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225/365 - scam
For the past few weeks now, I’ve been looking for a roommate to fill my vacant room, which has been empty for nearly 4 weeks.  With advertisements posted on craigslist and various other online mediums, I’ve been getting a fairly good number of e-mails from scammer posing and roommates.  By the looks of sender’s e-mail address, one can almost determine the legitimacy of an e-mail.

For instance, I received an e-mail from Michelle Taylor, but when I hit the reply button, the e-mail address of bondmicheal47@yahoo.com appears.  Now I know some people have funny and cute nicknames as e-mail address, but come on, what the heck does bondmicheal and Michelle Taylor have in common?  I suppose micheal and michelle could have something in common.

There’s no way to tell solely from an e-mail address if it’s from a scammer or not, but you can easily tell from the body.  If it’s trying to ask you to do something along the lines of sending money, it’s probably from a scammer.  If you’re unsure whether an e-mail is from a scammer or not, follow these two simple steps:

  1. Do a Facebook search with the e-mail address, if the search doesn’t return a valid profile, proceed to the next step.
  2. Do a Google search on the e-mail address and scan through the search results, if anyone of them appears to contain scam e-mail or excerpts related to scam, it’s probably from a scammer.  If you’re still unsure proceed to next step.

The following is a list of e-mail address from scammers posing as roommates.  The sole purpose of this is for the e-mail address to appear in a google search so that when a homeowner or land lords does a google search, this post will appear and inform them that the e-mail is indeed from a scammer.

List of e-mail address from scammers:

janeteunicee@gmail.com

bondmicheal47@yahoo.com

Lulu51956@aol.com

raymond.lord1@gmail.com

tinajones2@in.com

tijalady@aol.com

As you can see in a matter of four weeks, I’ve received a good amount of scam e-mail in attempts to lure me.  I hope this blog post helps other landlords to avoid scams.

Mike

Creative Commons License photo credit: B Rosen

{ 31 comments }
  • iluvsaturdays@yahoo.com July 2, 2011, 7:39 pm

    Thanks for posting this. I was just doing research on what I thought was a red and you verified it. I am renting a room out. THANK YOU!!!!

    Reply
  • Julie M July 6, 2011, 2:41 pm

    Hi Mike, thank you so much for this informative website! My 18 year old daughter is looking for a roommate through Craig’s List. She was in the process of answering this email (below) when she said something about it that got my attention. I read the email and told her NOT to answer him back, that it was a total scam. She could tell something wasn’t right about the email and was going to tell him that she WASN’T going to provide the information he was requesting. I Googled the bondmicheal47@yahoo.com address and found this site. I showed it to her and she said she had received emails from several of the other addresses you have listed here, but never gave them any information they were requesting. The Michelle Taylor name is also associated with this additional email address – shaneyoung99@gmail.com. I have included the email below for others to read, and to delete once it hits their in box:

    Hello there
    Thanks for getting back to me … My name is Micheal (m),I have a daughter she is 26yrs old,she is fun loving, personal, friendly,clean, caring,and respectful of others. a non-smoker, don’t do drugs, she drink occasionally,and drama free. Graduated last year in UK,she is single and have no children … do bible study, and go to church every Sunday .I need to secure the place for her before she arrive to the state as she’ll be moving in with her luggage.You seem to be a very interesting person to be with and I must confess to you that you will enjoy staying with her in the house because she make people smile always.
    she will be in the state before the ending of this Month for the next one year and during her stay she is coming for her masters degree. she was born in England (UK), dad is from USA but her mum is from England …she went to Greenwich university in London she speak both French and English ,am presently on research work at Guam (USA), am almost done.with that bcos its part of my perquisite for my masters in Microbiology . i would have loved to call you but this is a remote area calls is hard to go through from here and i don’t want to waste much time .Am really interested in renting from you and i do really love pets but i don’t have any at the moment. she would have loved to see it but am very far,but with pictures,I am glad.
    I will also like you to tell me more about you and if you have garage or parking space cos she will have her own car come over, pls let me know the total payment of the place and more over I will send your email to my dad for him to email you later bcos he is the one that will be paying the bills but nevertheless,I will like you to send me your full Name and the mailing address, your phone number as well,so that i can issue out the payment for the place as soon as possible,with that you can hold on the place for my daughter till she come and sign all necessary papers. I will be looking forward to your email soonest.

    Regards.

    Micheal
    +447035981019

    Reply
  • Suzie July 27, 2011, 1:31 pm

    Hey!

    Thank you so much for posting this, I too found it by google searching bondmichael47@gmail.com. I was looking to rent out a room and posted an ad in the middle of the night when I suddenly got 3 emails from 3 different addresses that didn’t come up on Facebook and all of them only contained one sentence, along the lines of “hey, is the room still available?.” I got irritated and after suspecting they were scammers I wrote each of them back with a “Fuck off :)”.

    Exactly how do they scam you, by trying to get personal info? Should I have not written anything back at all?

    Reply
  • Ken Taylor July 28, 2011, 11:07 am

    I just got the same scam email from Michael Taylor. Glad I took the time to do a search on the phone number he provided. Guess what. The phone number matches the phone number in this alert. Just be careful. And oh, by the way, we have the same last name. Still didn’t help. 🙂

    Reply
    • Mike July 28, 2011, 6:38 pm

      I’m glad you found the information helpful. I’m kind of surprised the scammers don’t change their information, thus making themselves harder to find via a google search.

      Reply
  • Karen July 29, 2011, 4:11 pm

    Same story here – have a room listed on Craigslist and get an email that says:

    Hello, I just wanna know if you still have the room you posted on craigslist.My name is Tina and i will really love to rent this room if it’s stillavailable for rent. i am still kind of young,i just clock 22 yearsold… Am originally from Finland please email me back to let me knowif the room is up for rent and i can tell you more about my self Kind Regards

    But it went to spam folder, which usually doesn’t happen with CL responses, so I looked closer. The email shows as from “tijalady@aol.com” but also showed a shadow email of “{ansa.tina7@gmail.com}”.

    Since it had my phone number in the ad, an email instead of all call meant I would have checked the email without it having gone to my spam folder. Am so glad someone else posted the scam – KH in FtL

    PS – I’m posting this in multiple places to help stop anyone else from falling for it (and I’m notifying CL).

    Reply
    • Mike July 30, 2011, 2:20 pm

      Thanks for sharing your story. The more information, the better it serves the legitimate homeowners.

      Reply
  • Mike July 31, 2011, 11:11 am

    Hey ..I am trying to rent a studio in my house for 4 weeks..I have been OVERWHELMED by scams….it is truly ammazing. For those of you renting..if they can’t come and see it..DONT RENT to them…. If they send you checks with EXTRA money for shipping or because it is a mistake by their Uncle or Father or whatever…it is Fraud.

    They send you these checks that are so Far above what you asked for that they need you to send the excess “BACK” ..and they request you do it now….becaus ethey need the money or they ask you to send money to the shipper who will be delivering their stuff.

    Amazing that all of this has to be wired ..in my 35 years I have never had to wire anything….NEVER NEVER NEVR SEND $$ FROM YOUR ACCOUNT..I HAVE RECEIVED THESE BOGUS CHECKS AND ASKED FOR AN ADDRESS TO REURN..OF COURSE I NEVER HEARD FORM THEM AGAIN.

    Reply
  • Arlyn Grant August 7, 2011, 8:52 am

    Thanks for doing this! I’m going to do the same thing on my blog so these addresses will come up in a google search. I get tons of this garbage because I also rent out a room. Just received one this morning from tijalady. I always, always do a google search before responding. Also note that the vast majority of scammers say in their email that they are from a foreign country and they are attending some school, but they never tell you the name of the school or where it is.

    Reply
  • Luis August 17, 2011, 8:06 am

    Hi there! Thanks for the info and the list of emails, I got one from tijalady@aol.com and it’s cc ansajonestina1@gmail.com just another one to add to the list. Good to mention also that if you see words like ” advert” in the email chances are it’s a scam artist from Nigeria.

    Reply
  • Peili August 29, 2011, 9:18 pm

    Wasn’t I just saying I should read your old posts first. Here’s a couple more emails and names to add to your list:

    kellybabe009@gmail.com
    Apparently goes by the name of Kelley Chen Lee or Kelly Benson
    has several emails but all starting with “kellybabe”

    bcnchdjksksi990@gmail.com <--couldn't be more obvious

    Reply
  • Reila October 19, 2011, 6:23 pm

    Hi, my roommate and I were looking for a roommate to fill my spot. and was emailed by Michael Taylor. I had a bad feeling about this person so googled his phone number and found this site.

    unfortunately my roommate has given him our address and her phone number.

    what should we do??

    Reply
  • Mike October 19, 2011, 7:24 pm

    @Reila,
    The scam works by sending you money(a fake money order). If the person is insisting that they send you money without even visiting your house to have a look around. This is a clear indication it’s a scam. So, don’t accept any check or money order nor deposit it into your bank account. Call them out as a scam. This should scare them away.

    Reply
  • Brian January 15, 2012, 12:49 pm

    I too am receiving these suspicious emails. I’ve received 3 or 4 so far, all matching your sample. I did not give any of our personal info (address, phone numbers), but did continue the dialogue via email. After a couple of exchanges, the first two girls (posing as room-mate wannabees for our daughter) then sent photos of themselves in a somewhat seductive pose along with another picture taken at a bar with three of their attractive friends, also looking sexy. I shared this with my wife and daughter and we all came to the same conclusion: This must be some type of scam – looks more like someone trying to sell prostitution rather than someone looking for a room to rent.
    After the third reply, in which I asked them for the third time when they would be arriving and which local college they would be attending, the emails stopped.

    emails came from
    Michael Desmond, desmondmicheal42@yahoo.com with the phone number shown above (+447035981019)
    One form Rose Ward ro234rr5@gmail.com (also another email adress from Rose, juliadfetyunmns10@gmail.com),
    Another from
    Aquasweet231@aol.com> wrote:
    Hi
    Am Stephanie Horst,22 yrs am a transfer student coming for my master’s degree. I was born in Virginia Beach in virginia. My dad is from VA but my mum is from London Uk.Am in on research work at Switzerland,and am almost done with that cuz its part of my prerequisite for my masters in Microbiology. I would have loved to call you but I cant get thru cuz I believe its the long distance call issue.Am really interested in renting from you and will really want to know everything about the place .I do really love pets but i don’t have any at the moment. I would have loved to see it but am very far,but with pictures,I will be glad. I will also like you to tell me more about you and if you have pets.Am allergic to smoking cuz i don’t smoke.pls let me know the total payment of the place and more over,I will send your email to my dad for him to email you later cuz he is the one that will be paying the bills. I will wait for your email to know if the place is still very much available cuz i want to make a complete arrangement and want to also have your words that you will have it reserved for me cuz i will be coming soon
    Take care and write me soonest.

    Regards

    Stephy

    Reply
    • Mike January 15, 2012, 5:00 pm

      The e-mails from purported roommates tend to be posing as females so that it entices male “live-in landlords” to fall victim to the scam of receiving a counterfeit check or money order that’s greater than the amount to secure the room.

      The purported roommate then asks for you to send the difference back to them. Their fake check bounces while you’ve sent a check or money order to the purported roommate.

      Reply
  • Brian January 17, 2012, 1:50 am

    Here’s another bogus email. I’ve received this one verbatim from two or three different prospective renters.

    Monica Robert fosterjerry01@gmail.com
    12:07 AM
    Hello,
    Thanks for getting back to me, My name is Monica Robert .I am 23yrs
    old. I’m fun-loving, personal,friendly,clean, caring,and respectful
    of others.A non-smoker, don’t do drugs, not a drinker and drama
    free. I’ve been searching and searching for two weeks for a place
    and been having no luck, Males/females doesn’t matter as well as homes
    with a lot of roommates. I graduated last year. I am single and
    have no children. However, I don’t have Pets. I’m coming for my
    masters degree. I was born in Virginia Beach in Virginia. My dad is
    from there too but my mum is from Canada. I’m on research work at
    Guam (USA), I’m almost done with that because its part of my
    prerequisite for my masters in Micro Biology .I would have loved to
    call you but I am not mobile my mobile have been disconnected due to
    moving out of Guam. I’m really interested in renting from you and I
    want to know everything about the place. I do really love pets but I
    don’t have any at the moment. I would have loved to see it but I’m
    very far, but with pictures,I am glad. I will also like you to tell
    me more about yourself and if you have pets. I don’t smoke. Please
    let me know the total payment of the place and moreover I will send
    your email to my dad for him to email you later because He’s the one
    that will be paying the bills(Rent and deposit fees), but
    nevertheless, Kindly get back to me with your information below:

    First Name:
    Last Name:
    Full address: Not P.O.BOX
    City:
    State:
    Postal Code:
    Phone Number: That i can send text message so that my Dad will issue
    out the payment (Cashier Check) for the place as soon as possible,
    with that you can hold on the place for me till I come.
    Thanks and have a nice day.
    Best Regards”

    Reply
  • M S August 3, 2012, 10:31 am

    Apparently whoever posts as “rose ward” looking for rooms is too stupid to figure out that people are onto the scam! In late July 2012 I received this:
    >
    > Thanks for getting back to me… My name is Rose Ward (F),I am 26yrs
    > old,I am fun loving, personal, friendly,clean and respectful of
    > others.A non-smoker, don’t do drugs, i drink occasionally,and drama
    > free. I graduated last year in France. I am single and have no
    > children… I do bible study, and sometimes we do karaoke night with
    > my roommate! i go to church every Sunday.
    >
    > Am coming for my masters degree. I was born in France (Bordeaux),
    > my dad is from USA but my mum is from Paris…I went to University of
    > Bordeaux in France i speak both French and English ,am presently on
    > research work at Guam (USA), am almost done with the research. Am
    > doing it because its part of prerequisite for my masters in
    > Microbiology. I would have loved to call you but this is a remote area
    > calls is hard to go through from here and i don’t want to waste much
    > time.
    >
    > I’m really interested in renting from you and i don’t really love
    > pets but i don’t care if there is any in the house. I would have loved
    > to see it but am very far,but with pictures,I am glad. I will also
    > like you to tell me more about you and if you have garage or parking
    > space because I will have my own car come over, please let me know the
    > total payment of the place and more over I will send your email to my
    > Dad for him to email you later because he is the one that will be
    > paying the bills but nevertheless,I will like you to send me your full
    > Name and the mailing address, your phone number as well,so that my Dad
    > will issue out the payment for the place as soon as possible,with
    > that you can hold on the place for me till i come. I will be looking
    > forward to your email soonest. Thanks and have a nice day.
    >
    > Rose

    Reply
  • JJ January 24, 2013, 1:24 pm

    Thanks for the tip about doing a Facebook search! I thought of Google, but you’re right, if they aren’t on FB chances are they are not legit. So far, I’ve only received two replies to my room for rent ad on Craigslist and Roommates.com Disappointed that they were both fakes.

    Reply
  • vicky June 5, 2013, 8:37 pm

    I have my room posted on Craigs list and WOW I am getting a million Scammer emails…. very frustrating….

    Reply
  • vicky June 5, 2013, 8:38 pm

    also do not even think they read your email, or add or response back…

    Reply
  • ANNIE LEFEBVRE November 1, 2013, 2:16 pm

    This is not just for roommate ads, either. I’m advertising a business on CL, and fosterjerr01@gmail.com (with the name Sarah Monica Robert) is trying to get me to wire them the extra money. They are clearly disinterested in the business, though, so little alarms went off. I’m glad you posted these so that I didn’t get caught.

    Reply
  • Nik April 30, 2015, 1:03 pm

    My roommate and I have been looking for the past two months to fill our third room and received an email from a girl that was extremely interested in the room. She claimed she did nurse work for the American Red Cross and that she was currently on assignment in England that was almost done and she needed to find accommodations quickly here in America. She claimed her father was from America and her mother was from the UK. But her emails read as if she was one of the alien villains on the TMNT cartoon. We did all the usual “catfish” tricks: ran an image search for the pic she sent us, googled her email (it brought up a twitter account that matched her info), and googled her name. Nothing suspicious came up. But any attempts we made to ask questions to get to know her were met with the same “I do nurse work” or “I like reading and the cinema” and then a request for an address for her “financial adviser” to send the money to hold the room. She also responded that any paper work with our property manager would be dealt with when she got here. Despite my suspicions we made one last stern attempt to get some of our questions answered telling her we would hold the room but we weren’t going to move forward or take any money until she did. We received an email where she once again avoided our questions then demanded, in all caps, for us to tell her where to send the money. With that I responded that we were no longer interested in offering the room and we never heard from her again. After finding this info, I went to the website she contacted me through and reported her. The profile has since been taken down.

    The email address was: igbayilas@yahoo.com And she went by the name Peggy Larrick

    Reply
  • Anonymous July 10, 2015, 1:53 pm

    Nik thanks so much for posting! I just received a similar email from that same person. The story is identical. Thank you for the heads up.

    Reply
  • Ace August 4, 2015, 8:23 am

    I just got a message from igbayilas@yahoo.com as well. I won’t even bother to respond

    Reply
  • Dorothea Smith February 2, 2016, 8:53 am

    amymege@yahoo.com is email being currently used by Peggy Larrick. Same nurse story as above. I informed her that I needed chasier”s check, but received two checks. The first thing I noticed is that the first check was not from a financial advisor, the person who was to be sending check. It was from Telecom Italia of N.A. which was fishy. My bank confirmed suspiciousness as I consulted with them and attempted to find out by check information with no luck. Keep in mind after receiving this check supposedly from UPS Air (don’t let that fool ya), that I contacted her to see if she can verify the amount and where it should have been coming from. Check says agency is from New York, but envelope says being sent from Morgan Chase in Texas (suspicious much?). She contacted me to inform me I was receiving check this same day USPS and gave tracking number and amount. The signature was same as other check which was scanned to be suspicious. Other key factor were the amounts were far above that which is was supposed to be. Please be careful.

    Reply
  • Trevor March 19, 2016, 6:45 pm

    igbayilas@yahoo.com is giving me a line of shit also this time her name is Amanda Wyant Nurse from UK so on

    Reply
  • Dao March 23, 2016, 11:06 pm

    amymege@yahoo.com is currently being used by an Amanda Wyant. THis person is using Roommates.com

    I’m glad I found this thread. I dont have to waste time talking to this person anymore.

    Reply
  • Terri March 30, 2016, 2:28 pm

    Amanda Wyant at igbayilas@yahoo.com
    sent this a few days ago. The Money order came today with way too much money and now she wants some sent to her. Called the bank — NOT their routing number!!

    “Hello,I just received your email response right now and i am happy to read from you.I got your reply and it is good to read your response in respect of the room.I will be glad to rent the room.What is the total move in cost?

    Well about me,i am 29 single female,my dad is actually from Montana, while my mum is from England.Presently,i am running an assignment in England and after that i will be heading to Benin Republic too.I just came down here to run a nursing assignment in England.I want to secure the available room over there because i plan to get back to states latest by April 5 since i am thinking of taking another program later on by the late end of this year over there.I am friendly,easy-going and dedicated to my job.I travel a lot with my job and i enjoy meeting people.I am very friendly and quite easy to get along with.I will like to have a roommate who is understanding and also trustworthy.I am not violent and i have good habits.In my leisure hours i read and go to the cinemas too.I really look forward to my coming over.

    I am willing to rent the room from April 5 so i’ll like to know more about the room.I will like to know more about the total move in cost.This is my private email address so you should keep me posted this week.Kindly let me know if you can hold the room for me since i am planing to come back to states latest by April 5 because they will get my flight ticket into the international airport as soon as i have finished up here.I really look forward to reading your reply too.
    Regards, “

    Reply
  • Heather April 20, 2016, 12:55 pm

    Glad I checked this! Here I am a year later and igbayilas@yahoo.com just emailed me too. This time shes a 27 y/o named Itu. Thanks guys!

    Reply
  • Caryn MacFadyen June 19, 2016, 8:33 pm

    I received odd and very odd email from a potential renter. If am also renting my rooms. The supposed renter posed as Patty Rivera, from Alaska, when my listing clearly stated Phoenix AZ. Immediately she asked me to go offline and away from the secure sites of http://www.roomsters.com which indeed has security buoys in place. She demanded photos and the immediate costs for my rooms, which my listings clearly showed on roomsters.com. When this scammer emailed back, she wanted immediate personal details from me and where to send the check in advance. The main red flag, the very poor English for someone who is supposed to be a Bonds Trader. I come from the Brokerage Industry. Thank you for acknowledging and confirming what I was already assured about. This is my first time looking for renters, yet had experiences with scammers on some prominent dating sights a while back. Thank you indeed.

    Reply

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