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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Apr 2013
    Posts
    1

    Amsterdam's Craigslist scammers

    Hi all,

    I was looking for a room for a short stay in Amsterdam.
    In Craigslist I found several ads, looking quite differently: some were very short, while others are detailed and even having their own websites.
    One thing they had in common: the price was very good. Not too good, just on the lowest possible limit, very smart.

    When I wrote to the authors, I always get similar and detailed replies. They say that the room is available, there's every possible amenity and that the only thing to be done is to send a "booking confirmation" money and a safety deposit (usually quite a large one).
    Having received such letters I replied at once, saying that I like everything, but will only pay in cash and if they send scanned written agreement... No wonder, three of four sammers disappeared at once, and one wrote about people "reserving but not coming" etc. and that they stopped reserving places without payment.
    Just note that I suggested to pay the % of the rent (eventually I wouldn't, of course) and only insisted on cash+legal agreement for the deposit. So these scammers are really greedy :)
    The reason to take note of these scams is that some of them are really really well detailed and the price, while being low, is technically feasible (probably in another part of town, but still).
    Of the scams I checked, two were very short CraigsList adverts with only one picture (Affordable Homes and
    addeddvalue reservations respectively), while other two had their own (Googlable!) websites (wonderfull rentals and addeddvalue reservations). The "wonderful rentals" scam is more widely known and pretend to operate throughout worlds major cities. Their site is quite good - I've seen genuine property sites much less compelling.
    One funny mistake of Mr. Fransesc was that he send me lots of pictures of the apartment (+view from the windows), but he probably forgot about Google Street View (bless them), because the total mismatch of window frames of real house and his pictures kind of have to raise suspicion :)

    Below I will post emails from these scammers along with links to two available websites, please keep clear of them (or report to the FBI if you know how).
    The safest thing to do is to never send anybody any money unless you have a very good reason to do so and have a valid signed agreement sent to you... Beware and be safe on the internets!

    1. These guys have a compelling website and they answer fast. Very creepy - if they have staff on email, that has to be profitable...
    The site was wonderfulrentals.co . There are reports of their other scams on Tripadvisor.
    wonderfull rentals [email protected]
    to me
    Thanks for booking with us.We are available throughout that time. The cost per night is €40.00 a night, so for 3 days the total is €120. This includes all utilities. There is a fully equipped kitchen. We supply all linens, and there is parking space.There is high speed wireless internet for your convenience. If you are interested we take 40% and refundable €200 security deposit to confirm your booking and the rest of the balance on your arrival. Or you may pay in full at the time of the booking. The amount of 40% would be €48 plus €200 security deposit making €248, we will secure and reserve the apartment if you make this deposit . Please let us know if you are interested and we can go from there.

    Thank you and have a great day.
    2. "Fransesc Antonio", the guy who was stupid enough to send pictures of obviously another place.
    [email protected]

    Thanks for your reply,

    Yes The apartment is very much available and have car parking, clean with no damages, It has air-conditioning, laundry, cable TV, wireless internet connection and Wi Fi Hi Speed internet, linen, towels are also provided.The property is in a safe and quiet neighborhood and close to all attractions in the neighborhood.

    Here is the link to the apartment: http://amsterdam.en.craigslist.org/vac/3734356169.html

    Apartment Address: Tweede Helmersstraat 103, 1054 Amsterdam, The Netherlands

    Your dates: 26/04/2013 TO 29/04/2013 (3 Nights).

    RATE: @ € 60 per night, for 3 Nights

    The full rate for the 3 Nights is:(€ 180). To secure your date, you are to pay 50% of the actual rate which is (€ 90) plus a (€ 300) refundable security deposit all in total is (€ 390).

    1 Bedroom: 3 People

    1 single bed, 1 double sofa bed

    Attached are some more photos

    Please get back to me ASAP if you want to secure the apartment for your date.

    Await your urgent response

    Thanks,
    Fransesc
    3. Affordable Homes. These also are more traditional in a way because they suggest sending money over MoneyGram or WU right in the first email.

    Affordable Homes [email protected]

    Thanks for your Interest, luckily for you the Apartment is still Available for your dates, 04/26/13 to 04/29/13, the rental fee for the 3-nights is = EURO 120 (@ 40 euros a night).. To Book down the Apartment for your dates, 50% of the Rental fee ( EURO 60) + EURO 300 Refundable Security deposit. All you need to pay to have the Apartment reserve for your dates = EURO 360 including cleaning fee and taxes..

    Not Shared, Private Full Apartment.

    Property Type:
    * apartment (detached)

    Exact Address:
    * Hugo de Grootkade 14
    1052 Oud-West, The Netherlands

    Floor Area:
    * 65m2.

    General:
    * towels provided
    * air-conditioning
    * central heating
    * telephone
    * linens provided
    * Washing Machine and Dryer

    Kitchen:
    * oven
    * stove top burners
    * dish washer
    * freezer
    * microwave
    * refrigerator
    * washing machine
    * Utensils and all whats needed in a modern Kitchen.

    Bathrooms:
    * 1 Bathroom
    * Bathroom 1

    Bedrooms:
    * 1 Bedroom, Sleeps 4
    * Bedroom 1 - 1 Double , Canal View

    Entertainment:
    * stereo system
    * radio
    * satellite or cable
    * Flat screen TV (Both in Living room and Bedroom)
    * CD
    * single home theater system

    Internet Access:
    * internet access
    * wireless broadband
    * broadband access
    * computer available

    Suitability:
    * children welcome
    * pets not allowed
    * Smoking is allowed outside

    Local Activities:
    * Walking

    Nearby Attraction / Facility:
    * restaurants
    * bars

    Other Activities:
    * Shopping/Sightseeing

    The remaining 50% of the rent will be paid when you arrive to the Apartment and also the security deposit will be refunded in cash when leaving the apartment..

    My method of payment is via Western Union or Money Gram...

    Get back to me asap if you`d love to Book.... So I can send you the Booking Agreement form, and how to make the Payment to secure this Wonderful Apartment for your dates before someone else does....

    More Photos attached and I`m providing you a Contact info of my past Tenants from U.S..

    Mr Brian Shawn from U.S, stayed 5-nights...
    [email protected]

    DECIDE AND GET BACK TO ME ASAP..

    Regards
    Jonathan Bower
    4. And finally "addeddvalue reservations", the only ones who replied for the second time, please find the reply below the first email. These also had a site, though quite a crappy one.

    addeddvalue reservations [email protected]

    Thank you very much for your inquiry and for your travel dates we could offer you the following options:
    Our unit is £420 per week and £50 per day. We are always available to answer your questions and do our utmost best to make your stay as pleasant as possible.
    So for your stipulated time (04/26/13 - 04/29/13) which is 3 days,the total is £150. This include all utilities,there is a well equipped kitchen,bathroom and a nice bedroom with king size beds. We also supply linens with no hidden fees. There is high speed wireless internet for your convenience and there is parking space. Parking space is also available. If you are interested we take 50% and refundable $200 security deposit to confirm your booking and the rest of the balance on your arrival. Or you may pay in full at the time of the booking. The amount of 50% would be £75 plus $200 security deposit making £275,we will secure and reserve the apartment if you make this deposit. All bills are included in the rental fee expect phone call bills. Guests are responsible for any bill incur on any call making. .We can confirm your booking if you make the deposit now before your arrival.

    Please let us know if you are interested and we can go from there.
    My response:

    Hi,

    The only way to make such a considerable security deposit is by cash, on arrival, with a written and signed legally binding agreement.
    If this is what you expect, we can proceed further.

    Thanks,
    Their reaction (the program "stuck", didn't probably read my email :):

    addeddvalue reservations
    to me
    Thanks,all deposits are sent and verify before we reserve any date/unit,we have reserved units in the past without any deposit and the people never show up and since then,we have stop that..So please let us know your decision..Thanks.
    Beware of scams, friends!
    Last edited by nachprod; 04-17-2013 at 03:36 AM. Reason: Mistakes and omitted emails of the scammers

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jul 2009
    Posts
    2,626

    Re: Amsterdam's Craigslist scammers

    Thanks for posting up that information on a scam.

    Making a scammer's scam googlable on every scam-warner-anti-fraud-busting site you can find is a great way to slow that scammer down when a suspicious potential victim goes looking for information, finds your post containing the name the scammer is using, his email address, phone number and the emails themselves and then that potential victim does not become a scam victim because you took the time "get the word out".

    Wasting a scammer's time legally and safely is called "scambaiting". If you google that word, you will find sites where you can read scambaits, post up the emails and email addresses of scammers, post up a fake website, read up on how to alert a hosting company that they are hosting a fake website, ask questions and learn all about the hobby of scambaiting.
    Found a scam or scammer's email address? Post it at scamwarners.com
    Found a romance scam? Post it at romancescam.com

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