I have been recently trying to relocate. My current house lease runs through early next year and for terminating the lease, the property is charging a huge penalty amount. So, as recommended by the leasing office, I started looking for a tenant for my place so that the new person would be added to my lease and I would be removed thereby saving me the penalty money.
I went ahead, prepared a nice write-up, clicked nice pictures for the place and posted at multiple places including Sulekha.com. Now, one person reached out to me immediately with the following email, which I can in no way think is fake and a fraud attempt.
I responded on his provided email with all the details he asked and he (supposedly) sent me an email again as below.
Again, it did not seem so suspicious. And the attached id proof (I am not attaching here) looks so real. He has already gained my confidence and I was happy that I could find somebody in such a short time. But, I am not the owner and I am just trying to find somebody to apply through the leasing office, I informed him the same sharing leasing office email and also shared my phone number if he wants to talk and learn more about the place. And, then since I was not ready to accept his check, he never responded. I still did not realize it is a fake email. I convinced myself thinking maybe they did not want to do the paperwork without being present locally. And few hours later, I forgot about his as I did not feel anything suspicious.
Now, I get another response on the ad. This time, it is a girl from Massachusetts and even she is more comfortable texting/emailing but not calling. Please see her text below after a few conversations involving sharing the apartment and amenities details.
When I got this text, I got intimidated as I found the same pattern as the last email in this text. I started looking all over the internet to find information and it did not take anytime before I figured out that I am tried to be fooled. Following are the links which helped me:
What happens in these cases is that they ask you for your exact address, then they mail a check and start forcing you to return back the excess amount immediately. Now, you would return back the money thinking nothing is wrong. But, few days later the check would bounce and the money you transferred is never coming back.
Please be aware and if anything sounds suspicious, try to find more information or talk to people around you about this. I thought of sharing so that others can identify these activities in the first attempt itself and save time by never responding and blocking them right away.