Margaret Law…, Renter in San Francisco, CA

Hello - I found a beautiful apartment on your site, listed by Paul Hart. I believe it may be a scam, and wanted to report it.

Asked by Margaret Lawlor, San Francisco, CA Tue Mar 25, 2014

Have you had any issues with Paul Hart in the past?
He is leasing a 1 BR in San Francisco.
Do you keep ratings/reviews of any of the landlords?
What type of process do landlords have to go through in order to list space?

Help the community by answering this question:


SCAM! He tried convincing me into paying the first 2 months rent before showing me the apartment and made up some bulls**t story about other people wasting his time because he has to travel all the way from texas. He asked for my name address and phone number and refused to show me the apartment without any form of payment. i honestly thing its a scam for sure
2 votes Thank Flag Link Tue Mar 25, 2014
Same here, except Utah now. It's still posted on and I informed them today it was a scam.
Flag Tue May 20, 2014
Same here, except he said he was coming all the way from North Carolina. Definitely a scam!
Flag Tue May 6, 2014
I had the same experience. He asked me to pay the security deposit and that it would be returned back to me, if I didn't like the apartment. And, then he asked me to send a money gram to his wife. He even had a Rental Agreement created that he sent to me.
Flag Thu Apr 3, 2014
Hi Margaret,
When being asked for rent money up front, ask for a BRE license number. Prepaid Rental Listing Services have to have BRE #'s. Many people don't know to ask for and look up a BRE (Bureau of Real Estate) license number. You can also look up Real Estate agents, Real Estate Appraisers, Mortgage Lenders, "Payday Lenders", Escrow Agents, Foreign Banks (state or international), Trust Companies, and more.

Here's the link to look up the many different kinds real estate licenses:

It's the law that licensed professionals have to give you their license number right away. Don't be shy about asking for a license number.

:) Monika

Monika Thomas, Realtor
call or text (415) 572-2670
Better Homes & Gardens Mason-McDuffie
One Daniel Burnham Court 260-C
San Francisco CA 94109-0463
CA DRE 01918034
1 vote Thank Flag Link Wed Mar 26, 2014
Thank you! That is so helpful, and definitely will help me feel confident about brokers. I appreciate it.

Would you be interested in helping me find an apartment beginning May 1? If so, please email me at

I look forward to hearing back!
Flag Wed Mar 26, 2014
You didn't include a link to the listing but just the fact that you are asking about a suspicion leads me to believe that it is a scam.

Here are some good tips on how prevent yourself from being scammed:…

Don't forget to 'Flag' the listing so that Trulia's moderators can remove the listing.
1 vote Thank Flag Link Tue Mar 25, 2014
The Paul Hart is still showing apartment at 855 Pine St, San Francisco at very low price. I realized when he asked to show apartment after paying two months rent upfront and his story of having bad experiences and having to travel from Oakland, etc. I plugged in his phone number 415-663-7201 and found he has property listed in North Dakota to as far as Maine. Glad I did a simple check and I am saved. Date 08/31/2015.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Mon Aug 31, 2015
This guy was using my credit card number to list the freaking apartment. Thanks for all the information.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Thu Aug 13, 2015
I got tricked by this ass.
How to report the scam to the cops. Any idea.

Check this
0 votes Thank Flag Link Mon Jun 15, 2015
Paul Hart is still at i! 855 Pine St in San Francisco! He's asking for all this money ahead of time. His new number is (408) 290 0590. His partner in the scam (443) 297- 9974 is David Mark. DON"T TRUST THEM!
0 votes Thank Flag Link Thu Jun 11, 2015
"Paul Hart "tried his scam in Kenmore, WA listing "off campus housing", but we caught on and played him for two days, using a burner phone, fake ID, fake address, and fake gmail account. He wanted us to put money directly into his account by wire transfer to secure his "apartment" and would not meet in person. He knew nothing about town homes or the general area, and posted stock photos of some apartment from the Internet. We called the actual property manager and gave her all his information, including two separate email addresses. We also called the apartment folks in San Diego where he listed an identical ad. His lack of English and grammar are the biggest tip off. Most apartments are NOT sublet deals, unless part of a house.

When we insisted we needed to do a walk through, he tried to put us off by saying he needed more personal information from us, including references so his "solicitor" could draw up a lease (we figure this is for two reasons: to see if we are legit, AND to be able to steal our identities and any monies should we back out).
0 votes Thank Flag Link Tue Apr 7, 2015
Paul Hart and Daniel Lowell are currently posting rentals in the East Bay. Definitely a scam! They are asking for 1 month's rent and a reservation deposit before showing the rental property or signing a lease. Watch out for these two (I think they are the same person):
Paul Hart 415-689-8611
Daniel Lowell
0 votes Thank Flag Link Thu Mar 12, 2015
Thank you so much for sharing this information. My daughter is transferring to SFSU and desperately looking for a place. She responded to an ad on campuscribz and received a reply by Daniel Lowell requesting one month rent deposit prior to showing!
Flag Mon Jul 20, 2015
Whoever they are, they are currently using Danniel / Daniel Nicholas as well:
Flag Tue May 12, 2015
Whoever they are, they are currently using Danniel / Daniel Nicholas as well:
Flag Tue May 12, 2015
LOL. WOW. I knew my senses were right. I also found an apartment that was TOO GOOD TO BE TRUE in SF. It is listed as 515 20th Balboa, San Francisco for 1BR- 1,600 and everything included with parking and what not. He said furnitures were all provided. Beautiful and modern. PERFECT. I knew it was sketchy when he said that he was from South Carolina and therefore, would have to go out of his way to meet with potential tenants. He then asked for payment before viewing. EHHH. RED FLAG. I dragged on our email conversations to be certain he was indeed a scammer. Well. It was obvious for me not to proceed, but I'm not sure if it is as clear for other potential tenants! BEWARE!
0 votes Thank Flag Link Thu Sep 18, 2014
He is a scammer. 100% scammer!!
0 votes Thank Flag Link Sat Jul 12, 2014
He is a scammer!!! 100% Scammer!!!
0 votes Thank Flag Link Sat Jul 12, 2014
I also found this listing from Paul Hart. He has listed it on the goSection8 site, reaching the most desperate of renters and low income people and families whom have a very hard time finding landlords willing to rent to them. I was shocked to see the listing there for $1400. I inquired last night and woke to find a reply from him, so I asked to see the unit today and am awaiting his reply. Here is the link to his posting:…
0 votes Thank Flag Link Thu Jun 5, 2014
0 votes Thank Flag Link Wed Mar 26, 2014
Is the property in Pacific Heights? I believe he's now advertising the property on college housing sites and
Flag Tue May 20, 2014
Hi Gus -

Are you still the owner of the property?
Is it actually for rent?

Thank you,
Flag Wed Mar 26, 2014
if you believe it to be a scam, just pass on it. As for who monitors anyone online, obviously if these scam "artists" exist, just like those who go around creating viruses for computers, hackers, and other unsavory characters, it is because there are not checks and balances except your own good judgment (and a good anti-virus program, LOL).
0 votes Thank Flag Link Wed Mar 26, 2014
There have been many rental scams reported on trulia. If someone is asking you for money just to see the place or it sounds too good to be true, keep looking. There are no deals on rentals these days,
0 votes Thank Flag Link Wed Mar 26, 2014
Hi Lance -

Thanks for the info. What about asking you to wire money over for a transfer. Specifically if you're trying to reserve an apartment remotely?
Flag Wed Mar 26, 2014
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