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2 Female Friends Got Scammed On Craiglist For $2,200 Dollars

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  • Apr 1st, 2013 12:06 pm
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[OP]
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Oct 19, 2012
3343 posts
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Toronto

2 Female Friends Got Scammed On Craiglist For $2,200 Dollars

Warning.... renting scams going on in Craiglists. My friends just told me that they got scammed out of $2,200 about three weekends ago. There was a Craiglist ad about a downtown apartment for rent for $1,100 a month, a two bedroom at the corner of Charles st/Bay st. This was a sweet deal because apartments in the downtown core are double or triple that price. My friends e-mailed the guy and then called him, he told them the apartment was beautiful near Bay/Bloor and e-mailed them pictures of some apartment that had white carpet and even a mini-bar right in the middle of the livingroom. He told them to meet on a saturday at a coffee shop and that they would close the deal there. He told them to bring 1 month advance rent money with them and the current January rent in cash which is $2,200. At the coffee shop the guy seemed legit. He told them to bring documentation and a letter of recommendation from the last place they lived to "ensure I'm getting respectable tenants". He told them that smokers were not allowed into his unit. He asked for the money because he said he wanted them to get the apartment first and he would reserve it for them to make sure nobody else got it.

The guy had with him what looked like genuine documentation and a contract for the apartment. He made them sign like 4 different pages of the "contract". The girls gave him the money and he told them to meet him on Monday morning at the corner of Charles St/Bay St at the lobby of the building to show them the apartment and give them the keys to it so they could move-in immediately. Comes Monday morning the guy is nowhere to be seen and has not answered e-mail or his phone number since then. They went to the highrise at Charles st/Bay st and management told them they do not know anybody by the name of John Costanicci and here's the shocker, the "contract" they had with them with the building's name and address is fake and the management at the highrise told them it has nothing to do with them.

The culprit is a 55-something white guy, short, kinda chubby and bald. He claimed his name was John Costanicci. A search on Google for his name turns up nothing.
102 replies
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Jan 27, 2007
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If it sounds to good to be true.....Less than market rent is a dead giveaway.
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Sep 3, 2007
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So they never got the tour of the apartment and still paid him the money? Didn't they question the rent amount in the first place?
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Feb 16, 2010
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So without any proof your two female friends just gave the money...?

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Aug 28, 2010
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Too good to be true. Buyers should have questioned it.
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dutchca wrote:
Jan 23rd, 2013 10:47 am
If it sounds to good to be true.....Less than market rent is a dead giveaway.
"Lets close the deal at a coffee shop"

Hmmm......

@OP: Thanks for the warning but we are not naive like your friends to get scammed like that.

1) No live tour of the apartment
2) Guy wants to close at a coffee shop
3) TOO GOOD TO BE TRUE *DING DING DING, should ring a bell
4) Your friends don't even bother to get the document checked out from the actual apartment BEFORE forking over $2.2k

Tell your friends to use their head for once and THINK.

What is wrong with people these days; a little common sense goes a long way.
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Dec 15, 2004
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Paying cash was not wise, if they had paid him with a personal check to his name then they might of been able to stop payment and perhaps get him arrested for fraud when he tried to deposit it.
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Oct 4, 2006
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HTTP04 wrote:
Jan 23rd, 2013 10:52 am
"Lets close the deal at a coffee shop"

Hmmm......

@OP: Thanks for the warning but we are not naive like your friends to get scammed like that.

1) No live tour of the apartment
2) Guy wants to close at a coffee shop
3) TOO GOOD TO BE TRUE *DING DING DING, should ring a bell
4) Your friends don't even bother to get the document checked out from the actual apartment BEFORE forking over $2.2k

Tell your friends to use their head for once and THINK.

What is wrong with people these days; a little common sense goes a long way.
Nothing really wrong with closing at a coffee shop. I did that for my current place. It's simply a convenient location to meet and talk/sign paper work. The only thing sketchy about mine originally is that she wanted us to give her the 1st months rent as a deposit before we got the keys etc...

That said she wasn't a super experienced landlord it seemed and we had viewed the unit with her along with the previous tenants still living there so its not like she had an out if she was some person claiming to own the place and show it.

Either way, that really sucks for your friends but they should have known better than to provide money or sign paperwork without even seeing the unit. For all they know, even if the rental was legit, pictures could have been from when it was original built and now the place could look like a garbage dump.
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Mar 18, 2008
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lol.. paid with cash and didn't even get to tour the place before paying.
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DarkMasterMX wrote:
Jan 23rd, 2013 11:21 am
Nothing really wrong with closing at a coffee shop. I did that for my current place. It's simply a convenient location to meet and talk/sign paper work. The only thing sketchy about mine originally is that she wanted us to give her the 1st months rent as a deposit before we got the keys etc...

That said she wasn't a super experienced landlord it seemed and we had viewed the unit with her along with the previous tenants still living there so its not like she had an out if she was some person claiming to own the place and show it.

Either way, that really sucks for your friends but they should have known better than to provide money or sign paperwork without even seeing the unit. For all they know, even if the rental was legit, pictures could have been from when it was original built and now the place could look like a garbage dump.
I mean even if it was legit, they didn't even bother to check out the picture beforehand?

Guessing from their stupidity, I'm going to assume they signed the "contract" without looking at it so even if the deal was legit and the place is actually a sh** dump, due to the contract, they can't do anything.
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Jun 26, 2011
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wszeto28 wrote:
Jan 23rd, 2013 11:22 am
lol.. paid with cash and didn't even get to tour the place before paying.
This. Like seriously?

Anyway, if I were them I'd start looking for similar rental ads and get a 'friend' to set up a meeting to rent one of his places.
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Aug 30, 2011
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OP I feel bad for your friends, but I may be able to help. PM their contact, as I am a highly qualified trained private eye, specializing in ninjitsu and apartment fraud. I'll need $5000 up front wired to my bank account, and I will find this Constanicci guy and give him his just desserts.
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Oct 5, 2008
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dragon_drift wrote:
Jan 23rd, 2013 10:48 am
So they never got the tour of the apartment and still paid him the money? Didn't they question the rent amount in the first place?
this
HTTP04 wrote:
Jan 23rd, 2013 10:48 am
So without any proof your two female friends just gave the money...?

Image
and this

OP, your "friends" are idiots and deserved to be scammed.
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Feb 4, 2009
349 posts
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View / sign papers at the place that you'll be renting. Another case of too good to be true.
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Jan 19, 2009
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OP's friends probably just finished watching the latest episode of Girls and decided they must live that lifestyle.

of-course they are too broke to afford a real market value downtown loft, so they hit up craigslist.
they come across everything they dreamed about and already planned out their 'hipster' parties and such.

filled with so much excitement about their new 'lifestyle' they hand over $2k to a guy with no proof.

The end
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