Dammit Mudah, scammers again! I’m looking for a new place to rent and of course I’m on Mudah.my. I found this almost too-good-to-be-true apartment for rent in Marina Court.
And you know what they say about things that look like they’re too good to be true.
So, here’s the ad. Fantastic deal for Marina Court, which is right smack in the middle of town. Wouldn’t that be awesome? Yes, yes it would be.
Clicking on the ad only made me more excited. I’ve only been into one appartment in this block before, but the photos pluasably look like what could be the interior of an actual Marina Court apartment with typical local furnishing choices. The bedrooms, in hindsight, seem to not quite be in the same style as the rest of the apartment, but hey, for RM1,500 a month, I’ll overlook anything.
A little closer inspection revealed a major flaw though: no phone number.
But ok, rationalised my eager mind, perhaps the owner listed it themselves, and they might not be too tech savvy, or perhaps they’re concerned for privacy, and therefore didn’t want to list their phone number.
I clicked on the link to contact Gloria. About an hour later I got this reply:
Victor, who claims he is a retired engineer, proceeds to outline the most wonderful deal ever. He moved to the UK a few months ago to take care of his nephew, wants a trustworthy tenant (ME!) to take over the apartment.
He only wants RM1,500 per month, just RM1,500 as a deposit and will include water, electricity, cable (nevermind that you don’t get cable here, only satellite), internet, 2 parking spaces (TWO!!) and furniture which includes a washer, a dryer, a dishwasher and an oven/stove. He’s like f’ing Santa Clause! If you know property deals here in Kota Kinabalu, you will know what an outrageously good deal this is.
But wait, there’s more! He has storage for if I don’t like his stuff AND I can have pets. Not sold yet? An agent has the keys and signed contract ready and waiting just for me. Fan-effing-tastic! All I have to do is just tell him a little bit more about myself. Easy peasy.
Let’s pause for a moment while I show you a Google Ad. Gotta pay the bills…
Where were we? Right, I was overjoyed with the unbelievable apartment I had found. But being the suspicious person I am, I first pondered a few fishy things.
First of all, Victor didn’t mention poor Gloria at all. Gloria, who is appears to be neither the owner nor the agent, has a funny email address. Her email address is firstname.lastname@example.org – weird domain, especially for Kota Kinabalu. But nevermind.
Victor’s email address is also only just a little fishy: email@example.com. We can overlook the fact that it’s Hotmail – older people still use it, not just scammers. But it’s a bit of a weird spelling of Denningg, most commonly spelled with 1 g. That’s also not concrete evidence of anything, although that 2 at the end is definately the cherry on a very red, flag-shaped cake. Neverthless, I ignored all that in lieu of this awesome deal.
So, I replied with a few personal details, most of which are already littered about on the Internet (notably this blog). It took me 20 minutes to craft the perfect email and polish it to sound just right. It’s an interview after all, to illustrate what a model tenant I am.
No sooner did I click send, however, when this email comes back. So either Victor is clairvoyant and knew what I was typing before I sent it and his reply ready, or it’s an automated reply which has SCAM written all over it. Between the lines, of course.
In the course of this one email we progressed to a short-name basis. Vic starts off by letting me know how happy he is that I’m keen on his apartment. From there on out it reads almost exactly like that time I got similar emails when I tried to sell my car, also on Mudah.
The short of it is that Vic wants my full name and address and then he will give me the details of an iProperty.my agent (Wait, not Mudah? Running the scam in many places, are we?) to whom I can pay the money for his Marina Court apartment. A secure account of an agent, of course, where it will be kept safe until he can courier the keys.
Aaaaaand, if after 2 days of inspecting the apartment I decide it’s not for me, he will refund me the money. Yes! Yes, he will. He said so right there in that email. Clearly a standup guy, this Vic.
Vic then ends off the email by thanking me for the nice cooperation. I bet he’s already rubbing his hands in anticipation of receiving a blind deposit. Unfortunately I replied to his email, saying “Dammit, don’t scam people, Vic”, so perhaps no knee-rubbing for him after all.
Oh well, back to the drawing board.
5 thoughts on “Mudah.my Marina Court Apartment Scam”
I also received the exact same email for empire damansara!! Thank God i found your blog!
You don’t blog much anymore : (
Thank God I red this in time. I am having the same experience now with this guy (if he is real).
Thanks for taking the time to look at my property.
My name is Victor, I’m a retired engineer and I’m the owner of the apartment. Is fully
furnished with all necessary amenities (exactly like in the pics), has inbuilt wardrobe, living room with dining area, washer, dryer, dishwasher, microwave, stove/oven, fridge, etc. The apartment comes 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). Pets allowed. Four months ago I moved to England, London at my sons place to take care of my 2 years old nephew. 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 monthly rent for the apartment is RM 1,300. I want to receive first month in advance + 1,300 refundable deposit (RM2,600 TOTAL). The monthly rent will include all utilities such as water, electricity, Internet, cable, parking etc. I left the keys and contract already signed by me at a rental company and they will handle the payment and delivery for us.
If you want to know more about how this deal can work please get back to me ASAP and I will send you the details step by step.
Thank you and hope to hear back from you.
hi i also received the exact reply from him…it really is fishy…did he thought we were born yesterday. Yes, his offer is too good to be true. Thanks for this helpful blog of yours!
Hi. I think I was the other fish of the same pond. Everything was like what you mentioned above. Same name, same email and the exact same words. I can’t help but to Google ‘IR Vic’ email address and bumped to this site. Gosh he almost got us! I reported to Mudah already and hopefully no one has to go through this too-good-to-be-true offer and having the same lucky-fantasy like we had. Thank you very much for this post. It saved our 3k. Screw scammer!