Scam Type

Rental Scam

Date Reported

2023-04-05 00:00:00

Victim Postal Code


Total Dollars Lost


Scam Description

Found a craigslist posting for Somerville housing (https://boston.craigslist.org/gbs/apa/d/somerville-bedroom-apt-near-union/7606309393.html) which claimed that a 2BR apartment on Washington St, Somerville was up for rent. Since the original poster (“OP”) is a few cities away, he wants to get the application approved first before letting showing the apartment. A phone number (?(413) 258-8803?) was posted. On inquiry, OP asks for my email and sends me the application Google Form (https://docs.google.com/forms/d/e/1FAIpQLSe2pYUcpPIo4xDs9VXkTYlyDJxDGaoqtUNpMsDqABXDxzhTOw/viewform?vc=0&c=0&w=1&flr=0&usp=mail_form_link), which includes his name “Max Zeeman” and questions like full name, date of birth, ssn, etc.
I only provide name, date of birth, phone number, and a blurb about myself, left the SSN blank, and paid a ~$42 + $250 application and placeholder fee through online payment systems (e.g. Venmo) rather than writing out card information. Afterwards, I insisted on meeting to see the place before going any further.
We set a meeting time for the next day at 6PM at the apartment location – 279 Washington St, Somerville. He answered at 9AM day of to confirm the meeting time and place, but then stops responding the minute after. Any requests for extra pictures or details about himself were ignored from the day before and day of. When the meeting time came, no one showed at the location. Texts continued to be ignored. Calls to the number resulted in a “Text mail” subscriber answering machine. I spoke with one of the residents of the location and they revealed that the building was managed by the management company Bradley Properties. Contacting the management company confirmed this OP did not exist.