The Gumtree Dream Massacre

“Nice flat to let. 400 ppm. Central location” – The flat advertisements on Gumtree attracting possible tenants with nice pictures, a good descriptive text of your dream flat, and a price you can afford can create many dreams. A good kitchen to cook fantastic meals, a fancy living room with many seats for friends and family and a delicate bath- and bedroom. You think you have found THE flat, could it be too good to be true?

Jane is letting out her flat, but is not very keen on arranging a viewing. She has already had too many viewers who have cancelled before she reaches Edinburgh. Most of the time they cancel while she is on her way, she is annoyed and wants proof on the seriousness of the potential viewer. As the modern business woman she is, she wants cash. Hard cold cash, and they have to be wired through a bank service with low, if any, control over who checks in the check. Jane is doing business, just like her lawyer told her.

If you have not noticed by now, I break it down for you: Jane do not own an apartment in Edinburgh, her mother (or was it father) is not sick, and Jane is probably a male. She says she is in Cambridge to nurse her father/mother, but most likely she is not situated in Europe at all. Her IP-address points towards Nigeria.

The last two days I have been in contact with three different people through Gumtree renting out their flats. What they have in common is that their flats are affordable and that they are out of town, or moving out of town and need someone to look after their flat while they are away. The adverts are supplied with delicious pictures. In our first reply they ask three questions which goes like this:

Thanks for the interest you have in my flat. My flat is still
available for rent and here are the necessary things you need to know
about the rent and deposit.

Rent :   £ 100.00  pw
Minimum Stay :  1month    Security Deposit: £ 500.00 (Returnable at
the end of a week stay in my flat)
Utility bills inclusive ( water, gas, council tax, TV license and
wireless Internet)   Utility Cost :  £ 0.00 pcm

However, At this stage that you want to rent my flat, i need to know
some few question about you. Can you take care of my flat as it is?
How many months do you intend to rent and pay for? Do you have
references in edinburgh? Kindly let me know when you will be able to
come for the viewing of the flat.I will be looking forward reading
back from you and i will like to know where you are coming from to
stay in my flat.

Then you apply and arrange for a viewing in good hope that this is a flat that could be yours. It was with the second mail we got really sceptical and knew this was fraud. All of the owners could of several reasons not be in Edinburgh. One, a pastor had to be in Ireland to pray and take care of her church, the family going to London had heard from their lawyer, and Jane, well she had her father (or was it mother, she never made up her mind) in Cambridge.

As this was a boring affair for us, since we liked the flat, and were looking forward to view them. We want to share our story. Attached to this article are also the email addresses and names of the owners who own nothing, and just want your money. We did not get scammed since we got similar emails from different people who had no reasons to write the same text with the same mistakes. We were also sceptical since we know there are people on the Internet who everyday fraud people and live as unethical pestilence. You are warned.

Stay away from owners registered with these email addresses since they are likely to scam you:
Jenas Brown – jenasbrown105@yahoo.com
Jane Morrison – jannnymorrison@gmail.com
Lori Grant – lorigrant1@hotmail.com

If you get this text as a reply to an email sent through Gumtree or other online market places be aware.

“ Thanks for the reply and the sincere interest you have in my flat. My lawyer and i have concluded on conditions for intending tenant to be met and we have agreed to rent the flat to you as you have promised to take care of the flat.    However,it is unfortunate that my past bitter experiences of inviting people to come and view or reserve my flat without any form of confirmation of their financial ability and seriousness and most cases not keeping to agreed time as  scheduled for viewing,which had brought a great lost to me. I have to travel all the way from Ireland to take the so called interested candidates round my flat  because i work  and live there.
Some outside tenants do not have the money to pay the rent and yet they disturbs the landlord to arrange a viewing with their friend or relative who are in Edinburgh, likewise some do not meet up with the appointments which has led to the dismissal of some landlords in  office by their employers.

Henceforth, my lawyer and i have decided to carry out a simple test on seriousness and financial ability to pay for my rent before coming for viewing. I  would not ask you to send your  bank statements or pay slip . But the 1 month rent £360 plus the security deposit £400 which is refundable after your 1 month stay in my flat, would be required from you to transfer through Western union money transfer agent to your trusted friend or relative  in U K premises.

Once you have done this, scan the receipt to me and if you do not have scanner, you may write out the details on the receipt which i will  send to my lawyer to verify if it’s truly genuine and available in your relative or friend’s custody, after the verification by my lawyer, then we can proceed for the viewing and thereafter you can as well tell your friend or partner to pick up the money and I promise to refund you the cost of transfer if unfortunately  you dont like my flat when we shall meet. I look forward to read from you soon.
Regards
Mr/Mrs Grant

AND

thanks for your swift response.It is unfortunate that my past bitter experience of inviting people to come and view my flat without any form of confirmation of their financial ability and not keeping up to time as at when scheduled, has brought about great loss to me. I have traveled all the way from Ireland to take some interested candidates round my flat  because that’s where i work as a pastor of (Kilrush Church of Ireland Graveyard, Co. Wexford ).

Some  outside tenants do not have the money to pay the rent and yet they disturb the landlord to arrange a viewing with their friend or relative who are in edinburgh, also some do not meet up with the appointments which has led to the dismissal of some landlords in office by there employees.

Henceforth my lawyer and i have decided to carry out a simple test on financial ability to pay for my rent before coming for viewing.All what i requested from you is to transfer at least 1 Month rent(£ 400) and security deposit which is (£ 500) = (£900) through Western Union Money Transfer. You can make the transfer with your name as the sender  and a Family Member or friend’s name as the receiver in the UK premises.

Once you have done this, Scan the receipt to me and if  you do not have scanner, you may write out the details as it is stated on the receipt as i will be sending it to my lawyer to verify if it’s truly genuine and available in your family member or friend’s custody, after verification, then we can proceed for the viewing and you can as well tell your friend or Family member to pick up the money and also, i will refund back to you the cost of transfer when we meet.

Kindly reply if you have more questions to ask. +447024070687

Regards
Pastor jenas.

Hopefully this post will help you avoid some of the many bad people trying to steal your personal information and your money. You should never pay for a service in advance unless it is through a secure service and the repicipant have a physical address you know and can visit. There are also many serious genuine people advertising on Gumtree and other services. Do not let fraud stop you from finding flats, travels, bikes and other exiting things online. I would also appreciate if you post fraud stories online and reveal the email, name and text the people who attempt to scam have been using during their shameless act, with search engines we can overpower them.

After the incident with the frauds, we took contact with Gumtree. I would like to thank Gumtree for taking our concerns serious.

2 thoughts on “The Gumtree Dream Massacre”

  1. Hi
    I also received such offers.
    Please do report them to hotmail (email to abuse@hotmail.com) or gmail http://mail.google.com/support/bin/request.py?contact_type=abuse forwarding the email with full headers you received, and if possible the reference to a link in http://www.scamwarners.com where it has already been reported. They close the accounts in less than one day. They will open new, but at least it is more trouble for them. I notice they use the same email for quite a long time.
    Regards
    Daniel

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