Portsmouth NH Apartment/Condo Scam


It’s been a while folks, but now that I am searching for apartments again, I thought I’d keep the public filled in on what I can! There was a 77 Hanover Street Condo for $700, I’ve even seen them for $600 or even under $1000. Be diligent, these condos are brand new and should not cost less then $1500-ish. The Unit number should be provided since there are a whole building full of condos. The buildings website has its own realtor, so be cautious and check with her about any available ads!

 

The following is the first email I received from this contact on craigslist:

 

[Hello,
       Thanks for taking the time to look at my property.My name is Lynda Bannett, I’m 43 years old,I’m the owner of this condo(1 bedrooms,1bathrooms, 900 square footage).It’s located in 77 Hanover St , Portsmouth , NH 03801 .The unit is equipped with recessed lighting, central air and heat, the condo come with two parking spots,a storage unit where you can deposit my furniture (if you don’t like it and you want use your furniture),there is also a linen closet, and most importantly, a new front loading stacked washer and drier.Pets allowed.I’ve moved to United Kingdom with my job and decided to rent it because the rent is very expensive here.The price is so low because I’m here and is very hard to find a tenant.I can rent you the condo for min. 1 month and max. 6 years(or more).I really want to find a good and responsible tenant for it, and I hope that you can send me some personal information about yourself.The rent for whole the condo for 1 month is $700.00 including all utilities(water,electricity, internet, cable, parking , airconditioning, fireplace, dishwasher, garbage) and the security deposit is $700.00 (you’ll get the deposit back at your departure-or you can use it to pay your last month of rent) and I want to receive the money monthly in my bank account. You can move in the condo in the same day when you receive the keys. The only problem is that I`m the only person who has the keys and I have nobody in United States that could show you the condo. In order to check it, see if you like it(I’m sure that you’ll love it), you need to receive the keys and the contract.
If you want to rent the condo, please e-mail me back and I will explain you how the payment and shipping will take place!
 
Here are a few pictures:
http://www.mypicx.com/12122011/newhampbr1/
 
Have a nice day]

 

Not being able to see the condo before getting the keys and contract seemed sketchy; however through a false hope and a slight investigative itch, I persisted to ask questions and find out steps for payment “she” replied with this:

 

 

[ Thank you for your reply.
Before going further with anything I must tell you that for payments I will use the eBay Company, they will secure the transaction of payments. I will open a CASE ID# at eBay Company for this transaction and I will give them your full name, shipping info, phone# and indicate you as my tenant. After that, they will contact you with the payment details, and they will ask you to send them a refundable deposit, $1,400.00 in 24 hours(the money will be for the first month of rent + the security deposit). After they receive your deposit, they will notify me immediately to start the shipping of the keys and the contract. You will receive a  tracking number in max 24 hours after they receive your deposit. The keys will reach to you in 3-4 days. After you’ll receive the keys and the contract, the 14 days of inspection period will start( you’ll have 14 days to see the condo, read the contract, decide if you keep the condo or not).After the inspection you will contact them and tell your decision: TAKE THE CONDO or NOT TAKE THE CONDO! In case you’ll take it you’ll have to send them a copy of the contract signed by you and they will release the money to me, if not you’ll have to send them the contract unsigned and they will refund your money($1,400.00), the contract and the keys will be shipped back at my expenses! I will pay the shipping and you’ll have to pay the money transfer fee for the refundable deposit.
Once again:
1. If you have the money $1,400.00 and if you want to rent it send me your full name, your shipping address and your phone#
2. I will open a CASE ID# at eBay Company for this transaction , and I will give them your info, and indicate you as my tenant.
3. After that, they will contact you with the payment details(you’ll have to send them $1,400.00 via money transfer in the next 24 hours-you’ll need cash)
4. After they receive your deposit, they will notify me immediately to start the shipping, and you will receive a  tracking number in max 24 hours after they receive your deposit.
5.From the moment you receive the keys the 14 days inspection period will start.I will make the transaction only in this way so if you have the money and if you want to rent my condo send me your full name, your shipping address, your phone# and I’ll start the procedure.
 
Thanks]
 

Once I replied to this email with a simple “what unit number is this?”, she has not gotten back to me. I had searched online the address and saw they all had unit numbers. If this person does get back to me, I will update, but thus far, responding each following day and then stopping, is quite suspicious, not to mention the add is no longer on craigslist.

 

Beware folks of this name: Lynda Bannett and this email : hampshirelb1@hotmail.com   and always be thorough with your background searches!!! Good Luck!

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15 thoughts on “Portsmouth NH Apartment/Condo Scam

  1. Rasheena Nichols January 30, 2012 / 3:29 pm

    I to have wrote this same person this time she posted in new Orleans and once she said she moved out the usa I knew somthing was up because I have been scamed this way before

    • KC February 3, 2012 / 8:39 pm

      I have written the same person i live in new orleans….I didnt feel it was right either.

    • Ron February 29, 2012 / 10:10 pm

      I saw this one too in New Orleans. Seemed a bit too good to be true, a condo in the Warehouse District for $700, all utilities included, that she cannot get rented.

    • david March 4, 2012 / 11:05 pm

      I just got scammed myself. Luckily I googled the person “antonia parker” who claimed to live in the UK before I went to the next step. Oh well live and learn. I still thought I would warn others

  2. parker February 2, 2012 / 5:28 am

    My name is Parker Dorris and I have recieved the exact two emails. but the apartment she is trying to rent to me is on 771 Rue Lusignan in Montreal. I to felt this may be too good to be true.
    After seing your post, I guess it is. If you see her name do not give anything. Thank you for your post, without it, we may have made a big mistake.

  3. david February 3, 2012 / 10:11 pm

    Got the same exact email with a few minor details different for an apartment in boston. also got the same reply letter. Clearly a scam

  4. Ashley February 4, 2012 / 6:42 pm

    Thank you for posting this… I just received an email from her as I’m looking for apartments in Detroit. I posted it below. I’m glad I saw your blog before I responded!

    Lynda Bannett
    detroitsmajm1@hotmail.com

    Hello,
    Thanks for taking the time to look at my property.My name is Lynda Bannett,I’m 40 years old,I’m the owner of this condo(1 bedrooms,1bathrooms, 800 square footage).It’s located in 411 S Old Woodward Ave , Birmingham , MI 48009.The unit is equipped with recessed lighting, central air and heat, the condo come with two parking spots,a storage unit where you can deposit my furniture (if you don’t like it and you want use your furniture),there is also a linen closet, and most importantly, a new front loading stacked washer and drier.Pets allowed.I’ve moved to United Kingdom with my job and decided to rent it because the rent is very expensive here.The price is so low because I’m here and is very hard to find a tenant.I can rent you the condo for min. 1 month and max. 6 years(or more).I really want to find a good and responsible tenant for it, and I hope that you can send me some personal information about yourself.The rent for whole the condo for 1 month is $700.00 including all utilities(water,electricity, internet, cable, parking , airconditioning, fireplace, dishwasher, garbage) and the security deposit is $700.00 (you’ll get the deposit back at your departure-or you can use it to pay your last month of rent) and I want to receive the money monthly in my bank account. You can move in the condo in the same day when you receive the keys. The only problem is that I`m the only person who has the keys and I have nobody in United States that could show you the condo. In order to check it, see if you like it(I’m sure that you’ll love it), you need to receive the keys and the contract.
    If you want to rent the condo, please e-mail me back and I will explain you how the payment and shipping will take place!

    Here are a few pictures:
    http://www.mypicx.com/12122011/detroit1br/

    Have a nice day

  5. Cory February 5, 2012 / 5:17 pm

    Hi Sonja,

    Thanks so much for posting about this. I just got the exact same email in response to a Boston Craigslist ad, and my too good to be true/sketchy situation radars both went off. Glad to know I don’t have to waste my time with this one.

    ~Cory

  6. Michelle February 6, 2012 / 3:15 pm

    I just found the same thing for Charlotte, NC. Same type of email. The unit # was provided, but they should not go for less than $1000-$1500 per unit and she was offering $900 with all utilities included because she moved to the UK.

    From: Lynda Bannett [mailto:charlottelb317@hotmail.com]
    Hello,
    Thanks for taking the time to look at my property.My name is Lynda Bannett 42 years old,I’m the owner of this condo(2 bedrooms,2bathrooms, 1943 square footage).It’s located in 1100 Metropolitan Ave Unit 207, Charlotte, NC.The unit is equipped with recessed lighting, central air and heat, the condo come with two parking spots,a storage unit where you can deposit my furniture (if you don’t like it and you want use your furniture),there is also a linen closet, and most importantly, a new front loading stacked washer and drier.Pets allowed.I’ve moved to United Kingdom with my job and decided to rent it because the rent is very expensive here.The price is so low because I’m here and is very hard to find a tenant.I can rent you the condo for min. 1 month and max. 6 years(or more).I really want to find a good and responsible tenant for it, and I hope that you can send me some personal information about yourself.The rent for whole the condo for 1 month is $900.00 including all utilities(water,electricity, internet, cable, parking , airconditioning, fireplace, dishwasher, garbage) and the security deposit is $900.00 (you’ll get the deposit back at your departure-or you can use it to pay your last month of rent) and I want to receive the money monthly in my bank account. You can move in the condo in the same day when you receive the keys. The only problem is that I`m the only person who has the keys and I have nobody in United States that could show you the condo. In order to check it, see if you like it(I’m sure that you’ll love it), you need to receive the keys and the contract.
    If you want to rent the condo, please e-mail me back and I will explain you how the payment and shipping will take place!

    Here are a few pictures:
    http://www.mypicx.com/12122011/charlotte1br/

    Have a nice day

  7. R. Lynn February 7, 2012 / 7:46 pm

    Thank you so much for writing this article. There was an ad in Craig’s List in Annapolis for a luxury condo, usually renting for $2,500, renting for $900, all included. It looked too good to be true but I inquired about the place and received the following:

    Hello,
    Thanks for taking the time to look at my property.My name is Lynda Bannett,I’m 40 years old,I’m the owner of this condo(2 bedrooms,2 bathrooms, 1270 square footage).It’s located in 5 Park Pl Apt 726, Annapolis, MD 21401.The unit is equipped with recessed lighting, central air and heat, the condo come with two parking spots,a storage unit where you can deposit my furniture (if you don’t like it and you want use your furniture),there is also a linen closet, and most importantly, a new front loading stacked washer and drier.Pets allowed.I’ve moved to United Kingdom with my job and decided to rent it because the rent is very expensive here.The price is so low because I’m here and is very hard to find a tenant.I can rent you the condo for min. 1 month and max. 6 years(or more).I really want to find a good and responsible tenant for it, and I hope that you can send me some personal information about yourself.The rent for whole the condo for 1 month is $900.00 including all utilities(water,electricity, internet, cable, parking , airconditioning, fireplace, dishwasher, garbage) and the security deposit is $900.00 (you’ll get the deposit back at your departure-or you can use it to pay your last month of rent) and I want to receive the money monthly in my bank account. You can move in the condo in the same day when you receive the keys. The only problem is that I`m the only person who has the keys and I have nobody in United States that could show you the condo. In order to check it, see if you like it(I’m sure that you’ll love it), you need to receive the keys and the contract.
    If you want to rent the condo, please e-mail me back and I will explain you how the payment and shipping will take place!

    Here are a few pictures:
    http://www.mypicx.com/02042012//

    After getting this email, I googled “her” name and found your blog. As you can see, except for the actual address they changed NOTHING with this scam.

    Thank you again for posting this blog. You’ve saved at least one person a lot of misery! Hopefully, you will save more.

  8. Eileen C February 8, 2012 / 12:14 am

    Apparently she’s renting a condo in Royal Oak Michigan too…. $1800.00 up front – identical email with the location and amounts changed

  9. Kayla February 8, 2012 / 3:28 pm

    I am so happy I found this post. I am preparing to move to Nashville and found the “perfect” apartment for me. I thought something was strange after I wrote to her, telling her about myself and “her” response said nothing about it. I checked the internet last minute about her before committing and so happy I did. If not I would have paid a lot of money for a HUGE mistake. Thank you so much Sonja!!!

  10. Sam February 9, 2012 / 7:54 pm

    I just fell into the same trap! She emailed me the same email but for a chicago DOWNTOWN condo for $800 a month. Way toooooo good to be true. Such an idiot. I hope she gets caught.

  11. jazmun March 26, 2012 / 6:53 pm

    Saw the same thing yesterday she used the name Monica Baker thank you for putting this up

  12. Nara Abe April 2, 2012 / 11:54 am

    Beware of “Monica Baker” too. I received this exact same scam email while searching for apartments in Chicago.

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