Spam, spam, spam, scammers and spam

So I have a thing about spambots, as you may have noticed (seeing as “spam” is one of my most-used tags). Recently I’ve been searching for apartments, as my lease is up as of July 1st. I’ve made the big decision to move out on my own, sans roommates, but I’m beginning to regret that decision, as it’s nigh impossible to find a good, affordably-priced apartment suitable for one occupant in a major metropolitan city (as I’m finding out). I don’t blame the cost of utilities, location, demand, or any other factor for that difficulty more than I blame spambots.

Every time I find an affordable bachelor or one-bedroom apartment in a desirable location (i.e. not Scarborough), I begin a conversation with the person who posted the ad. (I should mention that I am searching online classifieds, and am probably just asking to be scammed.) Here is what it looks like when I email the poster:

Hello, my name is Kate and I am interested in renting your apartment at [location]. Are the utilities included? Is a July 1st move in date okay? And when will you be available this week to show me the unit?

Thanks so much!

~Kate

And this is the general email I’ve gotten in return (from about a dozen different people, at this point, and I’ve only been searching for just over a week):

Hello,

I got a contract job in an engineering company/missionary service/consulting firm for a construction project/religious retreat/big huge job deal thing as part of the structural engineers/dalai lama/royal anteater to build a highrise building/eat some moon pies/pee on boats in London, United Kingdom/Kuala Lumpur/Africa. I am a Building tech specialist/June bug/circus clown, so my accommodation period in [wherever, who even cares] will be about 4 years, so that’s the reason why i am renting out the unit. I do not intend to make profit out of it all i want is to find a good and clean person to take good care of the place/keep the apartment tidy/fill it with bees. I`m the owner of the unit and it is furnished but if you want you can make use of your furnitures and help keep mine in the storage locker which is situated both in the unit and in the building and these does not attracts any funds. [what does this even mean?!]

The monthly rent that am requesting for is $600/$550/$400 and some cheese and these rent is to service the bills which includes all utilities (water, electricity, Internet, cable, 1 parking spots, air conditioning, dishwasher, garbage disposal, microwave, refrigerator, stove, laundry in-suite, washer and dryer) the monthly rent you will be paying includes all this and they will be taken care of as soon as you pay your rent/give me all your money.

Everything in this unit is functional and in good working conditions. Once you started staying in the unit and there is any case of any repairs which is as a result of normal faults like leakages, you will get in touch with me and i will get it fixed, i am in possession of the keys to the apartment which makes hard for you to view the unit [unless you are Superman and have x-ray vision]. You can move into the unit when you receive the keys [NO REALLY??] but the only problem is that am the only person who has the keys but i hope that we will be able to reach a compromise on this. [in plain speak: give me money and hope like hell that I’ll give you keys.]

TERMS AND CONDITION:
~The lease is month to month , 6 month or 1yrs and can be renewed ~It can be rented furnished or unfurnished ~ You will have to take good care of my unit ~Utilities are included in the rent ~Pets Allowed Any further questions please contact and get back to me for the pics and address of the unit. Thank you for your interest and i`m awaiting your response/money.

Thanks.

A lot of the time, the sign off paragraph is loaded with attempts at inducing guilt. “I am haveing for hard times trusting those that wouldst rent of my apartments” and that sort of thing. As if I’m the one that might swindle the person who has six hundred of my dollars and much of my personal cheese collection. As if, after sending them money on good faith, I might somehow get keys to this magically cheap apartment and… what? Never pay them rent again? Which would be hard to do in the first place, seeing as they don’t own any apartments in real life anyway.

These scammers must think they sound convincing, but I’ve yet to find one with a functional grasp of English sentence structure, let alone a convincing reason why they’re asking for money to be wired via Western Union to MALAYSIA or TEXAS, USA. I even had one scammer tell me “Moreover,i would have love to show the apartment to you in person because you have every right to see the apartment you are renting because a lot of fake landlords are on the internet but my friend who ought to handle the deal on my behalf is presently running a management course in Australia.” That is copied and pasted directly from my email.

I am simultaneously frustrated by and amused at the scammers I’ve found while trying to find my next home. While they’re certainly not helping me find a place to sleep/store my useless crap, they’re at least entertaining me (albeit in the least entertaining way possible) while I struggle. So, thanks?

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