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gunnut
11 May 07,, 21:48
I posted my property for rent on craigslist in Orange County, CA. I received an inquiry immediately from UK. My friend said this could be a scam.

He claims to be an insurance adjuster on company business and needs a place in CA to set up a new branch office.

What I find fishy is that he has a typical company signature at the end of his email, but the email account is Yahoo.uk. Normally people use company email to conduct company business, sometimes even personal business. Rarely do they use personal email to conduct company business.

He also used 2 yahoo email addresses.

jmot122@yahoo.co.uk
j_morton22@yahoo.co.uk



> Hello
> I will like to know if the property you listed is
> still avaliable.
> Regards
>
> Joseph Morton
> Loss Adjuster
> IHS Insurance Group (UK)
> Tel: +44(0)1204232920
> Fax: +44(0)2079790078
> UK


What do you guys think?

Anyone in UK bored enough to give this guy a call? :biggrin:



> ** CRAIGSLIST ADVISORY --- AVOID SCAMS BY DEALING LOCALLY
> ** Avoid: wiring money, cross-border deals, work-at-home
> ** Beware: cashier checks, money orders, escrow, shipping
> ** More Info: craigslist | avoiding scams and fraud (http://www.craigslist.org/about/scams.html)

gunnut
11 May 07,, 21:58
I just noticed some horrible grammatical mistakes from this "insurance adjuster's" correspondence. I'm almost 100% sure this is a scam. The question is how.

glyn
11 May 07,, 21:59
My call was met by an answering robot who claimed that 'the person you tried to contact on this extension is not available to reply right now'.

gunnut
11 May 07,, 22:06
Thanks glyn.

Where is that number based in?

I'm not familiar with UK area codes or telephone numbering system.

HistoricalDavid
11 May 07,, 22:27
I think the yahoo email addresses - two! - are suspicious by themselves, English or not.

glyn
11 May 07,, 23:09
Thanks glyn.

Where is that number based in?

I'm not familiar with UK area codes or telephone numbering system.

Bolton, in Lancashire (the north west of England.)

brak
12 May 07,, 00:06
Bolton, in Lancashire (the north west of England.)
Bolton reminds me of Fred Dibnah:biggrin:

Parihaka
12 May 07,, 00:17
The IHS Insurance Group (UK) doesn't have an on-line presence. Speaks for itself really.

dave lukins
12 May 07,, 02:07
The IHS Insurance Group (UK) doesn't have an on-line presence. Speaks for itself really.

Apparently IHS is also one of the largest insurance groups in the US. Will try to call in the morning. You could also ask for a Bankers cheque well in advance of the deal. Ask for a Head Office 'Phone No in the US. If its a Scam this should put them off;)

jmozz
13 May 07,, 18:39
I got the same email except he wants my apartment in Boston. I am so glad you posted this. I will stay away from him.

glyn
13 May 07,, 20:39
I just noticed some horrible grammatical mistakes from this "insurance adjuster's" correspondence. I'm almost 100% sure this is a scam. The question is how.

Usually a sure sign that things are not what they seem.

pdf27
13 May 07,, 20:55
Incidentally, the phone number is indeed in Bolton in the North of England, but the fax number is in London. They're only 200 miles apart...

Bob Jones
13 May 07,, 21:00
Couple of years ago, my phone got blocked by another service provider, and I got a phone call from the police in Bolton, who told me there was a massive mobile phone scam going on and it was based in Bolton, maybe the scammers have moved on to another type of ruse to seperate good people from their money or property, stay well away

scmdtm
14 May 07,, 05:15
We were trying to rent our house in Monterey County, California (posted on craigslist.com) and the same thing happened to us also. What a waste of time! Here is his response after we provided information to him about our house (I wish someone would do something about this!):

Great,
Received the details you emailed on the property, and am satisfied. I will therefore like to go ahead with the renting process, i will like you to reserve the property for me.
Do email me the following informations, so the deposit and 1 month rent check ($3100) required to move in can be processed and mailed to you soon.

Name to issue on check:............
Address:.............
Phone number(cell and land):............

Also I want the 12 month lease to start on June 1st 2007, also in the mean time, am arranging with a mover and a decorator from England who will be handling the purchase of some personal Miscellaneous and other appliances that i will need in the property, they will as well be in charge of moving down my luggages down to the states.
So the check of ($8500) will be sent over to you which is a relocation grant by my employer, and all you need to do is deduct the deposit($3100) and you will forward the rest to the Decorators so they can have the place all prepared for my arrival, also all documents will be signed as soon as i arrive.

Also for familiarization My name is Joseph Morton, am 27 yrs of age, married with a daughter
(Family staying over in the UK)I work with IHS Insurance Group (UK) as a Branch relocation officer(BRO).
Am a Christian, reserved in Nature, Non smoker also i don't keep pets but i can get along with them easily.
I am clean and hardworking, would make sure i keep the property tidy and clean.
Below are my references:


Richard Webber : landlord
address: 91 Waverley Rd, Plumstead,
London, United Kingdom
EMAIL:r65webber@yahoo.co.uk


Ed Walker: Supervisor
He is currently on Holidays in Kansas
E: ed2walker@yahoo.co.uk
Cell Phone : 303-800-5746

I look forward to meeting you and hope to have a good relationship as a tenant with you
Regards


Joseph Morton
Loss Adjuster
IHS Insurance Group (UK)
Tel: +44(0)1204232920
Fax: +44(0)2079790078
UK

gunnut
14 May 07,, 09:29
Wow other people received the same type of email? This guy must have a lot of time on his hands. Good thing I posted this.

I wonder how the scam works. No one is that bored to send out a bunch of phony rental inquiries just for kicks.

Parihaka
14 May 07,, 09:37
Wow other people received the same type of email? This guy must have a lot of time on his hands. Good thing I posted this.

I wonder how the scam works. No one is that bored to send out a bunch of phony rental inquiries just for kicks.

They send you a cheque for the deposit, more than is required, and ask you to send the excess on to another account to pay for something related to their tenancy. And yes, the original cheque bounces.

dave lukins
14 May 07,, 09:56
Wow other people received the same type of email? This guy must have a lot of time on his hands. Good thing I posted this.

I wonder how the scam works. No one is that bored to send out a bunch of phony rental inquiries just for kicks.

Gunnut we had a looney going around pretending to have won on the lottery. He had his photo superimposed onto the real winners photo, then he went around major car Companies ordering fleets of cars and vans. He even issued signed cheques and he was treated like royalty, needless to say as soon as the Companies tried to cash the cheques the ruse came out:rolleyes: It take all kinds to make the World go around!!:)

Ironduke
14 May 07,, 10:04
This looks like a classic cashier's check scam. They send you a fake check, your bank deposits the sum to your account, you forward the sender the difference, then the bank reverses the deposit when they find out the check is fake.

gunnut
14 May 07,, 10:07
Can't we foil this scam by simply wait 2 weeks to make sure the check clears?

gunnut
14 May 07,, 10:11
Ironduke are you just waking up or haven't gone to bed yet? :biggrin:

I didn't expect anyone to be up at this time from the continental US.

I'm gonna hit the hay. Goodnight folks.

scmdtm
14 May 07,, 17:00
Yes, we are so... thankful that you posted the information! We would have lost a lot of money if things dragged on with the rental process. Thank you!

landio
17 May 07,, 06:38
I'm so glad I saw this thread in time.
This is the email i got in california:

Good to hear from you,
I need some more information about the property for rent.
Presently am in england and i want to Relocate to the US to carry-out some survey for my employer(IHS Insurance Group (UK), as we are about setting up a new branch office in the state, so i would be needing a property.
Due to the fact i cant inspect the Property, i would like you to give me the below details:
** A brief description and location of the property
** Available date when the property will be ready to move in
** The pictures of the interior/exterior if available
**Deposits to be paid before moving in.
** The lease period you intend to offer.
I will be waiting for your response on this.
Regards.

Joseph Morton
Loss Adjuster
IHS Insurance Group (UK)
Tel: +44(0)1204232920
Fax: +44(0)2079790078
UK

dave lukins
17 May 07,, 11:42
landio, It might be an idea to put a short piece in your local newspaper warning others of this Scam...You will become a Hero overnight:biggrin:

leib10
17 May 07,, 15:52
Can't we foil this scam by simply wait 2 weeks to make sure the check clears?

That's what I thought too. If it comes up bogus, the gig is up.

jenngold
24 May 07,, 16:32
I'm sure you know this, but that is in fact a scam. I recieved emails from the EXACT same guy. I was hesitant like you, and through networking came across your posting. I hope everything turned out okay

jen

dave lukins
24 May 07,, 17:03
jenngold(Welcome by the way) If things seem to be too good to be true then the usually are.. be very careful when you are offered a "good deal" from strangers. It's good news that he has been rumbled on the WAB, but how many has he conned? Make sure you pass it on to your friends and family

onetireddaddy
01 Jun 07,, 18:10
I'm happy to have found this. Joe Morton has a cousin; his name is Alex Churchill, and he works for Nettech Solutions, Ltd. I heard from Joe about three weeks ago, but couldn't reply to the inquiry as quickly as I had hoped; after reposting on Craigslist I heard from this Alex Churchill. What seemed odd was the second email from Alex. I had seen this before. I compared the phone numbers and they are different, but the fax numbers are the same - 44-0-207-979-0078.

Has anyone faxed this/these guy(s) to see what happens? Anyway, the first inquiry from Joe seemed good, but the second inquiry from Alex seemed too good. Thanks for the heads up on this and now I have to email Mr's Morton and Churchill and tell them I cannot rent to them at this time.

scmdtm
02 Jun 07,, 07:17
Hello! Thanks for letting us know about Joseph Morton's cousin. We wanted to share with you this information after many correspondence with this Joseph Morton guy. We were curious to find out how far he would go in his scam process. He filled out our rental application, (we think) he faked his current landlord recommendation for himself when we inquired the reference, he sent us a fake Washington Mutual Bank cashier's check, and he actually called us from 477-758-0890 when we emailed him that we have the money in our hand (my husband's idea) & looked forward to seeing him on June 1st. We told him that everything was good and ready for him -- we have not gotten an email or a phone call since then. Hopefully he will not show up at our doorstep one day!

He did not sound anything like someone who has lived in England for more than 7 years (his landlord claims) -- no British accent and the phone number looks like somewhere in the States. Anyone feel like calling him at the above number? He has both our cell phone numbers, so we didn't want to try calling.
A few things about the cashier's check...it was sent without a return address, was printed without a date, the Washington Mutual symbol on the check was not exactly right and other subtle things like the ink was not solid.

onetireddaddy
02 Jun 07,, 12:37
After reading all about Joe Morton, I also decided to see how far this guy will go. I haven't heard back from him yet (as of 6/2/07 - that would be 2/6/07 for those of you across the pond). I was hoping to get the bogus money order and then turn the matter over to the US Postal Service. They really frown on this sort of thing. Once this guy sends something like that through the mail, and at the dollar amounts some rentals cost these days, it becomes a felony. Also, if he does it enough, and in enough states, I'm relatively sure it violates a few more federal and state statues, and will get the notice of some states' (or in my case commonwealths') Attorney General. My wife received some human growth hormone in the mail once (Lord knows how or why), and the Postal Service was very interested; so there is an outlet for this guy to get busted by with little effort on our part.

Thanks for the update...Onetireddaddy

Shamus
04 Jun 07,, 01:13
This is kind of interesting,the 477 area code does not exist in the U.S. but is a city phone code for St. Etienne,France.Someone appears to be attempting to finance their French vacation.:biggrin:

Shamus
04 Jun 07,, 01:20
Hmmm...the plot thickens.44 is the country code for the United Kingdom.

lenette
05 Jun 07,, 03:49
I have just had the same response, from the same UK guy, for a property for rent in San Diego. A Cashier's Check has arrived in my office. What do I do with this check? And what risk am I already in? He has my cell number, P.O. box address and may have figured out my full name. Somebody tell me what to do with this.

gunnut
06 Jun 07,, 08:22
Wow more people joining the fun. Glad I posted this. I'm amazed this thread even shows up on Google when you do a search for "Joseph Morton."

Kernow
02 Jul 07,, 05:11
Looks like this is the Company he is talking about and from their credentials I do not believe for one minute that they would operate in that kind of way. It may be useful to contact the Company and tell them what is going on, just a thought.
Health assistance, medical insurance, healthcare services (http://www.europ-assistance.com/uk/nos_activites/sante.html)

Hope this helps guys.

Tin Man
02 Jul 07,, 14:24
What help does Craiglist.com give you guys? Maybe they have some kind of policy/follow up? Or do they just post the disclaimer, "property listed here is done so at your own risk, blah, blah"?