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thief running away with 2 bags of money - Rental Scams – the indomitable Ann Groh

Rental Scams – the indomitable Ann Groh

Rental scams are constant in the landlording business.  Certain rental scams pop up from time to time with varying names from differing countries.

Meet Ann Groh

Unfortunate “Ann” found us in Kijiji, where I  was advertising a property. She is often found on Kijiji, trying to solve her perpetual homelessness  in many states and provinces. She’s been known to frequent Craigslist as well. She sent us this email:


“Thanks for getting back to me. My name is Ann Groh, I am 30-year-old non smoker lady coming to Canada from US.I work at Port of Seattle in United state but coming to Canada for a business and holiday as im off at work for 6 months. I would have love to call you directly but im at sea presently and i have limited time to surf the internet and also phone calls is also strictly limited due to the work nature. Just to let you know little about myself. I am clean/tidy and trustworthy person, so you have to worried less about the person occupying your room. Please let me know the total cost covering my first four months rent together with damage deposit. I would also like you to get back to me with the full house address so that i can forward it to my freight company in order to calculate the total cost of shipping my little stuffs there. I would be gladden to read from you soon. God Bless.”

Does it sound too good to be true?

Why do I feel sorry for her? Because she has the worst luck keeping a place.

If you google this message, you’ll see dozens of people who have received the same email. For those who respond, “Ann” sends them a money order. And here’s another place where you have to feel sorry for her. She has no math skills. The money order is always greater than the rent and damage deposit. So, she asks for you to send back the amount that she overpaid.

How rental scams work

And this is where you have to really feel sorry for her. Because it turns out, that means poor Ann’s ole’ bank gave her a fake money order. The way the rental scam works is after you’ve given her the refund, the amount of the original money order disappears from your bank account.

Oh, and I’m guessing that she has visa issues because she never actually manages to get across the border from Seattle.

You know, I’m frequently amazed that scammers still try this, but it must work because the emails keep coming.  

Red flags for rental scams

How did I  know this was a rental scam? There were three red flags.

  1. Tenants rarely take a property sight unseen; it’s too risky. When you’re renting a place to call home, you want to see it first – unless you knew the previous tenant or the landlord.
  2. This ad focused on the possible  instant money and away from obtaining information on the tenant – especially since the “tenant” indicated they were inaccessible.
  3. I had heard of something similar from a friend who is also a landlord in B.C., so I copied a section of Ann’s text and inserted it into a google search box, and voila! Up came all kinds of warnings exposing the scam- mostly from Ann Groh.
  4. Within a week I received three similar emails from people with bad grammar and spelling, all claiming they were coming from the USA on short- term stays, all wanting to pay a lump sum now – all from the Kijiji ad.

How to avoid rental scams?

If you haven’t gotten many calls from your ad, and then out of the blue, you get this magical tenant who wants to come immediately and pay you a lump sum, it probably sounds pretty good. However, you can trust your gut telling you something is off. You can also trust your experience as a landlord when comparing this response to typical previous tenant behavior and your trusty  5-Step Tenant Screening Process, and lastly, you can verify your gut instinct and experience by utilizing your friend google.

What is your favorite rental scam?

Did you like this article? Follow me on Twitter @neldahelpsme and Medium.

Are you a landlord who is looking for helpful information on landlording? Join our group! https://www.facebook.com/groups/landlordknowledgenetwork

Rental scams are constant in the landlording business.  Certain rental scams pop up from time to time with varying names from differing countries.

How rental scams work

And this is where you have to really feel sorry for her. Because it turns out, that means poor Ann’s ole’ bank gave her a fake money order. The way the rental scam works is after you’ve given her the refund, the amount of the original money order disappears from your bank account.

Oh, and I’m guessing that she has visa issues because she never actually manages to get across the border from Seattle.

You know, I’m frequently amazed that scammers still try this, but it must work because the emails keep coming.  

Red flags for rental scams

How did I  know this was a rental scam? There were three red flags.

  1. Tenants rarely take a property sight unseen; it’s too risky. When you’re renting a place to call home, you want to see it first – unless you knew the previous tenant or the landlord.
  2. This ad focused on the possible  instant money and away from obtaining information on the tenant – especially since the “tenant” indicated they were inaccessible.
  3. I had heard of something similar from a friend who is also a landlord in B.C., so I copied a section of Ann’s text and inserted it into a google search box, and voila! Up came all kinds of warnings exposing the scam- mostly from Ann Groh.
  4. Within a week I received three similar emails from people with bad grammar and spelling, all claiming they were coming from the USA on short- term stays, all wanting to pay a lump sum now – all from the Kijiji ad.

How to avoid rental scams

If you haven’t gotten many calls from your ad, and then out of the blue, you get this magical tenant who wants to come immediately and pay you a lump sum, it probably sounds pretty good. However, you can trust your gut telling you something is off. You can also trust your experience as a landlord when comparing this response to typical previous tenant behavior and by using your trusty  5-Step Tenant Screening Process, and lastly, you can verify your gut instinct and experience by utilizing your friend google.

What is your favorite rental scam?

Did you like this article? Follow me on Twitter @neldahelpsme and Medium.

Are you a landlord who is looking for helpful information on landlording? Join our group! https://www.facebook.com/groups/landlordknowledgenetwork

Would you like to have access to free landlording resources? Join NeldaSchulte.com’s free membership.

I am a property investor who is passionate about helping investors who self-manage to have profitable investment properties through resources and education. If you struggle with the wrong landlord forms, or worse yet, no landlord forms check out my 10 Essential Editable Landlord Forms that help you separate the good tenants from the bad and increase your property’s profitability.

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