Saturday, January 06, 2007

To Catch a Scammer: Roommate Scam - Part IV

Continued from Part III ...

Sent: Sunday, December 24, 2006 9:22:25 AM
Good morning and how are you doing?I hope you're having a wonderful time.I'm so glad to inform you that i got a shipper that will be moving my things down but unfortunately he insisted on advance payment before proceeding with the shipment.However, i would love to ensure that my properties were safely set on deck before coming down.Please be also informed that you'll be receiving the payment soon and as soon as you received the payment,kindly take it to your BANK to cash and deduct the fee for my room.So, after the deduction,i'll need your assistance in sending part of the balance through WESTERN UNION office to my shipper asap so that he can proceed with the shipment on time.I'll provide the information that you'll be needing to send the money and the exact amount to send later.Please i'll like to know the nearest airport to the house and if you will be available to come and pick me up at the airport or i should make alternative arrangement.Hope to hear from you soon.
Thanks a bunch and have a good time.

  1. The main hook of the scam is introduced now.
  2. The content of the email looks template generated, with the keywords consicuously emphasized in capital letters - almost as if the scammer only needed to change two words and forgot that his caps lock was on.
  3. Total ignorance of what I asked for or suggested in previous emails. If he were smarter, he'd have provided some answers.
  4. The feel at this point is that of 'auto-pilot' - its direction already seems well programmed, no matter what I try to do.
At this point, a couple of friends are in on the scam and we are working together to see how far this goes. Here's our response:
Airport is Colorado Springs (COS). Sure, I can pick you up when you arrive. Who did you say would be coming to see the apartment? I do not want you to make monetary arrangements until you are sure this is where you shall be moving. Over this week, you can have them come and take a look.
I shall then need to receive your Jan-2007 payment before Jan-31 if you intend to move in. We pay for the month ahead here. We shall deal in cash (or Western Union ). Someone will also need to come sign lease papers.

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