Matthews home listed "For Rent" by overseas scammer

- A Matthews home was listed as "For Rent" on Craigslist when the owners of the home say it's not for rent and they have nothing to do with the posting.

"My husband and I just looked at each other like what is going on here?" Connie Apple said.

It's a detailed posting, that has now been deleted, that calls for $955 per month in rent money and a $700 deposit. It goes on to bring religion in the conversation.

"Cleanliness they say is next to Godliness," the add warns prospective renters. "May GOD bless you and your family." The posting uses the name Dale Apple, which is the actual homeowner, but adds a Reverend title to his name, saying, "Regards, Rev. Dale Apple."

Apple is not a Reverend.

FOX 46 Charlotte called the poster's number, which is channeled through Google Voice (832) 464-4452. A man answered and said he was the poster and asked us to to fill out the rental application and send it back to his email. When FOX 46 Charlotte told him we were, actually, a media outlet looking for answers as to why he was posting about a rental property he does not own, he hung up the phone.

The poster said he lives in Benin, West Africa.

The Better Business Bureau said these are common scams it sees several times per month in the Charlotte region and that, most of the time, the crooks are out of country and difficult to take any action against.

"Your chances for successful prosecution or getting any type of recovery is basically zero," BBB's Tom Bartholomy said.

Below is a copy of the posting and follow-up email:

Hello,

     Thanks for your interest and inquiries about my house. Yes the house is still available for rent and we are looking for a responsible person/family to occupy and maintain the house now that we are not around. Myself and my wife just traveled to Cotonou, Republic du Benin  for a program called SERVING IN MISSION (SIM), you can view the link for more info: (http://www.sim.org/index.php/content/our-purpose).

We will be away for 3 to 4 years or more that is why I have made up my mind to put up my house for rent to whom ever that will take good care of it.  However, my initial plan was to sell the house  but it was not successful because the Realtor raised the price which made it difficult for me to sell before leaving the States so never mind if you see the for sale sign in front of the house, It has already been taken off the market as for sale so there is no need to contact any Realtor.

I want you to understand that I spent a lot on my property that you have requested to rent, so I will solicit for your absolute maintenance of this house and would want you to treat it as your own because cleanliness they say is next to Godliness. It is not all about the money to be paid on rent or spent; it is all about a good maintenance culture which I want you to adopt on the property. I want you to keep it tidy all the time so that I would be full of smiles whenever I come and above all, a good, strong and tight relationship between us when I come for a check up. Please one more thing, I wouldn't like to have any benefit of trust in you because I want to stand in your words that the property would be well taken care of all the time. I believe you have seen how lovely it is if from only the pictures you saw in my posting compare to the 100% comfort to be derived from it as you are an occupant.

FEATURES : Laundry, Electric Range, Electric Heat, Master Bedroom, Car Park.AMENITIES: Air Conditioning, Cable TV, Ceiling Fans, 24 hours Internet service, Dishwasher, Fireplace, Garbage Disposal, Microwave, security alarm, Pets Friendly, Refrigerator, Washer / Dryer.

Rental Price: $955 per month and refundable security Deposit is $700 (Security Deposit is Refundable) Utilities included in monthly rent because i have shares with the utility company so they makes sure it doesn't go off for a minute..

Pets are Welcome.

Here is the address to the house:2707 Heathershire Ln,Matthews, NC 28105

Bedroom: 4

Bathroom: 2

Living Building Square Footage: 2570

I may not be returning to the house because we plan on buying another house upon arrival. You can also call or text me +1(832)464-4452.

SO IF YOU ARE REALLY INTERESTED I WILL WANT YOU TO FILL THE RENT APPLICATION FORM BELOW:

RENT APPLICATION FORM.

Name (First name/ Middle name/Surname ) : __________?

Phone numbers (home,cell and office line ) # :__________?

E-mail :__________?

Best time to call :__________?

Marital Status:__________?

How many proposed occupants :__________?

List all in addition to yourself including approx age :__________?

Present Address :__________?

City/State :__________?

Will you have pets :__________?

Please describe Breed, size :__________?

Personality of pet :__________?

Preferred move in date :__________?

Intended length of lease:__________?

Do you agree to pay the payment before you move in:__________?

Earliest possible date of deposit payment:__________?

Length of previous tenancy :__________?

Present occupation :__________?

Are you a section 8 applicant

Do you work late night :__________?

Do you smoke :__________?

Do you drink :__________?

Send your picture or family picture __________?

Looking forward to hearing back from you with all this details so that i can have them in my file in case of issuing your rent payment receipt to you and for contacting you. Your quick response will be highly appreciated so that we can discuss on how to get the documents and the keys of my property to you via Express Delivery Services. May GOD bless you and your family.

Regards.

REV. DALE APPLE

I await your reply ASAP. Regard and God bless you!!

 

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