$435,000 Ballard home: only $900 a month

But only if you’ll send a check to Rev Robin Beaty in West Africa. I just put up a post on the Estately blog, but I thought I’d alert the RCG community to the more-humorous-than-dangerous side of real estate scamming (Reba keeps it real with the scary real estate scamster stories).

We received the following by someone clearly looking for a good deal on Seattle rents ($900 for a Ballard 2BR is tough to pass up).


Our hot tipper goes on to wish, as I do, that people had the common sense to avoid scams like this. Word to the unwise: don’t send the dude your money.

20 thoughts on “$435,000 Ballard home: only $900 a month

  1. Nice post, Galen. Don’t you just love these constant bizarre items? There is a posting on the NWMLS that also talks about a Craigslist scam that is similar. Too many people out there trying to take advantage of the public.

  2. No kidding. If he is going to be in Africa for a while then I’ll just squat for a while.

    Now, let’s see if I can find a Robin Beaty in KC records.

  3. Gee, he only wanted $180 from my son, so he could ship the keys from Nigeria. He had answered a Craig’s List ad, and we decided to play along and exchanged several emails, just in case it really was legit.

    “My name is George Nick, I own the 1 bedroom
    apartment@2279 3rd Avenue #4A, New York NY 10035. and also want you to
    know that it was due to my missionary work that makes me my wife and
    Son to leave the house and also want to give it out for rent and
    looking for a responsible person that can take very good care of it as
    we are not after the money for the rent but want it to be clean at the
    time and the person that will rent it to take it as if it were its


    “As a man of God please I am giving you all this base on trust and
    again i will want you to stick to your words, I am putting everything
    into God’s hand, so please do not let us down.”


    “You can send the money for the keys and insurance . via western union
    money transfer to the information below.

    Name : Peter Joseph
    State: Lagos
    Country: Nigeria
    Text Question: Key
    Answer: Door
    Peter Joseph is the driver of the Missionary Bus , so he is always
    going to the town where they have western union store.
    As soon as the money is cashed, I will proceed to ship the keys to you
    so that you can go for viewing.
    Kindly note that the payment is refundable
    For more information you can call me
    Regards and God bless.”

    The address, looking through the county records, appeared to match a vacant lot. Google Earth zeroed right in on a nice patch of grass.

  4. I almost got scammed by the exact same guy. He sent me the same email about the $180 to send the key. This is the email that I sent him back:

    You are a scam. I just googled your name and you have taken money from other people in the past. You have also gone by the name George Nick. It’s really sad for you to try to take advantage of people like this. You are not a man of God at all. SHAME ON YOU.

    Meghan Davis

    Beware, people. Thank goodness I didn’t send him anything. I knew that $750 a month for a 1 bedroom in Manhattan was WAY too good to be true.

  5. I just got kind of the same email. And luckily, I haven;t dealt with him.
    Hello Dear,

    Thanks for the email. I own the house and also want you to know that it was due to my transfer to West Africa, Lagos that makes us to leave the house and also want to give it out for rent and looking for a responsible person that can take very good care of it as we are not after the money for the rent but want it to be clean all the time and the person that will rent it to take it as if it were its own. So for now, We are here in West Africa and will be staying here for the next 4 years in our new house and also with the keys of the house for rent, we try to look for an agent that we can give this documents and the keys before we left but could not find, and we as well do not want our house to be used any how in our absence that is why we took it along with us. I and my wife came over to Afri ca for a missionary work, so i hope you will promise us that you will take very good care of the house. So get back to me on how you could take care of our house or perhaps experience you have in renting home. Hope you are okay with the price of $900 per month.

    This is the address of the house: 1908 Manzana San Diego, CA 92139
    Pls let me get this answer.
    1)Your Full Name
    2)Your Full Address & Phone Number
    3)How old are you?
    4)Are you married?
    5)How many people will be living in the house?
    6)Do you have a car?
    8)When will you like to move in?
    9)How long will you like to rent the property?

    Looking forward to hear from you with all this details so that i can have it in my file incase of issuing the receipt for you and contacting you.Await your urgent reply so that we can discuss on how to get the document and the key to you,please we are giving you all this base on trust and again i will want you to stick to your words,you know that we do not see yet and only putting everything into Gods hand,so please do not let us down in this our property and God bless you more as you do this.Our house number is +234-703-363-7225 OR 011-234-703-363-7225.

    Thanks and Remain Blessed

    =>>How can people do stuffs like this???? It ‘s not funny

  6. There are several variationS of the rental scam run on craglist. In most they contact people wanting to rent a home or room and pretend to be renting for themselves, or their college age daugther.

    Sometimes they offer a place to live for rent free if you cash check for their business and send them the money. I’ve run through the scam at least 50 times with different scammers just to learn the process. I’ve likely collected about 100k in bogus checks, dozens of passpost images, and documents sent to prove this or that.

    They will ask you to send money for shipping, travel agents, or furniture delivery. The one below used a car as the ruse. Once I have the check I end it. I like to make them waste their time and money. In this one they thought I was a female.

    SCAMMER: hello, I am Larenz Graham,i am much interested in the room you advertised on craigslist,am male 25years old from England, I just finished my degree course in university in London and I am relocating on sabbatical leave for a year. and I’m hoping to find a room or an accommodation before I arrival for the period of 12months.

    I don’t smoke, I keep my place clean, and I like to cook.Also,I’m easygoing, Keep no pets, the condition and price is OK.Please at what price per month as well as the deposit required. So i will like to know the availability of the place as I await your response


    ME: You sound like a really interesting person Larenz!! I’m Michelle (friends call me Mishy) and my home is HUGE! My parents gave it to me when they moved away and its way too big for me. I’ll attach a few pics of the room, bathroom, and the view from its window. May I have a picture of you?

    SCAMMER: hello, I just want you to know that am a neat person who is generally quiet and not a big partier. I am interested in sports and enjoy the outdoors. Am this type of shy person,humble,loyal friendly,reserved,honest and respectful. I keep my place clean and I like to cook.

    Also, I’m easygoing. I’ve had a variety of roommates in the past who have worked out well, my arrival to the States will be mid September/October …But will like to pay a month rent in advance before that so as not to loose the room…..So please kindly get back to me asap with your full name, address and phone number So that the check of a month rent can be mail out to you as soon as possible.


    ME: I know we’ll get along great and have lots of fun together. I’m still waiting for that picture of you though,, here’s my mailing address so you can send the funds. I took the advert off craigslist today since I was kinda hoping you would want it!!

    SCAMMER: Hi, how are you doing today? I want you to know that the payment has been issued to you and it would get to you soon. I would get back to you with the tracking number for the payment .

    However; I want you to know that there would be a excess fund on the payment which you would help send to my auto dealer who would bring my Car prior to my arrival in the US. The reason for these is because I already had a quote with them and I hope you would understand these. Please get back to me so as to proceed with the payment

    thx alot

    ME: Sure sweety, you certainly do need a car here! Just let me know what you want me to do and I’ll do it. I can’t wait for you to arrive; I just know we’re going to become sooooo close! I can wire you the cash or use Pay Pal if you like, whichever. I still wish you would send a picture though, is there a problem?

    SCAMMER: Hi honnie, thanks for the quick update.My tight schedule at work wont allow me to attach my pics for you.I would get it sent to you when am on my leisure time.Please let me know as soon as you receive the payment………..till then


    ME: Thank God, cause you really the one I want to live with. So when will you arrive??

    SCAMMER: Hi sweetie, thanks for the update,I would be moving in by 17th of September and if theres any change in plan ,I would let you know. I have to go back to work……….till then

    thx hun

    ME: Has the money been sent honey??

    SCAMMER: Hi hun, how was your day? I would get back to you with the tracking number for the payment has soon as it is mailed out to you.I have to go back to work now and also would send the pics to you this weekend. I guess I would be on my leisure time……till then. Have a lovely weekend


    ME: Thanks so much, enjoy your weekend

    SCAMMER: Hi, how are you sweetie?am so sorry for the late response.I want you to know that the payment is already on its way and it would get to you soon.I would give you the tracking number for the payment as soon as it is ready.

    Please get back to me as soon as you receive the payment.I would have called you since,but my tight schedule at work wont allow me and I hope to do so soon ……….till then

    ME: Thanks

    SCAMMER: Hi, how are you doing? I just want to get back to you with the tracking number for the payment to you from UPS(1Z50098X1397240689).

    Please get it cashed or you get it deposited into your account, deduct your total amount of the rent and get the rest sent to my shipper through western union money transfer with the below information:

    Name:Annie Leonards
    Address: 510 townplanning rd,centerburg.
    State: Ohio
    Zip Code: 43011

    I would like you to deduct the western union charges from the remaining funds as well. Please get back to me with the western union details as soon as you get it sent to them…..till then

    SCAMMER: Hi, how are you doing today? I want to inform you that the payment would get to you today,so dont forget to get it cashed as soon as you receive it or you get it deposited into your account and please get back to me with the western union details as soon as you get it sent to Annie Leonards so that they could bring in my Car as soon as they receive there funds………….till then


    ME: Also, if sending the ID copy is a problem for you heres what I will do. I’ll mail the check to Annie and she can cash it then wire me the $1,700 for the rent. Seems to work out the same either way. Since she knows you already its better that way.

    SCAMMER: Hi, how are you doing? I would send you my ID asap and also want you to know that the payment was mailed out in your name. So,theres no way Annie would be able to cash the check or something.Please get back to me as soon as you receive the payment


    ME: I did recieve the check today just so you know.

    SCAMMER: Hi, so let me know as soon as you get it cashed or you deposit it into your account and let me know how far you have gone with the shippers funds. Hope you would get back to me soonest



    Thanks for your email. The apartment is still available.
    I decided to rent the apartment because we are going to spend more time here in West Africa , about 3 years.. Let me start by introducing myself.

    I must confess that I am very very new in this landlord business.. However, My name is Jamie Becker. I own the apartment located at 1000 Clove Road, Staten Island NY 10301…. Due to my job as a missionary I spent less time in the States so I could not get a hold on any Realtor to handle this rent issue, although it was when I knew how long we are going to stay in Africa that I decided to rent out the apartment.. However, the initial plan was to sale out the apt. which I tried, but sometimes the agents inflates the prize and it takes longer to sell. because of this reason and more we need a responsible person (With good credit) that can take very good care of it as we are not after the money , but want it to be clean and for you to take it as if it were yours.

    As you know that the the rent is reasonable, One Mr. Jeremy sent an email about the apartment and I told him that I cant give him the apartment because he is married with 3 kids ,I do not want his children to get my property damaged because of our future plans on the apartment.

    The rent is $800 No extra fees.
    Below is my phone numbers
    0112348081540815 or +2348081540815

    1)Your Full Name:
    2)Your Full Address & Phone Number :
    4)marital status?
    5)Rental Payment plan ( Every 1 month,3 month or 6 months?) most convenient
    6)How long do you intend to rent?

    I know you would want to see the apartment before making any kind of rental payment , which is understandable…
    We can make arrangement for the keys and documentation including an Authorization letter to be shipped to you, this will give you the opportunity to view apartment.

    Jamie Becker.

    Dear Lauren,
    This is the info needed to sent the shipment cost..
    Money for shipment should be sent via WESTERN UNION MONEY TRANSFER to the information below.

    Name : Peter Joseph
    State: Lagos
    Country: Nigeria
    Text Question: Jamie
    Text Answer: Becker

    Peter Joseph is my personal driver, so he is always going into town where the have western union store.
    Once the receipt of payment ( $205 ) is confirmed, I will immediately go to the nearest FED EX office and Have the keys, Rental documents and the letter of authorization shipped to 20 Highmount rd. Staten Island NY, 10308.

    Yes the rent remains $800 per month and the apartment is fully furnished, but if you want to move in with your own furnitures all you need to do is to move our own furnitures to storage room which we have already taking care of the storage bills hope you understand.

    Kindly note that the payment of $205, shipment fee is refundable

    Regards and God bless.
    Jamie Becker.

  8. I did recently exchange emails with yet another scam artist, and in the end I finally got her to admit she was in fact whats commonly know as a 419 scammer. The full exchange is posted on my site (where I explain all current common scams); but heres an excerpt:

    From: creel@yahoo.com
    To: roseinforx@yahoo.co.jp
    Sent: Sunday, November 16, 2008 7:09:16 AM
    Subject: Picture

    Now we both know the truth is that there are no millions of dollars to be obtained by you or I. Believe me, I wish it were true just as much as you do. I understand living in the poverty of Nigeria sucks, and you want out of it desperately. I realize the small portion of the money that your paid by your handlers after the scam victim (AKA: Mugu) sends the money, probably goes a long way to cover your bills.

    At the same time you need to realize that for the small portion you recieve, someones life is destroyed for a long time. All Americans aren’t rich, and the ones that typically fall victim to such scams are usually quite poor and desperate themselves.

    Some even land in jail after the checks bounce; more often in a scam such as the one your involved in (I call it the Damsel in Distress Scam), they can’t pay their own bills because they sent the only money they had to your associates.


    From: Rose William roseinforx@yahoo.co.jp
    Subject: Thanks Mic
    To: creel@yahoo.com
    Date: Sunday, November 16, 2008, 2:34 AM

    Thanks Mic

    well what you said about 419 is the truth; as well i admit it. something about life some time is in this life you will see yourself do somethings you don’t like to do; its all economical background of your country.

    there is no good job to work here in my country it is so difficult for me to take care of my self, and when you come out you will see the 419 people living in the best houses, best car and they look very good. if they happen to come close to you baby, you will like to join them becouse everyone need a good life.

    i have one nigrian boy who put me into this 419. anytime he called me to come and anwser calls for him, make woman call others he want to use woman to anwser so there that is how i get involved with them.

    so if you if you have any help to give to me please do it. i don’t like people cussing me with name of God, i don’t like it but what can i do? please if there is anyway you can render help to me please help, i promiss that i will quit anwsering the calls. they give me only ten percent of the money they make, please if you can help me, but if you can not, thats good as well.

    Thanks and have a wonderfull weekend

    As you can see, just as in Realty, they work on commission.

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