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 Post subject: ROOMATES.com SCAM
PostPosted: Wed Aug 10, 2005 7:37 pm 
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Joined: Wed Aug 10, 2005 6:40 pm
Posts: 3
This JUST happened to me. I'm finding a pattern. It's always someone from the UK telling you to send money to Canada. This is what happened to me:

I went on roomates.com and placed an ad for a roomate. I didn't think anything of it because no one was responding until I recieved an e-mail from a Heather Wards that lives in London, supposedly. I am a Christian and I asked to hear her testimony with God and I shared a lot of information about my life. She always would say that's nice, and I think we will get along great, but she'd never answer my questions. First red flag. She'd always write back and have the worst grammer I've ever seen in my life. At first I was thinking maybe people in England aren't as smart or something, but now, looking back, it's funny. That was my second red flag but I ignored it.

She told me after a couple phone calls that she wanted to move in and that her company is moving in from London. She said she worked as an investor. Third red flag, someone who has worse grammer than a third grader could never be an investor. I sent her tons of pictures of my house and my friends and bascially told her my life story. "That's nice, I think we'll get along great."

Fourth red flag, she said she'd move in so quickly without telling me about herself that something wasn't right in my spirit. I was going to tell her no then because I started sensing some weirdness. But again, I ignored it. She said she'd pay me the deposit in a check in the mail. I was expecting 100 dollars, but instead it was 9,520 dollars. In fact it was a United States Treasury check. I started freaking out!!! Fifth red flag!!! Who sends a perfect stranger that much money. My nieghbor wouldn't even do that!

I called her and her number is by the way 011-44-207-060-1820 for those of you that run into the same number. It is a London telephone number, but I researched it after the mess was over, and learned you can buy any telephone number and have it transfered to any other telephone number you want in the world. Her e-mail is heatherwards@yahoo.co.uk. I tested out how easy it would be to get an foreign yahoo account, and I did. All you need is a postcode from England. I just ripped one off from a UK site.
Easy!!!

Anyways, back to the story:

I called her and asked her why it was so much and she was just like I told you in an e-mail. I NEVER recieved any e-mail about it because I watch my mail like a hawk. Sixth red flag. Ignored it once again. She explained that she wanted to pay the first months rent and deposit and then I'd wire the money to her moving company called Alliance in Canada. So I deposited the check and the next day she wanted me to wire the moeny to SANTOS MARKUS 180 ELGIN ST. OTTAWA, ON K2 2B0 CANADA. Well I took out 4700 because the service fee for Western Union is 200 bucks and she wanted 4500 sent to this guy. Why in Canada!!! She's moving to Colorado and her moving compnay is in Canada? I looked up Alliance movers on the net and I couldn't find anything in Canada! But once again I ignored my 7th red flag. The Western Union people called me after I made the transfer and said that they wouldn't allow me to send this money because they believed that it was fraud. I kinda argued with the lady because I felt really bad for Heather. 8th red flag. Western Union denied me for 30 days and said I couldn't make a payment through them to anyone. So that made me feel good because I had an excuse not to send it to her. I didn't want to send it to her now after that phone call.

She wrote me the next day and asked me to send it to two different people in two different amounts to:

SANTOS MARKUS AND RAHU MINTO
180 ELGIN ST. OTTAWA, ON K2 2B0 CANADA

I told her I couldn't because I was going on vacation for a week(and I really was) and the bank wouldn't be opened until I got back. This was on a Saturday night. That day my mom convinced me to go to the cops and ask them about it. They warned me not to do anything until I knew the check was cleared completely.

After vacation I called my bank and the foriegn policy part of my bank and they told me that it was cleared. Well I still didn't feel right about it.

Heather at this time has never spoken a word about herself or sent a picture or anything. She then tells me, to send the moeny to
the National bank of Greece Canada with all the following information,

4559 Hurontario street missassauga, ON L4Z 3L9
TRANSIT# : 00092
INSTITUTION # : 286
ACCOUNT# : 09943251301
BENEFICIARY NAME & ADDRESS: Michael Anthony Williams,
160-2 county court blvd. Brampton, ON L6W 4V1

9th red flag!! I started getting kinda angry and this is how our e-mails started going:

Hey Heather,

I left my cell phone charging at home so I can’t call and I wanted to talk about this over the phone. However I have been thinking this whole situation over, and I’ve decided that I can’t forward the money to you until I know that check has cleared. I did receive a copy of the initial check and there is no phone number on it that I can call to verify it through the bank from which it was sent. If you could give me the number for the bank who sent it or BT financial that would be awesome. I just can’t have a 9520 dollar liability on my head. I know this has inconvienced both of us, but I I’m going to wait until I know for sure that check has cleared. When you get here I’d like to personally give it to you. Every time I try to send it something happens where I can’t and this whole time I haven’t felt right about it. I hope you understand my decision. You still are very welcome to come stay with me.

In the meantime if you could send a picture of yourself and maybe about where you live and what you do would be awesome! Call me later at 6:30 my time which is probably 12 or 1 your time? Have a good day.

Annie


Hello, I understand your feelings about this and I am sorry for any inconvenient on your side. The check has taken 2 to 3 weeks in your account and if it is a bad check by now the bank would have called you to let you know. I know for sure the money is out of the account where the check was send from, so you don't have to worry or you can call this number below and someone should be able to answer your questions

I am coming in next week and I really do need the money for my preparation. I want to talk to you too and I will try to call you at your work number but if you send the so the wire I will really appreciate it because now I am really worried and confussed on what to do next. Kindly reply back as soon as you get this email

Thank you Annie and sorry for any inconvenient. This is a picture of me and I think I already send that to you before.

Thomas Johnson
905-781-1744.

(I called this Thomas Johnson twice, no answer)

10th red flag. She sends me a picture of a dark skinned girl sitting on a lawn and a house that looks very American and a bunch of cars outside that look very American on an American looking street. (maybe it's Canada for all I know!) She also never has EVER sent me any pictures. She's probably getting confused because she's scamming ten other people at the same time and she might of forgot that she missed me on that one. 11th red flag.

I write:

Ok thank you. I will call today. And thanks so much for understanding and sending me pictures. No I never did receive them, so thank you for doing it again. I have another question too, why is everything in Canada and who is Michael Anthony Williams? Can I have the phone number for the bank National bank of Greece Canada and the phone number for Alliance Moving company too? My banker wanted to call them yesterday and it would make this easier. I guess I don’t understand why it’s all in Canada. And please don’t worry. Everything will work out fine. :D

Annie

She writes:

I don't understand why all this questions and questions. I am really feeling unconfortable with the situation. I provided you with every information that you requested, the Alliance are the moving company that I deal with, they are moving my stuff for me and that was the information they gave me to make the payment.

I don't have phone number to the Bank of Greece in Canada, I am going by all the information I have from the moving company. Why do you want all this information, the check has been cleared, it has been sitting in your account for almost 3 weeks now and you don't want to release the money. I am really sorry about this but will really appreciate if you can do the wire into the account. I will call you at 6:30 your time. Thanks


LOL. "I don't understand why all this questions and questions." This was the first time I asked a question!!!

I write:

I understand, but I’m not going to do anything until I know for sure. Yes the check has been in the bank since July 13th. That is 14 days which is two weeks, not three. It takes about 20 to 30 days to clear a check. I never received any phone number for Alliance. I am asking a lot of questions because I am uncomfortable with the situation. Yes, I would like to call Alliance and this Bank because I want to know who I’m sending this to. Yes, I do find it odd that it’s a Canadian account and it’s not even under your name! Please answer my questions because I think they are very valid. We have never met Heather and you live in another country. I’m not trying to say you are a bad person, but I’m doing this the right way. I will not send this money to anyone until I know it’s cleared. I have called Thomas Johnston twice and I don’t even get a voice mail. You will get your money but it’s going to have to be on my timing.

Annie

The next day after thinking maybe she might be for real:

Hi Heather.

I know you called last night but I was at youth service. I hope you’re not too stressed! I called my bank again last night and talked to the foreign exchange people and they believe the check has cleared. I’m going one more time to my bank today and if they confirm this to me I will send you the money. I’ll call you later. All things come together for good for those who love the Lord!

Annie


She writes:

I am really stressed and frustrated now. I don't even know what to think, I will really appreciate if you can get this straighten out because I know for sure the check has cleared your bank and you just don't want to release my money. Please reply back and let me know what is going on now. Thank you.

Dang she's playing with my emotions! Too bad I can't fall for it anymore. Now it's just funny because I have all the moeny and I know she's a faker. I brought a copy of the check to my bank to have the teller look at it and I told them the story thus far. They told me not to spend it and that it was a fraud. I then called the United States Treasury to track the check and they handed me off to Secret Services who told me that this is a form of the Nigerian Money Scandel. WHAT???! HA HA HA. So I wrote Heather this last e-mail and this was the last communication between us:

The check has not cleared in my bank Heather. I have been talking to so many people, but today I have shown a copy of the check to managers at my bank and everything that was sent to and I will not be sending any money until I know 100% for a fact that it is valid. Yes funds show up but that DOES not mean that it has gone through. I have told you before that I’m not sending anyone any money until the check has gone through. You also have not answered one of my questions. You’d think someone that was going to be living with you would tell you what’s going on. There is no trust between you and me because you avoid all my questions. You never gave me a testimony about your walk with God nor have you ever told me a single thing about yourself. If you received my voice mail I have explained that the check is not funded and you will not be moving in with me. I have called the United States Treasury and the secret service department and they both agree with me that this is a scandal. You can’t even get a United States treasury check unless it’s for social security, tax refunds or you work in the military. Everything I have received from you is from Canada. The envelope the check was contained in looks like something you print out on a home computer and not from the government. The letter that was contained with the check has no company phone number and the number on the fed ex box for the company is fake. I’ve tried calling BT Financial and Thomas Johnston. No one answers, or if they do, it’s the wrong number. You pressure and pressure me to send money to three different people FAILING to understand that Western Union, my bank, the United States Treasury and the Secret Service and the local police all think this is fraud and you still want me to send it.

The way you speak to me is quite unfortunate because if I gave a perfect stranger almost 10k, I’d be giving them every phone number and explaining everything to them in perfect clarity to make sure I got my money back. When you say, “you just don't want to release my money” is completely false because I have explained to you that I will not have a 9520 liability on my head. If you are for real, I am sorry because this is a bad decision on your part and these are the consequences. I suggest you start looking for another roommate and expect to have delays moving here if you truly are moving here. I’m sure your company will understand. You are free to use this e-mail but I have changed my phone number due to a lot of weird phone calls I have been receiving. There is nothing to straighten out other than I’m waiting until this check bounces, and if it doesn’t you’ll get it back later.

Annie

Whew that was a long story. But I will be sending this to people everywhere. I'm still in the process of dealing with this thing but I hope this has helped someone!! God is watching over me.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Thu Aug 11, 2005 1:03 pm 
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Joined: Wed Feb 11, 2004 12:18 pm
Posts: 248
I can't believe Western Union stepped in and said they would not send it because the believe it to be fake! I am about gasping for air right now, can anyone else believe this?
Well now you know.... never ever send any money to anyone you do not know - especally overseas!


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Thu Aug 11, 2005 1:33 pm 
sunrayz99 wrote:
I can't believe Western Union stepped in and said they would not send it because the believe it to be fake! I am about gasping for air right now, can anyone else believe this?
Well now you know.... never ever send any money to anyone you do not know - especally overseas!


As of late Western Union appears to be trying to prevent some fraud, I am surprised as well.


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 Post subject: Stolen ChecK
PostPosted: Thu Aug 11, 2005 10:52 pm 
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Joined: Tue Jul 19, 2005 10:45 am
Posts: 73
Location: Rome, Georgia
The check will likely be stolen/altered.


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 Post subject: Stolen Check and Western Union
PostPosted: Thu Aug 11, 2005 10:55 pm 
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Joined: Tue Jul 19, 2005 10:45 am
Posts: 73
Location: Rome, Georgia
The check that you deposited will likely be a stolen/altered one. I was the victim of this type fraud. It took 90 days for the check to return from the Canadian bank to the U.S. The check had been bleached and my name and address added. Yes,it fooled the bank.

Yes, Western Union is trying to stop this type fraud. They refunded a transfer that I attempted and called to alert me to fraud last March 31. The criminals are using Money Gram now.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Fri Aug 12, 2005 7:30 am 
sunrayz99 wrote:
I can't believe Western Union stepped in and said they would not send it because the believe it to be fake! I am about gasping for air right now, can anyone else believe this?
Well now you know.... never ever send any money to anyone you do not know - especally overseas!


Why would you say this about WU if they just refunded your money AND called to alert you to fraud on March 31. I bet you were really "gasping for air" after your phone call that saved you money. :shock:


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 Post subject: Roomates.com potential Scam
PostPosted: Wed Nov 09, 2005 5:20 pm 
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Joined: Wed Nov 09, 2005 4:44 pm
Posts: 2
I am like the rest...SOOOOO Thankful I "googled" roommates.com scam. Again like the rest it all sounded too good to be true. I am a 25 y/o guy and a hot female model from Ireland wants to move in. I thought something was up when she didn't care all that much about the room details, but I thought she was just chill and goes with the flow. Then she says she will send a cashiers check for the deposit, first months rent and I would send the remainder to her agent who is shipping her over here to the states. My friends and I all agreed that since she was sending money and not asking for it off the bat it must be legit.....from this board and what I have thankfully learned I have turned the tables on her. I am sending her emails asking for ridiculous information, pictures, employers and coworkers names and numbers with locations, family pictures, passport info and a scan of it.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Wed Nov 09, 2005 5:22 pm 
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Joined: Wed Nov 09, 2005 4:44 pm
Posts: 2
I am sorry...that was to read that her agent needed the money for the car she was having shipped over here.


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 Post subject: I encountered something very similar recently
PostPosted: Tue May 08, 2007 1:12 am 
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Joined: Tue May 08, 2007 12:58 am
Posts: 1
Thanks annie for posting. I recently encountered something very similar. It's to the point that I am startin to believe that this is the same person commiting the crime. She called herself Amy Lovera. Her email address is amy.lovera@gmail.com.

I am still in the process of searching for a room mate. This person said she was going to send out a $4000 check to me. Partly is for the security deposite and the first month rent, partly is fo transport fee for her car and furnitures.

This person right from the start raised a lot of red flags for me. Most of them were covered by Annie. Such as bad grammar and going for her PHD, kept evading my questions, sending a large sum of check to a stranger, etc. She also sent a picture, which appeared to be a model from some where. When she started asking for money to be sent for the transport agency, is where I drew the line and decided to investigate for such crimes online.

Thanks to Annie's post, I no longer doubt that this is the same case. She also supplied me with an address and persons name for my check to be sent to. I wonder if this could be traced to the correct person that is doing these scams and bust them.


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 Post subject: Amy Lovera
PostPosted: Mon May 14, 2007 3:45 pm 
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Joined: Mon May 14, 2007 3:40 pm
Posts: 1
I have had a scam attempt by Amy Lovera. I was advertising a room for rent on Craigslist. Same drill as others have experienced. She says she’s 27 years old and living in Melbourne, Australia and wanted to secure the room prior to her arrival. She wouldn’t answer any of my questions and quickly assumed that I was going to rent my room to her even though she knew nothing about me nor did she show any interest in knowing anything about me. She sent me pictures of herself and of course they were professional photos of a beautiful young model. She sent me a check in the amount of $3250 of which I was to keep $1000 and send the remainder to her “shipper” to have her furniture and car sent over. The check was mailed from New Jersey and the remainder was to be shipped to Louisville, IL. The check was a Bank of America company check from a software company in Diamond Bar, CA. I took the check to the branch manager at my bank who quickly verified that it was a fraudulent check.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Tue Aug 21, 2007 4:35 pm 
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Joined: Tue Aug 21, 2007 2:30 pm
Posts: 2
Because I have 6 rooms to rent I'm getting a lot of this.

one nike cole (sleeknike@yahoo.com)is a nice English girl living in Australia but her things need to be shipped from London, storage. Her 3500 check has been deposited, and shows as available in my account. But I called the bank to be sure, and they said it may take 10-14 days to actually clear, and suggested I call the issuing bank to see if there are funds in the account and he warned me that even if there are enough funds they could be removed before the check gets there. Well the bank told me the check is not real. I haven't told this girl the bad news Ha Ha. Ops she just sent me a E, she can wait. While I was typing the rest of this Nike called me first time I spoke with her she has a English Accent as she should, but she called from a UK phone number which I guess is possible from down under, with cell phones and such. she asked when I would be able to send the money, I told her the bank said it may take another week to clear, she said she'll have to call me back. (I think she needs more training)

another Rachael Brown (rachaelbrown01@yahoo.com)is a nice looking WOW girl who is Canadian on assignment in Africa working for W.H.O. when you click on her pictures and look at properties it shows some model web site with many pictures of her and others. Her check is supposed to arrive today and Of course I need to send money to her shipper, Right sure I will!

another Oprah Lease (oprah_lease@yahoo.com) Again is a real looker click on her pictures and it takes you directly to a model sight but she is no longer a member. She wants a room and will be sending a check it should get here Friday she says

just got another Bakerg Gwen (bakerg102@yahoo.com)
this one sent me a message on Roommates and when I read it she had already erased her profile I sent her a note saying I'm not sending any information until she explains why she has no profile. she sent a bogus excuse so I asked her to send pictures. of course there of some model

well some things I notice first they get you E-ing off Roommates. They remove their profile within a day after contact. they ask you to remove yours because they'll be taking the room. this is probably so they can go back on roommates with the same phony Bio etc. There's some reason why a third person (supervisor, agent, business associate, etc) will be sending you too much money. Of course they need you to wire back most of the phony funds, Why didn't they have the money wired to you?

I think its a bunch of people working in a boiler room style setting doing this. They probably all answered a add to make big money working on computer no experience needed! I've been keeping record of Emails and phone numbers etc. if anyone is investigating this stuff I'm sure I can give some leads.

Its a shame how some people have been taken. I'm lucky, only lost some time, and it looks like I'll be getting a return check fee soon.

_________________
GoodyWW


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 Post subject: website www.newroommate.co.uk warns you !
PostPosted: Thu Aug 23, 2007 11:36 am 
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Joined: Thu Aug 23, 2007 10:38 am
Posts: 2
Location: england
I have been on a new website which is called www.newroommate.co.uk , because I am looking for a flatshare, and once when go to their tips and translations page, you will find all the explanations you need! they tell you how the scammers are working and also what you should do or not do once you get "hooked" by those people.
check it out!

Jean


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 Post subject: Re: ROOMATES.com SCAM
PostPosted: Fri Jun 27, 2008 4:29 pm 
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Joined: Fri Jun 27, 2008 3:47 pm
Posts: 2
I think I am or I should say was about to be a victum of a rent scam. Jessica Farrell is trying to rent my town home. She will be sending me a check before she moves in or a money order!! We just have to come to an agreement. Shoud I just cross her off or is there somewhere I can turn her info into that will be able to find out who this person is.


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 Post subject: Re: ROOMATES.com SCAM
PostPosted: Sat Jun 28, 2008 11:51 am 
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Site Admin/Co-Founder

Joined: Mon Mar 31, 2003 10:09 pm
Posts: 2921
Lik2chat2 wrote:
I think I am or I should say was about to be a victum of a rent scam. Jessica Farrell is trying to rent my town home. She will be sending me a check before she moves in or a money order!! We just have to come to an agreement. Shoud I just cross her off or is there somewhere I can turn her info into that will be able to find out who this person is.


I am glad that you found us in time. If she contacts you again, I would just tell her that you found another renter. If she does not go away, block her email address. If the check is already in the mail, when you get it could you send it to

Bill White
Alcohol Gambling Enforcement Division — Fraud Report
444 Cedar St. #133
St. Paul, MN 55101

Include a letter with your full story, let him know that we sent you to him, and include YOUR contact information in case he has any questions for you about the situation.

Thanks,

_________________
Shawn Mosch
Co-Founder of http://ScamVictimsUnited.com
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 Post subject: Re: ROOMATES.com SCAM
PostPosted: Fri Jul 25, 2008 6:33 pm 
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Joined: Fri Jul 25, 2008 5:27 pm
Posts: 18
Any British roommate from the UK will can provide a verifiable NI number (National Insurance Number) Equivalent of a SSN. Tell them you are running credit. They will disappear.
If that had happened to me, I would have have offered to send it via a Canadian attorney or escrow company. I am Nigerian and these crooks really really make everybody very angry with their trifling ways. Don't be naive ever. I think the USA is on the right track and in a few years, everyone will know know within a few seconds. More than anything, its about how they manage to waste everybody's time and play with their emotions.
The key is always to act like a corporation and ask for the things a typical corporation would ask for.


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