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Why don't the Police catch online internet scammers?
Online real estate rental scam
I almost lost $2,400 to a scammer yesterday.I went looking for an apartment to rent in the inner city so that I could be closer to some of my family. I found a nice property in an area that I like that was reasonably priced and very suitable. I replied that I would like to take the apartment subject to inspection. I got a reply back saying that I could pay the deposit and she would send the keys as she was in London with her new husband and would not be back till April..She also sent me her passport and a copy of the lease agreement. She then asked for the deposit to be sent to her, with the signed lease at an address in London.
I read her email again and became suspicious as her English writing was poor, yet her passport said she was born in Dublin, and had spent her time in England and Australia. She also wanted the money sent by Western Union, and that's when I really woke up that this could be a scam, so I looked a bit closer.
The plot thickens.
I went back and read the lease agreement, and there at the top where the word "Landlord" is usually written was the word "Landlady". I have seen a lot of leases, but in this country at least the legal term is landlord, and I have never seen the sexually specific use on a lease before.Another black mark!
At this point, I know that the property exists, as I have visited the address, seen the apartment and it is in a large block of apartments as she stated. The price and lease terms are acceptable, and I have a passport photo which includes the whole page from her passport, with date of birth and country of origin showing in the photo.
I had heard never to send money via Western Union unless it was to someone you know, so I offered to put the money in her local account, after I saw the apartment. She replied that after I paid the deposit she would send me the keys via FedEx.
By now I was downright suspicious, but not being a lying piece of human excrement myself, I found it hard to believe this sort of scam even existed, or that someone could go to so much trouble to scam someone. I went online and looked for the name she gave me.
Like many long time Internet users, I can find almost anyone online, so eventually after not finding anything about her at all, I typed in the name she gave me followed by the word "scam" Presto! Up comes her name on another Real Estate site. A blogger who had the same experience as me had realized she was a scammer and baited her fiercely!
Sure enough the scammer took the bait. It was pretty funny, but what was amazing is the others who came to this blog after they had been scammed by her.She has taken thousands of dollars of house hunters!
I sent the blog to the scammer, who had the audacity to ring me to assure me she was not a scammer! I near fell off my chair when I received the call. I have since had 10 more emails for different properties, and 6 of them were from her using another name. I have not used any of the names here, as they are all stolen along with passports and identity from people who answer her email and provide their I.D. to identify themselves.People like me, who have a totally clean background, wind up being chased by the police for fraud! Unlike the scammer we are easy to find.
I decided at this point to ring the police, give them the blog, her other identities and the passport photo she had sent to me. They had to call me back, so I waited all afternoon for a reply. A senior rang me back. He had been in contact with the fraud squad and they had told him there was no point as I had not lost any money so had no crime to report.
How does that work. Here we have a fraudulent thief, who has stolen citizens identities (surely that's a crime) In the mean time many of her victims have been pursued by the police!
I can tell which frauds are hers easily just by the word pattern and constant miss-spelling in her replies, the modus operandi is identical in every case, and I reckon a chicken could be trained to track her down. As there are dozens who have been defrauded by her and more every day, I just think the police are useless at this sort of thing.
I am going to take it to the feds next. I'll let you know how I go there.
Not good enough!
I attempted to get some satisfaction from Western Union, they took the details of the delivery address she used for this attempt, and have heard nothing back of course.
I then contacted the site where the scam was posted. My email and their reply are below.
I have had yet another scam attempt, that makes three from this site. Each
one is from the same person using different ID (stolen). I have been to the
police to no avail. As I have lost no money. I am now going to my local MP
and the Television show \"A current affair\" as this is so
stupid! The person scamming cannot hide their identity by changing it, as
her English writing makes it obvious that it is the same person. This
person has now scammed a minimum 10,000 dollars according to the blog about
her that I found. Why can\'t you track her down?
I only bought one week subscription, because I know that most of the emails I get will be from her. Please help catch this person.
Here is the reply from share accommodation
Unlike what you think, it is very difficult to fight scammers. They use proxys which allow them to navigate using IP address all around the world. They then create different accounts on sites like Share-Accommodation.net.
After 4 years of experience, we guarantee you that the best way to avoid scammers is to be "web smart".
Just NEVER pay money or give ID details to anyone without meeting them first.
Should you have any other questions or issues please do not hesitate in contacting us.
The Share-Accommodation.net Support
In other words they don't give a toss, and are only interested in putting me off the job I must do. Find this vermin and have them prosecuted.