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I am a freelance writer for newspapers,magazines as well as a journalist for TV.
I am from Tokyo, Japan and have been living in Los Angeles since 1990.
[日本語のブログFromLAby藤本庸子] fromla.cocolog-nifty.com/blog
[日本語のツイッター] https://twitter.com/YOKOfromLA

#259- Apartment Scammer vs. Apartment Dreamer



I live in Los Feliz at the nice apartment building (I live in front of the swimming pool, so I have a nice view with trees & flowers, there is a fitness center), but this apartment became a pet friendly apartment (no way! I am afraid of dogs and cats), and there are many issues (mailbox thefts a lot, sewage leaking all the time, party noise at the swimming pool party noise all the time, upstairs loud TV & footsteps noise etc.) now, so I am looking for a new place to live.






As a journalist, I am good at research anything, but comes to a clean  & cute & cheap apartment, it’s hard to find it in L.A. now…

 

The other day, I met a scammer (I mean I talked with the scammer by email).

 

This scammer posted the ad on RadPad.

 

This ad was, $1200 per month for a one bedroom apartment in Santa Monica.

And this scammer had sent me an email (see below).

 

***

Hello Yoko.


Thanks for your interest and inquiries about my apartment. Yes the apartment is still available for rent and we are looking for a responsible person/family to occupy and maintain the apartment now that i am not around. i just traveled to Bellingham, Massachusetts for a program called SERVING IN MISSION (SIM),you can view the link for more info: (http://www*** ). i will be away for 3 to 4 years or more that is why I have made up my mind to put up my apartment for rent to whom ever that will take good care of it.  However, my initial plan was to sell my apartment but it was not successful because the Realtor raised the price which made it difficult for me to sell before leaving , It has already been taken off the market as for sale so there is no need to contact any Realtor. I want you to understand that I spent a lot on my property that you have requested to rent, so I will solicit for your absolute maintenance of this apartment and would want you to treat it as your own because cleanliness they say is next to Godliness. It is not all about the money to be paid on rent or spent; it is all about a good maintenance culture which I want you to adopt on the property. I want you to keep it tidy all the time so that I would be full of smiles whenever I come and above all, a good, strong and tight relationship between us when I come for a check up. Please one more thing, I wouldn't like to have any benefit of trust in you because I want to stand in your words that the property would be well taken care of all the time. I believe you have seen how lovely it is if from only the pictures you saw in my posting compare to the 100% comfort to be derived from it as you are an occupant.

 

FEATURES : Laundry, Electric Range, Electric Heat,Car park.

AMENITIES: Air Conditioning,  Deck, Cable TV, Ceiling Fans, 24 hours Internet service,Dishwasher, Garbage Disposal, Microwave, security alarm, Pets Friendly, Refrigerator,Washer / Dryer.

Rental Price:$1200 per month and security Deposit is $600 (Security Deposit is Refundable) Utilities included in monthly rent.

 

Here is the address to the Home: ***  *** Santa Monica CA, 90402

Bedroom:1

Bathroom:1

 

I may not be returning to the apartment because we plan buying another House upon arrival. For more inquiries.

 

SO IF YOU ARE REALLY INTERESTED I WILL WANT YOU TO FILL THE RENT APPLICATION FORM BELOW:

 

RENT APPLICATION FORM.

Name (First name/ Middle name/Surname ) : __________?

Phone numbers (home,cell and office line ) # :__________?

E-mail :__________?

Best time to call :__________?

Marital Status:__________?

How many proposed occupants :__________?

List all in addition to yourself including approx age :__________?

Present Address :__________?

City/State :__________?

Will you have pets :__________?

Please describe Breed, size :__________?

Personality of pet :__________?

Preferred move in date :__________?

Intended length of lease:__________?

Do you agree to pay the payment before you move in:__________?

Earliest possible date of deposit payment:__________?

Length of previous tenancy :__________?

Present occupation :__________?

Do you work late night :__________?

Do you smoke :__________?

Do you drink :__________?

 

Looking forward to hearing back from you with all this details so that i can have them in my file in case of issuing your rent payment receipt to you and for contacting you. Your quick response will be highly appreciated so that we can discuss on how to get the documents and the keys of my property to you via Express Delivery Services and You may drive by to view the building and its living environment. May GOD bless you and your family.


***

 

I thought… this ad is a miracle… I believe in miracle…

So I thought…Why not? … There is someone who wants to lease apartment to a nice person with a nice price…

 

I had sent an email to this scammer (see below).

 

***


Hi N***,

 

I am from Tokyo, Japan and I am super clean freak.  No smoking and No pets.

As you know, we (Japanese people) are the cleanest people in the world : )

I am a freelance writer/ journalist for Japanese newspapers, magazines, and a reporter for TV news program etc.

 

By the way, your apartment is available for only a couple of years?

When you are back in U.S.A., do I need to move out right away?




Thank you.

I hope I am able to live in this nice apartment. I will take care of this place very very careful : )

 

Have a great evening.

 

P.S. I just want you to know that I did BCC emails to my best two friends for my safety.


Best,

Yoko


***

 

After I sent this email to the scammer… I researched about this apartment on the net, and I found out that the real price ($2700 per month) of this place and the agent of this place.

 

And I had contacted with the agent of this apartment by email , and I reported about this scam to RadPad right away.

 

***


Next day, this scammer wrote me back (see below).


***

I can see your willingness in this home and I am happy to inform you that your application has been considered and accepted. I want you to know that I'm satisfied with your profile and also believe l can trust in you, l showed your profile to my wife and daughter, they are OK with it. l want you to know that we can let you stay in my home till the period of time you wish to. I want you to know that the rent fee is among the home utilities all included, so you can use them anytime but make sure you take proper care of my properties. We will come and pay you a visit after you have moved into my home to see how  you are maintaining it. I will be receiving the security deposit and first month rent sent to me via Money gram  because l think it reliable,secured and fast. l wish you best of luck in your work, from your  profile l can see that you are responsible and a hard working person may the almighty God lead you in what ever you wish to do. Please once again, i want to trust you and i hope you do not disappoint us and i promise you that, you will love the home and not only, a good relationship between us.  The following documents are here with us as i could not find anyone whom i could trust to drop them with for this purpose. But never-mind,  next day delivery service will handle that perfectly for us. In doing this, you will need to make the security deposit, when you are ready to move in you can make the rental payment, which the deposit is refundable to enable the shipment of the Keys and document to your current address that i have here in the rental form, after which you could move in at your convenience. The rent starts counting when you move in and after moving in, you will be required to make the first month rental fees at your convenience Here are the contents of the document that needs to be sent.

 

1) Entrance and the rooms Keys

2) Paper/Permanent home form

3) The home documentary file.

4) Full Description of the home and Address

5) Payment Receipt

6) Signed Lease Agreement Form you are supposed to also sign and get it sent back to me

 

as soon as the security deposit  payment has been confirmed via money gram, l will go ahead and commence on how the home Keys / Documents will be delivered to you and i will ensure that i book for the 24 hours  next day delivery service as to enable you receive it on time and as scheduled. Let me hear back from you as soon as possible so that i can arrange for the delivery.

 

Get back to me via email  so as to instruct you on how to make the payment.

 I await your reply. Regard and God bless you!!!

 

***


I needed to write this person back, because I didn’t want anyone to lose $600 for this scam (especially, people who doesn’t know about the market price in L.A.).

 

My reply is below.

 

***


Hello N***,

 

Thank you for your reply and text message.

I wish your story was the true dream...  I believe in miracle. I always get what I want : )

 

Unfortunately I found out that the real price of this place is $2700.

 

N***, you are a smart person and good in business, please use your brain & talent for a good business which helps people in the world.

 

As a writer/journalist, I am not able to ignore your reply, so I am writing to you last time.

 

I don't have a religion, but I believe in the higher power in the universe, and God (or someone or higher power) is watching us... or it doesn't matter that nobody is watching us... honesty is the key to everything...

 

I am sure that you have a good heart for your family & friends, please be honest with people (stranger) as well.

 

You will be happy if you do that.

Good luck with everything.

 

Best,

Yoko


***

 

Life is all about happiness, and happiness is coming from the honesty, I believe this.

 

Happy every day to you : )

 

By Yoko Fujimoto

Los Angeles

September 18, 2015

Copyright © 2015 Yoko Fujimoto 

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#144- To my people, Japanese people 米国より東日本大震災(東北地方太平洋沖地震)被災者および日本の皆様へメッセージ / 海外セレブからのお見舞い&応援メッセージ -Pray for Japan(日本に祈りを捧げます)-

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******** My Japanese blog :

From LA by 藤本庸子      
(http://fromla.cocolog-nifty.com/blog/2011/03/pray-for-japan-.html)


東日本大震災(東北地方太平洋沖地震)被災者および日本の皆様へ

このたびの東日本大震災(東北地方太平洋沖地震)により被災されたすべての方々に心からお見舞い申し上げます。そして、犠牲になられた方々とご遺族の皆様に、深くお悔やみを申し上げます。

日本にいらっしゃる皆様、どうかご無事で、早く、安心出来る暮らし、笑顔が戻ってきますように、心からお祈り申し上げます。


*** 米国でも多くの人が心を痛めており、皆様のご無事を願っています

東北・関東地方で起った大震災に心を痛めながら、私は、「米国在住のライターの私に、日本の皆様のために出来ることをしたい」と、こちらで流れるテレビニュースの画面を見つめながら、ずっと考えていました。

そうしていましたら、本日(ロサンゼルス:3月18日/日本:3月19日)、仕事でお付き合いのある茨城県在住の女性(実際にお会いしたことはありません)から、「テレビでも、世界各国からの応援メッセージをもっと放送して欲しい」とメールをいただきました。

早速、私が報道の仕事で関わっている日本のテレビ局、ラジオ局の幹部、報道記者の方々へ、この女性のメッセージを届け、放送に関してのお願いメールを送信致しました。


*** 米国在住の私に出来ることを考えてみました

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