I’m on Craigslist looking for apartments in the Bay Area. Jon got a job in Berkeley, but Berkeley’s super expensive, so we’re looking east, in Lafayette. Lafayette’s expensive, too, but here’s a one-bedroom condo for $1,000/month — a steal for Lafeyette. And so I email the guy, “I’m interested!”
The next day, I hear back.
The owner — “Kelvin Allen” — says he’s relocated to Ohio. He includes an application in his email — if I’m approved and “will wire him the deposit,” he’ll mail me the keys and leasing documents “the same day.”
Something sounds fishy.
But I want to believe him. Jon and I drive to the location and check out the exterior. It’s a nice neighborhood and not far from Jon’s job. The interior pictures look nice. If this is the real deal . . . We text the guy “yes” and head home. Later, at 11 p.m, Kelvin texts back. “You’re approved. When will you send me the money?”
??? But I keep my mouth shut. “Great!” I say. “Tomorrow,” I say.
“Okay,” he says.
Tomorrow comes (Friday, my birthday) and Kelvin starts texting. “When will you send me the money?” Geez! It’s 8 a.m., dude. Chill. Jon’s getting suspicious. He looks up the address. It’s listed as a three-bedroom apartment on two other Web sites — for $2,500. He looks up the apartment’s previous owners. Kelvin Allen isn’t there.
I send Kelvin the listings for “his” one-bedroom property. “?” I ask.
Kelvin hesitates. “Oh, yes! I am only renting out one of the rooms.”
“The realtor is renting the other ones for me.”
“Is that so.”
“So we’ll have roommates, then?”
“No. There is a separate entrance.”
“There is? I didn’t see one.”
“Have you even seen the property?”
“So are you going to send me the money or not?”
“Why should I trust you?
“I am a good Christian. If you think I would try to cheat people out of their hard-earned money . . .”
Game over, buddy.
Do you use Craigslist? If so, what for? If not, why not?