first reply I received (keep in mind there are multiple people involved):
I would like you to know that it is still very much available for rent, i am only willing to give it out to a Good and Responsible person. Its indeed a lovely and comfortable home and available to move in as soon as possible May the Peace of the Good Lord be with you for considering my home.
Per Month : $700 ( Including Utilities for the Whole Unit)
Management Security / Deposit : $300. ( REFUNDABLE )
# Central Air Conditioning
** True 1 Bedroom
** Tiled Floors **
** BIG Living Room With a Lovely Kitchen **
** Brand New Cabinets-Stove & Refrigerator**
The followings are included in the monthly rent:
-Separate private entrance
-Homeowner in Charge
-Brand new stove, refrigerator, cabinets, counter tops
-Washer & Dryer on premises
I would like you to know that i am giving this home out to you because i just relocated to West Africa , Nigeria for the Missionary work and have a 4 years course.. so my family and i have decided that we would be moving to our other home when we get back.
I would like you to send me the below details:
Full name :
Present address :
Phone Number :
When you are planning on moving in :
Credit Statues :
Period of time you are planning to stay, cos i wont be moving back to it:
There is no Registration/ Broker fee and agency fee, since you are dealing directly with me the Landlord who is a licensed Coldwell Banker Apartment Agent. The Security Deposit would be needed as a Security Bond in order for the keys and paperwork along side with Lease Contract agreement to be sent to you... Electric Bills and water bills have been paid for, so i would also need to send the receipts to you, would in case it would be needed.
I would like you to know that you are free to contact me at any time. After i receive this details, i would get back to you soonest and then let you know my terms. Pets are allowed. I hope to hear from you soonest.
Rev. Mark Wilson
Call Me: 0112347070238394 OR +2348191530169 OR +2347070238394
Seems pretty baseline with the information request right? So silly me I replied with the information as requested. It wasnt till after I read the email a second (then third) tie that I realized that something didnt add up. Seeing as how this is not the 1st place I have ever attempted to rent, seeing as how he was so willing to part ways witht his place without even so much as meeting the potential tennant was a bit...odd to say the least. But being a God fearing man and seeing as how he was a missonary I gave him the benefit of the doubt. Thats when the second bomb hit me. No landlord or leasor would ever, EVER give you the keys to a. a place you have never seen to see if it is the place you desire and b. give you the keys through the mail. Thats when I started to suspect it was indeed a scam. The third bomb was the number.. Skype is a wonderful thing because when a phone number is listed, the skype box automatically comes up, ang guess where the number was tracked to? NIGERIA!! Thats the very first thing craigslist has listed is to be weary of landlords out of the country. So I got a little careless and gave him some info (just the info requested even thought I was smart enough not to give him any credit info or direct answers other than my address and how long I intended on staying), so hopefully it doesnt come back to bite me in the rear end! I bet at this point your probably wondering if this story gets any better right? Oh it does, wait to you see the responses I got from other potential Leasors (Including our good friend Mark John) This is email number two:
I'm a Dr Mark Percy a volunteer with Save a Soul Organization.I arrive West Africa a week Ago in supporting long term needs for clean water in Kenya, Sudan, Mali, Liberia, Burkina Faso, Gambia, Benin, Republic, Nigeria and Ethiopia - providing the everyday needs of more than 389,500 people. Also committed to mitigating the impact of HIV/AIDS, which kills more than 6,000 Africans everyday, we aresupportingcommunity garden programs for AIDS sufferers and their families.
I am renting my Apartment because i will be spending a long time (3-6yrs) traveling around Africa and i need a clean responsible person that i can trust to take a proper care of the apartment at all time. I cherish my apartment so much so I took the keys /documents with me and am only willing to rent it out to someone who I can trust because I don’t want my property to be misused in my absence. I would like to have your word because i am doing this base on trust and putting everything in God hands. The rent includes all utilities and it available for short andlong term rental. Fill out the Rental application below if interested and please note this that you cant go inside the apartment because the property is locked and the keys are right here with me but feel free to go view the exterior and upon approval the keys/papers work will be FedEx to you.
The Rent Include all utilities except internet and cable
Rental Fee: $800
Security Deposit: $700
Address:730 Columbus Ave, New York, NY 10025
Fill the rental application below.
Desired date of occupancy:
Desired length of occupancy:
Home Phone No.
Cell Phone No:
Current rent payment:
Reason for moving:
If a student:
Name of the School:
Thank you again for your interest in my apt , Looking forward to hear from you with all this details so that I can have it in my file incase of issuing the receipt for you and contacting you.
Thanks and God Bless.
Dr Mark Percy
Save A Soul Organization
Now granted there are a few slight changes to this email, however the story is the same.
.A missionary going to Africa
.Will mail the key and lease as he is not in the US
.Requestion information about credit
.Nigeria phone number
Coincidence? I think not. Not only was the story and the content of the "application" basically the same, but the way the email ended was almost exact. So at this point my facial expression could only be described as this o_O..... I was pretty upset that I got hit by not just one but now TWO scammers! Now heres our lucky number three! Mark John!
I would like you to know that it is still very much available for rent,
i am only willing to give it out to a Good and Responsible person.
Its indeed a lovely and comfortable home and available to move in as
soon as possible May the Peace of the Good Lord be with you for considering my home.
Fees:Per Month : $750 ( Including Utilities )
Security / Deposit
: $300. ( REFUNDABLE )
** True 2
** Hardwood Floors **
** Brand New
Cabinets-Stove & Refrigerator
like you to know that i am giving this home out to you because i just
relocated to United Kingdom for the Missionary work and have a 4
so my family and i have decided that we would be moving to our other
home when we get back.
i would like you to send me the below
AGE:.. ..... SEX.......
KIDS .... (YES/NO), HOW MANY ....
....... TIME ON YOUR JOB:.......
WHY ARE YOU LEAVING?
HOW LONG DO YOU INTEND STAYING?
WHEN DO YOU INTEND MOVING IN?
YOU HAVE A PET?
DO YOU SMOKE?
DO YOU DRINK?
DO YOU WORK LATE NIGHT?
CREDIT STATUS :
There is no Registration fee and agency fee, since you are dealing directly with me the Landlord. The Security Deposit would be needed as a Security Bond in order for the keys and paperwork along side with Lease Contract agreement to be sent to you from Tennessee.
Electric Bills and water bills have been paid for, so i would also need to send the receipts to you, would in case it would be needed. I would like you to know that you are free to contact me at any time.
After i receive this full details, i would get back to you soonest and then let you
know my terms. Pets are allowed.I hope to hear from you soonest.
Rev Mark John
phone number :+2348082710037
Now I'll be honest, us Marines are more well known for our snappy uniforms and battlefield prowess than intelligence (unless your intel of course), however at this point its safe to that theres no way in hell Mark John could be official. Why would a Missonary in the UK need a Nigerian number? Why would the UK need a missonary anyways? The Brits converted to Christanity hundreds of years ago so his email is just plain crap! Besides, whats the chances of three missionaries from the SAME state, doing the SAME, thing, offering the SAME rent? I know there are legit missionaries out there who are doing good things, but I doubt that these three men are for real, especially as two have the same 1st name. Apparently these con artists sat down and pooled thier ideas together, however they never took into consideration that they werent very versatile with thier stories. Perhaps if they switched it up a bit I would have fallen for all three! Beware of the scammers on craigslist! Especially those hiding behing the guise of the cloth! Oh and by the way, listed below is MY email to them, if you'll notice I included the place I was inquiring about. What I didnt realize is that I copy and pasted the SAME email to all three men with the SAME place in question. Any serious leasor would have picked up on that, espcially considering only onewas located in the bronx! Happy hunting!
This email is in regards to the apartment you have available for rent in the Grandconcourse area of the Bronx. I am currently a Marine stationed in Okinawa Japan and at the end of my active tour of duty and I am looking for an apartment. My end of active serive date is March 12th 2011, but I will be back in New york in early February so I can find a place to live. The reason I am contacting you is because Im curious as to hold long this apartment will be available. Again Im due to come to New York in February and I am looking to have a place locked on so come March I have a place to call home. If at all possible I would like to know what are the requirements as to securing this apartment. It is affordable considering the size and location and will fit well within my means as I transition back into civilian life. Any information you have would be very much appreciated and if you have any questions please feel free to ask. Thank you for your time and assistance.
Corporal Ramos M.A.
Report to the FTC at https://www.ftccomplaintassistant.gov/
Mar 18, 2011
You post saved me a lot of regret, sir. Thank you! I knew the apartment was too good to be true, but when I got an email back from this guy I thought "maybe he really is just a good person". I'm glad I went with my gut and dug around and found this post which had identical messages. Back to searching for a real deal, I guess.
Jul 19, 2011
I knew it was too good to be true.... Had I not googled him or done a reverse number search, I would have been a victim.... Flakelist just confirmed my suspicions. Flakelist you rock!! Shame on him using the Lord's name in vain.....
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