419scambaiter

419 Scambaiting: Trying to Rent a Flat in Edinburgh

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So, I’ve currently moved jobs and travelling to Edinburgh from Stirling which is a bit of a commute. I’m currently looking at flats in Edinburgh (which is an expensive place to rent!) and relying on classified ad sites to find flats for rent in Edinburgh. I’ve contacted a few and been to see a few and it’s very competitive to say the least, anyway one particular ad caught my eye – a 2 bed flat in central Edinburgh (too central for the price!) for £480 a month, the pictures looked particularly interesting so I sent an email to ask if I could view it. (Sorry if this long and convoluted, but read it all it’s quite funny).

I send this initial mail to ask about the flat:

[ME]
I am interested in viewing. Is it still available? Is it long term let?
Regards,
Malcolm Gibb
This was the reply I received (I’m including this guys email due to his immoral act)

Morgen Walh morgenwalh@gmail.com

[Wayne Kerr]
Hello
      My name is Morgen, I am from Denmark and the flat is still available for rent. It was redecorated last year is looking very nice and clean. Has a fully furnished kitchen, clean and well tidy sitting rooms, laundry room and fully furnished with home utilities like: electric shower, Lounge,Vacuum Cleaner,Toaster, Owen and microwave, dryer, iron, washing machine , refrigerator , dishwasher, power shower, heater, cable ready,TV set and DVD player, Internet connection, equipped kitchen and everything a house needs. I m interested in finding someone clean who can take care of this house more then getting money from renting it if you know what I mean.      Till last month the apartment was rented by some students from Germany and now they left and the apartment is available again for rent. The price I want is £480 per month,bills included and I am interested in a long term agreement,minimum 6 month!
       If you are decided to view the flat and  have the money I could come in the next few days to show you the apartment and maybe sign the tenancy agreement if you like my flat (I am sure you will love it) but first I have to be sure you  really do need a place to live because two weeks ago a person from Edinburgh told me he is really interested and he asked me to go to Edinburgh to meet him and sign the tenancy agreement and when I arrived there no person showed up to rent my place and I lost time and money for nothing. Please accept my apologies if I am rude but I hope you will understand me!
          I will wait for your e-mail,
Initially I thought – that’s not so strange, he could be telling the truth he might have owned a flat here and moved away and is just renting to tide it over. I decide to email back:

[ME]

Hi Morgen,

Thanks for the information. I am serious about looking for a flat and would ideally want to view the flat as soon as possible. Although to avoid you wasting time it would be good if you could send me as many pictures and info as possible about the flat. Also, because you live so far away what would happen in the situation of say something breaking (like a boiler or plumbing?)? When would be a good day to view the flat?

Regards,

Malcolm Gibb
About 20 minutes later I get this – again – long email:
[Wayne Kerr]
Hello, 
      I will attach some pictures of the flat,floor plan and also a model of the rental contract! The flat is located on Albany Street, EH1 3PY but I can`t give you the exact address because there`s no one living out there and I`m afraid of thieves and I do apologize for this but I hope you understand me because I`m in Denmark right now! The property benefits from access to beautifully maintained communal gardens and comprises reception room, kitchen with washing machine/tumble dryer, master bedroom with fitted wardrobes and en suite bathroom, second bedroom with fitted wardrobe and bathroom.Parking place is included too!
      In the kitchen there is a dishwasher and also a Big fridge freezer! Regarding the council tax I can tell you that it is included in the price of £480 per month and also Sky TV,internet broadband,gas and electricity are also included in this price! I am interested in a minimum six month agreement and I request two months rent in advance plus the equivalent of one month as a refundable deposit which you will get back at the end of the contract. 
      Regarding the plumbings and all that kind of stuff I can tell you that the flat was recently renovated and all electrical part and plumbings are new so that won`t be necessary any repairs anyway I have a person who can manage this starting from July. 
      We can sign the rental contract starting from next weekend but I need to be sure that you have serious intentions in renting the flat that`s why I attached here a model of the rental contract and also we can discuss the terms when we will meet!
       If you are decided to view the flat let me know because there is another person interested in reserving it! 
Kind regards
Although, in this email he attaches several photos(which are obviously of a hotel! – see below) and a tenancy agreement (which is obviously a complete rip off of a template on-line). This is where I get completely suspicious and decide to play on this as well as the fact that the rent is very cheap for central Edinburgh and seems to include council tax, sky and internet! What a deal! See pictures below of this apparently amazing hotel like flat!
Fake flat in EdinburghScammer trying to rent me a flat in Edinburgh
Just like a Hotel!Scammer trying to rent me a flat which looks a bit like a hotel!
Obviously you do not get the above in central Edinburgh for £480 per month, something like this would cost in the region of £750-£900 per month. I was well aware it was now a scam, so I decided to send this back to test it:
[ME]Hi, I am fine with the rental terms, but I will not sign before viewing it. I definately want to view it. What day is suitable for you so I can view the flat? When can you come over to Edinburgh? Could you be here to view the flat on 6.30pm on Monday?
To which he replied:

[Wayne Kerr]I can only come over the weekend so either this one or the next one. When do you want to move? How many persons in total? I have not asked that you sign the agreement before you will se the flat or to give me any money in advance so you don’t have to worry about anything like that

Thanks
I replied:

[ME]
Hi morgen whatever weekend is best for you. I am available to be in Edinburgh whenever. Regards,

Malcolm Gibb
This was the most interesting reply I received next – Of course i will give you all my monies!:
[Wayne Kerr]
Hello,
           We could meet and maybe sign the tenancy agreement this Sunday but you see these is due to previous predicament that I have gone through in the past trying to rent the property to some students,I have got to realize so many people are not really in need of an apartment all they do is secure a place in advance, My last experience in trying to rent the property to a particular lady had got me topredicate on these,she made me believe she was willing and ready to get the apartment she even went to the extend of showing me her statement of account,which made me took her for the viewing but after taking her for the viewing,she saw the apartment and got to love it and never wanted to loose it,so she kept pleading i retain it for her because she is not financially composed at the moment,which i did but end up disastrously. 
        So basically for me to be sure of you been willing and ready to get the apartment I will employ you walk into any Western Union agency and send the total bill cash £1440(two months rent and one month refundable deposit) to your partner’s name (NOT to ME) or your partner can send it to you with location of Edinburgh or any other city in UK,All I need is for you to get back to me with the receipt issued to you after making the transaction so I can confirm it!  When we will meet in person to sign the papers we will go together to Western Union and you will withdraw the cash and pay me in hand or you can pay me on Monday by bank transfer!  I just need to see that you do have the money available and you do have serious intentions in renting the flat! If the Western Union agent will ask you about the receiver you should tell him that is a relative of yours because the transfer fees will be cheaper! If you will tell them the reason they might consider this a commercial transaction and charge you more. Anyway I will pay for it either you take the flat or not! I will book the flight for Sunday as soon as I have your positive answer !        
I do apologise for that but as I told you last time when I arrived to Edinburgh to show the flat to a person everything was a stupid joke and I hope you understand me because I don`t want to waste my time and money on plane tickets.. 
Regards
Ehmmmmmm….. no please! So I sent this reply:
[ME]
I will transfer the funds as soon as you arrive at Edinburgh airport. I can even meet you at Edinburgh airport so we can go view the flat together! All I need to make sure of this is booking confirmation of your flight to Edinburgh on Sunday and I will transfer funds IMMEDIATELY!
Kindest Warmest Regards,
Malcolm
To which I received the reply promptly:
[Wayne Kerr]
Hi,
   Its a very simple procedure when you make the transaction with Western Union in person! It takes 5 minutes to fill a paper and send the money to your partner or whoever you trust more and who can come with you at the time when we will meet to show you the flat! 
    I promise I will reimburse you the 20 30 pounds , western union fees the first thing we meet, even before I will take you for the viewing this way you will know for sure that you will take it back even if you decide not to rent the place. We will then proceed with the viewing, I will provide you with my ownership papers so you can check them out for your peace of mind and if you decide to sign the agreement I will give you the keys and then you will cash out the money and pay me. Also please keep in mind that if the western union agent will ask you about the receiver you should tell them that you are relatives or something because if you will tell the the whole story they might consider this a commercial transaction and charge you more. 
   With this being said I think we have everything covered. I will be waiting to hear from you
Thanks
[ME]
No problem, I will send the money as soon as you show me booking confirmation of your flight for Sunday, you see I had a flat to view before from someone living in Nigeria, but they did not show up and had booked no flight! I need proof you are coming on Sunday and I will deposit via western union immediately. 
30 minutes later, and he sent this monstrosity:
[Wayne Kerr]
Hi,
I have booked flight, it takes the off at 11:40 is this OK with you?
Scammer tried to rent me a flat in Edinburgh
I have not replied yet, but it is hilarious the efforts some people will go to. I don’t think anyone in their right mind would send £1440 through Western Union, and I worry for those who would, anyway I intend to meet Morgen on Sunday… but I guess his flight may be cancelled :(

UPDATE: Well I have noticed over the past few days there have been a lot of people searching ‘Morgen Walh’ in Google and finding this page, I have also had emails from people asking about this scammer. I would advise anyone to ignore any emails from Morgen Walh as it is a total scam. 

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8 thoughts on “419 Scambaiting: Trying to Rent a Flat in Edinburgh

  1. Hi there, I have also been in contact with “Morgen Walh” regarding this flat! Just wondering what the outcome has been for you?

    1. Hi Laura, it is a scam. You should ignore his emails and don’t reply. I am sure many others have been contacted from this con artist and I fear that some people could actually fall for this, especially near Festival time when people are looking for accommodation!

      1. Now his ‘name’ is Saulen Anders. I have also contacted him regarding his flat and the email that he sent me looked fake for me so I searched his name in internet and your website appeared. It’s the same email that he sent to me!! Thnak you very much for the warning!!
        Ali

  2. Ha, I contacted this person and they asked for my private email. I responded with:

    “Gumtree hides everyone’s emails (mine and yours) for security reasons”

    Not fooling me. He may fool someone though – that sucks!

  3. This man has just tried the same thing with me … only this time the flat is based in DERBY, but the scam is exactly the same! The same dialogue, same sort of photos etc …. everything is exactly the same
    Avoid this guy .. it’s a scam!!

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