If someone offered you a luxurious two-bedroom rental in Chinatown for $1,000/month, all included, you’d figure it was too good to be true.

And you’d be right!

But here’s the devilish part: Not only have these lily-livered scammers resorted to false domain names; they now write personably and with few grammatical irregularities!

Below, a simple guide to spotting similar scams:

  1. The location is too good to be true.
  2. The alternate location, mysteriously different from the first, is too good to be true.
  3. The pictures are too good to be true.
  4. The leaser claims to be using move.com, a reputable apartment rental site, but is in fact using a domain workaround (say, http://www.move.com.au.tt via http://joynic.com/) in order to break your heart.
  5. If step #4 confuses you, check the source code (apple + U on Macs).
  6. There’s a COMPELLING FORUM ON YAHOO ANSWERS DEVOTED TO VERBATIM SCHEMES.
  7. Don’t let your imagination run away with you, no matter how apartment-less or desperate or chemically altered you may be. And remember: That slightly grotty apartment in Shaw (or Brightwood, or Edgewood, or what have you) isn’t so bad after all. Because it actually exists. And the landlady made you tea when you visited, rather than trying to rob you blind.