Saturday, September 14, 2013

International Christian Followers Crusade Scam

Here is another old, but good example of a Craigslist rental scam.  This one is from the dear Nicholas Bailey at

Thanks for your email and interest in renting my house..I am Nicholas Bailey, the owner of the house you are making inquiry of…Actually I resided in the house with my family, my wife and my only daughter before and presently we have moved out due to my transfer from my work now in Warsaw,Poland. Presently my house is still available for rent for $1000 (rent already includes utilities).More so Now, i am currently in the (West Africa)for an international Christian follower’s crusade..Pls i want you to note that i spent a lot on my property that i want to give to you for rent,so i will solicit for your absolute maintenance of this house and want you to treat it as your own, It is not the money that is the main problem but i want you to keep it tidy all the time so that i will be glad to see it neat when i come for a check up.I also want you to let me have trust in you as i always stand on my word.
Address of the house.. (2--- W 6-- N, Layton, UT 84041)

It has a dramatic entry foyer with ceramic floor. Extremely spacious 3 bedrooms and 2 bathroom throughout with lots of big windows…nice and light! New neutral paint and some newer carpet..Very quiet, low traffic area. New fridge I believe its absolutely a perfect home for you and your family.Utilities include Water,Trash,Sewer,Gas Etc...


FIRST NAME:__________?
MIDDLE NAME:__________?
LAST NAME:__________?
KIDS_____ (YES/NO), HOW MANY________
PRESENT ADDRESS: _____________________
CITY: _______________
ZIP CODE: ____________
NAME OF PET: _____________?
KIND OF PETS: _____________?
DO YOU SMOKE ______________ ?
DO YOU DRINK ______________?

Looking forward to hearing 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 to you,please we are giving you all this based on trust and again i will want you to stick to your words,you know that we have not seen yet and only putting everything into Gods hands,so please do not let us down in this our property and God bless you more as you do this…The house is available for rent at the moment so you are free to move in as soon as you wish to my number..(+23480-2971-7275).…A Deposit of $700 (which happens to be the security deposit) is required before moving in…Feel free to call me for more information and arrangements on how to get the keys and other necessary documents delivered to you...The house will be available for rent for a period of 4 years so you have a choice of deciding how long you intend staying there…

Rent:  $1000 Deposit: $700
3 Bedroom 2 Bathroom
Pet Allowed.

God Bless,

Nicholas Bailey 

Remember to look for a key few points in determining a rental scam:  
  • Are they answering your questions that you've asked in a previous email?
  • Do they only leave an email address (usually Hotmail or Yahoo) to contact them about the rental in the original ad?
  • Do they give you an out-of-the-United-States phone number to contact them at?
  • Do they clearly state that they are not even in the United States right now?
Usually one yes to any of these questions can guarantee that you are dealing with someone who is working on a scam.

Dove Christian Fellowship International Scam

As I have been looking for a new place to rent, I have come across an interesting group that people are referring to as "Dove International" or "Dove Christian Fellowship."

Originally I had found this cute little home and the price seemed about right for the area so I emailed right away as they had only left an email address for contacting about renting.  That should have been my first hint that it was a scam.

This is a little odd, but I have noticed that a lot of scammers have email addresses that end in or  Yahoo seems to be more popular for scams so if yous see only an email address for contact and a Yahoo email address, be weary.   This email address was

As I have come across various scams through renting before, I am always cautious when writing my emails.  I keep them short and sweet and ask very specific questions:

I am very interested in this home.  How much are utilities each month and would it be possible to see this home in person?  I know this area well and love that cute little house.

The lady named "Anne" wrote back:

Thanks for your interest and inquiries about our home. The house is still
available for rent and we are looking for a responsible person/family
to occupy and maintain the house. The house is available for short
and long term lease. My husband and I travelled down to Arizona, for a
program Empowering Youth to Fight Racism, HIV/AIDS, Poverty
and Lack of Education with Dove Christian Fellowship International.
The program is taking place in Many Countries. Later my husband was
transferred to West Africa for the same program. you can email my husband
for more information about our home, email my husband on or

At first I was confused because the first part of the email seemed legitimate.  They had also left a phone number which made it seem real.  However, upon further thinking about it, the email just sounded strange and unnatural for an owner who is renting their place to say so I marked it as spam.  Curious as to what would happen next, I decided to email her "husband" just to see what would happen.  I assumed that they would want my information and wired money so I made sure to keep my email short and sweet again:


Anne said I could email you about your Orem home rental.

Is the home internet ready?  Do the renters pay all utilities?  Also, I am interested in walking through the house with my family, so I'd like to be able to set up a time with you to do that.

The husband's email was exactly as I expected:

Hello Kim,

It great to hear from you, i got your email earlier from my wife about

you making inquiry of our home, 

Due to these program, we are unavailable to take care of our home
for now, We will be away for a while that is the reason why we made up
our mind to put up our home for lease to whom ever that will take good
care of it. Please i want you to note that we really spent a lot on
our property, so i will solicit for you absolute maintenance of this house
and want you to treat it as your own. , Deposit fee is $500.
you can call me on (+234) 809-755-0043.

The Utilities include Water, Trash, Sewer, Gas and Electricity, and it has been
included with the month rent.

Below is the house description:

Accommodation Features
.................................................. .
Wood Floor :
Heater :
Central Heating :
Equipped Kitchen :
Tv: Cable/Satellite TV:
Internet :
Air Conditioning:
• Full Kitchen
• Refrigerator:
• Garage/Car park
• pets allowed.

Application form has been attached with Agreement form, You can

download and fill it out, and email it back to me for Approval.

So get back to me when you get the done okay

I did not write back after that because they were not answering my questions and because I now had two telephone numbers for him and neither were the same - in fact, one was not even in the United States.  It also seemed to not be real because the last email I received was written in very poor English with odd wording.
Not all of these reasons as to why this Dove Christian Fellowship International is a scam will fit all emails - some may actually be legit.  Unfortunately, however, this one is a scam. 

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