I’m trying to rent an apartment for the upcoming year and encountered a craigslist scam that is slightly more ambitious than the typical “take your deposit and run” variety. Here is the body of the email:
This is to acknowledge the receipt of your completed application form for [the relevant address]. The unit will be available to move in as from January 01 2020 because it is currently occupied. Our next open house is scheduled for 15th of December 2019 by 12 NOON at the property address.
Nevertheless; if you are really interested in the apartment, you can reserve the property by signing the lease contract agreement and make a refundable holding deposit to the landlord so as to secure the apartment prior to your intended move in date. Please note that signing the lease contract and making a deposit only secure the apartment, but it does not tie you down to the contract if you have any objection after viewing.
The refundable holding deposit is the first month rent plus security damage deposit. This will automatically serves as your rent payment after you view and certify the unit
Additional discount for upfront payment:
-6 months lease payment attract discount of 10% of the total rent which now amount to $9,720 with a security deposit of $1,500. -A year lease payment attract 20% discount of the total rent which now amount to $17,280 with a security deposit of $1,500
A clause in the lease contract agreement clearly states that your total payment will be refunded within 24 hours in a situation whereby you do not like/want the apartment upon your viewing date/move-in date. Advantages of making a refundable deposit are: – It guarantees that the apartment is yours if you like it after viewing.- The lease contract agreement protect your deposit for refund within 24 hours should you have a change of mind towards the apartment from the time of your viewing.- It also hold the property down for you prior to your viewing schedule.
The TLDR is that they wanted me to make a YEAR of rent payments up front for a 20% discount on the total rent before even looking at the apartment. Very ambitious for a scammer, very devastating for anybody who falls for it.