Latest Nigerian Email Scam: Renters Checks

from the sneaky,-sneaky,-sneaky dept

It’s been quite fascinating, over the years, to see how the various “Nigerian” scammers have adapted and evolved their strategies. While variations on the originals exist, over time we keep seeing new scams show up. They started, obviously, with the traditional 419 “advance fee” scam, asking you to help them get more money out of Nigeria. Then, they morphed by paying attention to current events and making the scams more closely related to events happening in the news. Then there was the scam where they would buy something on eBay, but send a forged check that was much, much higher than the purchase price, asking you to send back the difference. Of course, the victim would only find out later that the check was a fake and that he had been cheated out of all the money sent (as well as the value of the sold item). Then, they started combining phishing and advance fee scams, to make you think your friends needed money wired urgently to Nigeria. Oh, and who can forget when they started a scam that didn’t prey on the victims’ greed, but their love of cute puppies? Awwwwww…

The latest is that they’re placing ads for apartments to rent in high rent districts, and then asking prospective tenants to do a money transfer to a friend or relative to prove you have the money available. That seems legit — and since it’s to a friend or a relative, the prospective tenant knows that the money is safe. Except, once they’ve forwarded on a scanned copy of the transfer payment receipt, the scammers go to the bank pretending to be the recipient and withdraw the money. It’s a bit more complicated, but again, it’s a scam where the victim is easily tricked because there doesn’t seem to be anything wrong with what’s happening.

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Comments on “Latest Nigerian Email Scam: Renters Checks”

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TX CHL Instructor (profile) says:

Just when I would have thought...

Just about when I would have thought there would be nobody on earth left that would fall for that scam, one of my nephews called me to tell me about this wonderful arrangement he had made for the sale of his car, where the ‘buyer’ had sent him a cashier’s check for a little over $3000 more than the asking price…

Fortunately, he called me before meeting the guy to sign over the title and refund the difference… Without the 2nd Amendment, the rest of the document is only wishful thinking.

Roberto Valenzuela says:


I was targeted by this one — there was a rent ad describing basically the perfect property at a really good price. The initial reply to my email seemed interested and sincere — but then he told me I had to use The Online Outpost to pay the rent, without sending me a lease or anything.

This raised my suspicions, even more so when I got two emails purporting to be from The Online Outpost which were actually from a fake domain ( instead of, which asked me to use Western Union to wire money to a UK private address. At this point, I just strung the guy along for a few more emails just for shits and giggles. 😛

For any UK readers brave enough to do a little footwork out of curiosity, here are the addresses given to me via email:

Scammer “potential landlord:”

Karl Robben (
85a Kentish Town Road
London, London, NW1 8NY, UK

Scammer “Online Outpost agent:”

Jonny Howard
15 Pembroke Court
London, London, NW6 7PP

If any of y’all actually find anything at these addresses, do let me know. 🙂


Gene Cavanaugh (profile) says:

Nigerian Scams

To me, the worst is the charity scams (the FCIC has been warning about these, as well as the others – google the FCIC and get on their mailing list).
Some time ago, it was estimated that over 30 percent of the TV solicitations for charity were out-and-out scams; and it was growing explosively. I sincerely doubt that any of the newer groups are legit. Not impossible, but very unlikely.
Oh, and did I tell you about the email from‘?

Oroboros says:

Another morph

I received an email this week purporting to be from a friend. Her name was spelled correctly and the return address was definitely hers. The email claimed she was stranded in Nigerian and needed me to lend her $2500 to settle up with the hotel bill. This went out to everyone in her address book, and she claims that they have thoroughly compromised her identity, cleaned out her bank accounts etc. all apparently via a virus, most via a keylogger it installed to capture her back account credentials.

Lissy says:

Re: Another morph

I received the same scam mail this week. I wrote back to my friend in a separate email asking her to confirm it was her and got a reply from the scammers!(I know how my friend strings a sentence together)
It would appear that they have control of her email.
It’s all a bit worrying as my friend actually is away travelling (not in Nigeria though) and I have no other way of contacting her to see if she really is ok.
i’ve forwarded the scammers reply to: as suggested by a site that’s been watching the Nigerian scams

alex says:

Another variation on the same theme that’s been going around is the dinner reservation scam. A person overseas emails the restaurant with the intent to book the place for three consecutive group dinners. The scam artist tells the restaurant to charge 5,000 pounds to a credit card and deposit 4,000 of that amount into the bank account of their “travel consultant.”

Toddy says:


One of my friends recently accepted £5000 from some guy in Nigeria who wants him to “keep £1000 for himself, but send (launder) the remaining £4000 to another person”.

My friend accepted the cheque, kept it for 6 months, then spent the whole £5000. He has had no repercussions, and has a new TV!

I’m not saying that this is a good idea – it’s just good to know that not everyone that has touched these scams has lost out.

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