Beware of Housing Fraud…Here and Abroad

My colleague’s friend just sent her this email which was a response from an ad she answered online:


My name is Burgin Badams the owner of the 1bedroom apartment and also want you to know that it was due to my transfer 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 own. So for now, We are here in west Africa, our new house and put all my worries off concerning the maintenance of the apartment for, since i am not residing there for now.I left behind some Facilities and electonics which include the rent, and a DVD player, air conditioning, alarm system. The kitchen is fully equipped with all necessary cooking utensils, arefrigerator-freezer, four-hob and oven, microwave,dishwasher and washing machine, My Computer Connected with Internet Acess Also the keys to the House are right here with me, and the lease document. Which i can send to you after all necessary agreement has be accepted. Also i will like you to know that the rent charges is not really the issue,Hope you are okay with the price of $800 with hydro,heat laundry facilities,air condition and so on,but your absolute maintenance of my apartment is most important thing so will want you to get back to me with the Application form below.

Here is the Apartment Address: 25 Tudor City Place #2118/2119, New York NY 10017

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 pet?
7)Do you have a car?
9)When do you want to move in
10)How long do you want to stay in my apartment
11) Pictures of all the Occupant that will stay in my apartment


The accomodation comprises; entrance hall/landing (21’1×5’10), reception room (17’0x16’0), kitchen breakfast room (13×11), bedroom 1 (12’10×10’5), bathroom and separate WC on the first floor.


Landing 22’1" x 5’10" ( 6.73m x 1.78m )
Reception room 17’0" x 16’0" ( 5.18m x 4.88m )
Kitchen 13’0" x 11’0" ( 3.96m x 3.35m )
Bathroom 6’10" x 5’10" ( 2.08m x 1.78m )
Guest WC 5’0" x 2’10" ( 1.52m x 0.86m )

One McWilliam called me about the apartment,I told him that I can’t give him the apartment because he loves smoking,drinking and dont want him to get drunked and damaged my property one day so If you are still interested, No extra fees.I will like you to give me a call on this effect to know how serious you are. I personally will actually come visiting you sometimes during the year as our new tenant.Looking forward to hear from you with all this details so that i can have it in my file in case 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 keys of the Apartment to you.

Burgin Badams

The exact same ad was posted online in Vancouver for a property there.

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5 Responses to Beware of Housing Fraud…Here and Abroad

  1. avatar Susan in HK says:

    Doug – so the scam is actually what? The apartment does not exist? The apartment specified is not OWNED by Mr. Badams? That the potential renter is supposed to send some advance payment, upon which the keys will be sent to the renter, and of course this will never happen?
    The answer that you have posted doesn’t really identify what the scam is…

  2. avatar john says:

    Doug, Thanks for letting people know about this! I recently posted an ad on craigslist looking for a sub-let to rent, and many (if not most) of the responses I got were scams – “I’m currently working in South / West / Central Africa now and can’t show the place, but the rent is only $800(!), and I’ll need a copy of your driver’s license…” A few times these scammers used the names of people involved in international NGOs to make it sound more legit. Look out!

  3. All of the above. I apologize for the lack of explanation. One (I) should never assume. I suspect Mr. Badams doesn’t exist but this is a fraudulent listing in many respects. Not a real property, not the real owner, and a request for very personal and sensitive data paired with the request for pre-payment are all tell tale signs of a scam.

  4. avatar Catherine McClendon says:

    I recently posted an ad on Craigslist. I received a response from a young lady from Scotland who states that she is very much interested in renting this room. She says that she has been offered a job with the United State Environmental Protection Agency on a private research and will start in August. She claims to be married with a child and although they will not accompany her here she will return home to visit them as often as possible. She sent a picture and they are quite a lovely young couple. I then sent her a pic of me and we have kept in touch over the last week. She stated that she would be sending me the deposit amount to hold the room for her. That was a week ago and I have not received the deposit. She also asked if I received her email about her items which would be delivered to which I replied no. I was not aware and I would need to know so that I can be home at that time. I asked for a fax number to seen app for back ground ck requested letter from her employer stating that she is employed there and her start date and she said she would be happy to provide all the info I needed when she arrived at the end of the month. She has never given me a date and I’ve been waiting now for 2 days for her to reply to my email about her things being delivered. What would a scam benefit her being that I am not sending her any money?

  5. Catherine,
    Seems like more a case of poor communication than anything else to me but I would definitely be wary. Call the US Dept of Environmental Protection directly for a reference and make it abundantly clear that she isn’t moving in either her “stuff” or her self until you have checked all references, etc. I would also ask for multiple months rent upfront.

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