Doug has crossed the River! I run a restaurant in the Courthouse area of Arlington and my host told me some Doctor asked to speak with me. Almost immediately I felt I recognized him, and it took about 30 seconds into his story about being a neighbor and a former “regular” of ours, that his assistant had his car and he left his wallet, phone and keys in there and was having trouble getting in touch with him. He said the host was nice enough to let him use the phone but he had no luck. My first response was to just say “Doug?”, to which he said, “huh?”. I asked how I could help him and he asked for some free beer, to which my response was, “that’s not going to happen, Doug”. (more…)
Photo by PoPville flickr user Rich Renomeron
Ed. Note: At this point I assume every single phone call is a scam. When my mom calls, I’m like “Oh yeah mom, what’d you buy me for my 12th birthday? Faster, faster. SCAMMER.” Click. But that’s just me.
I just wanted to submit a warning to fellow DCers. Today, I received a phone call from a legitimate 202 number (I didn’t know the number and normally wouldn’t answer, but did in case it was a work call). When I answered, they asked me to verify my name (I did), told me that I was under criminal investigation, and asked if I knew anything about it. I said no.
I will preface the rest of the story by saying that I have a very common name and am a bit paranoid about identity theft (it’s happened to several of my family members). I only stayed on the phone as long as I did (12 minutes!) so that I could confirm that my identity was not actually stolen.
Anyway, the woman on the phone told me that they found an abandoned car that was registered under my name. She described the car, gave me two addresses that were associated with it, and asked if I was familiar with any of these. I said no. She then proceeded to tell me that drugs were found in the car and that the addresses were already under investigation for drug trafficking. (more…)
“Scammers primarily rely on two types of rental scams:
- Hijacked listings: A hijacked listing copies a legitimate advertisement–photos, location, description–and posts it on another website with different contact information. This type of scam seems legitimate because it mimics a real property, but the person you are communicating with is a scammer, not the owner.
- Phantom rentals: A phantom rental is a listing that uses photos of a property that is not located at the advertised address. This scam attempts to steal your money or information before you find out the property does not exist.
Both types of these scams lure renters with extremely low rental prices and lavish amenities. Once they have your attention, they request money (such as an application fee) or financial information for the property they cannot deliver. Victims sometimes don’t even realize they have been cheated until they show up to the property and find that it does not exist or is not for rent.
Tips to Avoid Rental Scams
Good deals on rentals do exist, but make sure you do your research to make an informed decision. Here are some tips to avoid being scammed: (more…)
Photo by PoPville flickr user rockcreek
From DC Water:
“DC Water is warning customers that scammers claiming to represent the utility may be calling and asking for personal information or requesting to send a technician to the home. DC Water has received several reports from customers who stated they received such a call and one customer received an at-home visit from someone claiming he was from the water/electric utility and was checking for high water use. DC Water did not make the calls nor send a technician. Further, we are not associated with an electric provider.
Another more recent scam followed the boil water advisory of July 13-15. In this scam, individuals are attempting to sell water filters and solicit social security numbers. Please be vigilant of solicitors to your home and do not give out your personal information to anyone.
Customers should be aware of the following information: (more…)
Thought I’d flag a suspicious Craiglist apartment listing. Another example of a listing being too good to be true, I suspect. The price and lack of pictures made me suspicious–other multi-bedroom units in the building go for well over $2800. The initial email claiming to have sent multiple messages through Craiglist’s email relay seemed fishy. The follow-up emails raised my hackles–erratic use of punctuation (though these days…), strange diction, a promise to run a background check before even applying, etc. Maybe I’m too suspicious–the embedded links and email address all checked out; they didn’t appear to redirect to a suspicious website. But I flagged the post for Craigslist and thought it’d be valuable to warn the PoPville community, nonetheless. When something seems too good to be true, well…it’s gotta be, right?
Looks like Craigslist took it down.”
Ed. Note: A good reminder to be alert and never send deposits, first month’s rent etc. without seeing the unit in person first. My wife has a colleague who recently moved to D.C. from out of town and when they went to move in to their apartment they were told, “what are you talking about, this unit is not vacant.”
Just a heads up, “Dr. Doug Scott” has now shown up in Bloomingdale on Quincy Place NW. He just rang our doorbell with the same scam story about leaving his suit jacket with his keys, phone, and money in a coworkers car. When he realized he wasn’t going to get money from us, he requested to use a phone to call Whitman Walker, which, we declined. (more…)
Photo by PoPville flickr user Mr.TinDC
“DC Water is warning customers that scammers claiming to represent the utility may be calling and asking for personal information or to send a technician to the home. DC Water has received two reports from customers who stated they received such a call and one customer received an at-home visit from someone claiming he was from the water/electric utility and was checking for high water use. DC Water did not make the calls nor send a technician. Further, we are not associated with an electric provider.
Customers should be aware of the following information: (more…)
“Doug” last year, more photos here
Just giving PoPVille a heads up-Doug the scammer is back at it. This time he’s made it all the way over to Eckington and the quiet block of Quincy Place. He came to my place around 10 pm this evening, said his name was Doug and that he is my neighbor who “very stupidly got locked out” and doesn’t have a phone. Great acting, dressed well, spoke quickly and clearly-overall very convincing…except for the fact that I have read about him on PoPville before. The pictures matched what I saw on my front door camera so I told him that I absolutely couldn’t help and that he needed to get off my porch. Thanks PoPville community for keeping me safe tonight!”