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I'm not usually one to text with scammers but an apartment rental deal in Detroit's Midtown had me intrigued. A Livonia man clued me into a Craigslist ad after an exchange he had during his search for an apartment that would be Craigs craigslist detroit to his job in downtown Detroit. The problem: The person he ended up texting with, clearly, was up to no good. The online photos make you want to look twice at this apartment, which isn't far from the Lodge Freeway and Wayne State University.

An eye-catching red-white-and-blue pillow perks up a modest light gray chair. A white French glass door opens from the living room area into the small kitchen.

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A big American flag decorates one wall that is smartly painted in a rich, deep gray. More: Got-your-back spirit gives a boost to Detroit startups. More: Why the love you met online cannot meet for drinks. We're talking about an adorable apartment that's fully furnished, all utilities — gas, electricity and water — included in what some call the North Cass neighborhood. Pets are even allowed for an additional fee.

Actually I moved out of town due to the nature of my Job and this is the reason i'm renting out the apartment till my return back to Detroit in a year Craigs craigslist detroit a half," according to the guy who texted me back. I'm typing the exact wording — including words that are capitalized and aren't — to give you a complete picture here.

If wanted, he said, I could "go ahead and view the apartment environment. I asked him the square footage of the apartment.

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He never answered that question. No one, of course, was handling this deal for him. No idea where this renter was working now. And he wasn't working with an agent or property manager.

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You'd deal directly with this guy. To make you think that, well, maybe you had some sort of shot, the fellow texted that I would have the "right to terminate our agreement upon arrival and i will refund your deposit payment immediately, if you find the unit in an unanticipated form or dissimilar to Craigs craigslist detroit pictures you saw on Craigslist.

Now whether he'd FedEx me anything — or perhaps be so clever as to mail some key that didn't work — I don't know.

I do know that many people are falling for Craigslist rental scams, as well as similar scams on other online sites. Online rental scams exist, of course, because many apartment and home searches do begin by researching specialty websites. It should be no surprise that con artists are figuring out Craigs craigslist detroit to game the system and rip off consumers with fake deals.

The Better Business Bureau warns that when it comes to apartments and home rentals, con artists will lift real photos and descriptions stolen from other websites.

Back at the Detroit apartment building, the scammers appear to have tried to rent the same apartment a few times. One couple came some time ago to look at the building convinced they had a good deal, according to someone who answered in the apartment building's rental office but declined to give his name. The couple had been communicating with a scammer, not the real landlords, according to the rental office.

No apartments were even available in late Craigs craigslist detroit when one of these Craigslist ran. The Livonia man, fortunately, gave up completely when he couldn't even see a lease in advance.

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Craigslist did not respond to s from Craigs craigslist detroit Free Press about this listing. One troubling red flag: Scammers may ask you to send a security deposit before you even or see the conditions in a lease.

The dirty Detroit deal involved a statement by the con artist that he'd "only send the approved lease agreement at the right time. In some cases, the BBB said, the scammer may claim that you can see the property through a rental agent — only after you pay the deposit.

Other versions of rental scams involve disclosing details like your Social Security early in the process. Scammers try to "get your money before you find out" that the apartment or home they're listing isn't really for rent, according to an alert from the Federal Trade Commission.

In August, a woman in Skokie, Illinois, was charged with posing as a landlord to steal rent money and security deposits from apartment hunters, according to WBBM Newsradio. The year-old woman went on Craigslist calling herself Sarah Goldberg and told several people she had an apartment to rent, provided lease agreements to some of them, and took security deposits and rent from them.

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She and her husband ran across an online scam, too, when looking for a home closer to Southfield. When she contacted the so-called "owner" online, he ed back saying they had once listed it for sale but decided to rent it instead. It requires very little effort on their part," Blankenship said. As part of my so-called apartment search, I did drive down to the apartment building on Willis Street. The building itself does exist — and there are people living in it.

It's just very unlikely that the guy Craigs craigslist detroit was texting with ever lived there a day in his life. My contact for this mysterious studio apartment — and the same contact for the Livonia man — called himself Arnold Almelor.

But Arnold abruptly cut off contact at one point after ing me that form. Maybe I crossed the line and turned too personal when I asked: "What do you do? Did you like living there? I told you," he said in a snarky text.

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No chitchatting about Midtown's tacos or tapas. A day later, he did send anotherfurther explaining why he would not send a lease agreement in advance. A few minutes later, he texted: "How are you doing baby? Just fine, I thought.

Yep, and I'm telling you, Arnold, we're not falling one bit for this dopey deal.

Contact Susan Tompor at or stompor freepress. Follow her on Twitter tompor. Facebook Twitter. Craigslist ad for cute Detroit apartment is fake: How to spot other housing scams. Susan Tompor Detroit Free Press.