We are looking for a house to rent. Mrs. Lion does excellent research scouring the Net for possible homes. We have uncovered an amazing number of scams during our search. Facebook (of course!) and Craig’s List are the two sites that scammers love to use. Listings are free, and no one checks anything.
Here’s how the ones we’ve discovered work. The house is listed with pictures and a full description. The rent is at, or slightly under, market prices. Everything looks good. We responded to a couple on Craig’s List and one on Facebook. The replies we got were giveaways.
The so-called landlords responded with an “application.” The email included a series of questions, including one that asked for a family picture. All three responses had identical questions. All wanted a deposit sent via PayPal. All also explained that they had taken jobs far away, so they couldn’t show the house, but suggested that we look “through the windows” to get an idea of the property.
Obviously, you would have to be crazy to buy into that. Also, when I entered the addresses of the houses on Zillow.com, I got identical ads from legitimate real estate agents. One house was for sale, not rent. It’s easy to scam this way. Just copy real ads and add your own contact info. Craig’s List and Facebook handle replies,so you don’t see who actually sent the “application.” I’ll bet a lot of people are fooled.
mysterious package delivery
While we’re on the subject of criminal activity, a porch pirate stole a bunch of packages from our doorstep a couple of years ago. We captured a video of his theft with our video doorbell. One of the items was a picture on glass that I had ordered from Fractured. All of the items were replaced by the companies who shipped them, so we didn’t lose anything.
Here’s the strange part. Last week, we found an open UPS package on our front lawn. It was addressed to me. Inside was the picture from Fracture that was stolen in 2021. How about that? I doubt the thief had a crisis of conscience. More likely, he ditched the package somewhere–hard to sell a shot of Mrs. Lion and our dog–and a good Samaritan picked it up two years later and delivered it.
The only problem with this story is that the cardboard, label, and contents were in perfect shape. They had obviously been kept indoors. I guess we’ll never know the real story.
Maybe Santa made an early delivery.