This is a recent variation to the Fraud Alert we posted previously.
Fraudsters from Nigeria are asking for sitters to look after their very well fitted out apartment in posh areas of London like
They then ask for a refundable security deposit to be sent to them to show a commitment from the housesitter. They falsely say this will be held by solicitor or lawyer and give bank details for transfer to the "lawyer".
Again they mainly use yahoo, hotmail and aol accounts and usually contact sitters directly. There were some ads posted at housecarers but they were quickly removed when spotted by astute members. They send pictures of the opulent apartment in London.
The bottom line - don't send money. A house sitting agreement should be signed by both parties. You should be able to call the homeowner in the country of the housesit. They always have a convincing story about why they cant be contacted directly.
Another easy way to check is to copy a phrase out of the proposal
and put it in quotes and do a google search:
"i will then refer you to my agent in charge who will let you know all the necessary requirements"
There are a lot of fraud reporting sites that will have registered the frauds. They usualy try the same wordings at various sites around the internet and they get reported.
Here is a sample email (more will be posted):
Also below are the scam pictures of the opulent apartment
Here are the scammers pictures he stole to back up his scam
From: Jocelyn Pineault
Sent: Sunday, September 05, 2010 11:36 PM
I'm Mr Jocelyn Pineault i am a Project Engineer, resident in the UK and i live alone in my house, i run a consultancy outfit where i work as a consultant and project supervisor for construction companies worldwide, the nature of my job takes me around the world and i am presently on an official trip to three countries, which will take me away for about 3 months but flexible. I saw your listing along with others on the housecarers website and i think i have a special interest in you to be my house sitter.
I own a house that located on Trafalgar Road London SE10 9TZ UK. and thats where i live, its a 2 bedroom apartment and there is under croft parking and communal gardens which include a children play area.A balcony off the sitting room provides a delightful westerly aspect over the communal gardens, Kitchen/sitting room with fitted appliances, master bedroom with dressing area en-suite,fully furnished,fully equipped Kitchen, electric oven and hob, microwave, washer dryer, dishwasher and Bedroom 4 /gym etc.
The location is very quiet and romantic but just a 5 mins walk to the epicentre of Greenwich which is a vibrant Historic centre where you find an array of eateries, shops, pubs & cinema. Countless number of departmental stores for all your groceries to help with your self-catering. Easy access (mostly a short walk) to 5 different rail/tube/DLR Metro stations including North Greenwich tube station. Excellent Bus network both day & night. Few stops away is the o2 entertainment arena (walk if preferred). Travel to Central London is quick and easy with average journey time of about 15 mins. Local stations are in London travel zone 2 or 3.
The neighbors aren't far away, but the fence and plantings give lots of privacy, although as soon as i get back to the UK, i will leave the apartment for a larger one because i will be getting married and so it will be up for rent but pending the time that i am away for 2 months, i need a care taker/ house sitter, who will be in charge of taking care of the house while i am away, the occupant can also do some gardening on the large garden available during your time of stay if you want to. Phone and high speed internet(satellite) access are available, Ideal for someone with an existing income.
There will be plenty of free time to pursue your interests. No pets, parties,drugs, tobacco, problematic alcohol, illegal items, heavy scents, open flames. If i get a rental offer while you are there, you may be able to continue residing there because most properties need additional help.If you are interested in the offer please get back to me via my email address and we can talk about the terms and i will send you some photos too, on agreement with the terms, i will then refer you to my agent in charge who will let you know all the necessary requirements, if you are coming in from outside the UK, you will have to specify to the agent you will be referred to that you are from outside the UK so that you will be told the necessary steps to take.
I urgently need a prospective occupant, so get back to me if you are interested and we can continue from there.
I will expect your reply.