ST. ALBANS – The St. Albans Police Dept. (SAPD) is warning people in the St. Albans area of a new scam involving the sale of rental properties and other items over Facebook and Craigslist.
In a statement issued Friday morning, police said scammers have been reposting actual houses available for sale or for rent in the St. Albans area and soliciting offers over email, using the explanation they are hearing impaired and prefer email contact.
According to SAPD, the scammers then instruct the prospective buyer to send funds electronically and, once those funds are received, say they will send rental contract and keys via Fed-Ex or UPS.
The police provided the following example of a scam sent to a St. Albans resident:
Hi, Thanks for your email. The house is still available. Let me start by introducing myself.My name is BERNARD MULLALY..I own the house located at (REMOVED ADDRESS BY SAPD) first and foremost,I am hearing impaired,not deaf though just Hard of hearing. I would have loved to be able to get to contact you on phone but due to my condition, emails are the fastest means for us to communicate now.
The initial plan was to sell out the House which I tried, but my agents inflates the price of house because of their selfish gains and it takes longer to sell.i am telling you this in case if you find the house on another website or you found a sign board in front of the house, that is the old adverts,Please ignore. I need a responsible person, i don’t have a problem with your credit as long as you can take good care of the home. I want it to be clean and be taken care of as if it were yours. Pet are allowed as long as they are not destructive. The rent is $600 and the security deposit is $600
i’m away on my new job so i won’t be able to come and show you around the house as i would have loved to, but attached below are pictures of the interior of the house so you can see what it looks like from the inside . You are free to ask any more information you would like to know about the house and also visit the location.the address is written below. thanks for your reply and interest in my house.The house is ready to move in as soon as all formalities are completed.I will take the house off the market as soon as I get a tenant to occupy the house as I don’t want to leave the house empty. I don’t have a problem with your credit as long as you can take good care of the home.There is access to public Transport, stores and its in a very clean and lovely neighborhood.
If you are definitely interested in the house, the keys and necessary documents to the house are with me, as soon as we have concluded talks and you are settled to rent the house, i would FEDEX the keys and the documents to your present location.
I want you to provide answers to the questions below so as to create a Lease Contract for the rent. The heating system of the house is gas, there is washer and dryer and the Utilities included in the rent are Gas/Electric,Phone/Internet,Water,Garbage And cable which is optional.
You are allowed to go to the house and view it and if you like it, get back to me with the answers to the below questionnaire so that i can make the agreement form soon.
Police are asking that anybody with information related to this new scam contact SAPD at (802) 524-2166 or online at www.stalbanspd.com.