Posted by Admin - 28/01/2016
The BBC reported that online rental fraud is rising sharply.
In 2014 there were 2,216 cased reported to Action Fraud which rose to 3,193 cases in 2015.
Fraudsters offer rental accommodation which they do not own and take deposits from Tenants causing Tenants to lose money and not have a home to rent at the end of it.
One of our own Managers (lets call her Hetty) here at 9yds has experienced this first hand.
Looking for accommodation in London, Hetty found a really great flat on Gumtree based in Marylebone. After contacting the Landlord who claimed to be living in Sweden and after having several conversations about the property and Hetty’s seriousness to let it, the Landlord requested a £600 deposit to be transferred into a Western Union bank account. The Landlord claimed they needed the funds BEFORE taking a flight to the UK for Hetty to view/rent the property. So as not to lose out on the property, she withdrew £600 and went to the newsagents to pay in the funds.
The newsagent asked Hetty what the payment was for, when she told him, he advised her not to make the payment as he believed it may be a scam. Naively Hetty thought the newsagent was wrong, but took his advice and went back to the Landlord with her concerns.
In response the Landlord tried to convince Hetty that she had nothing to worry about and said they understood why she would be cautious, but again requested the funds were paid to show her commitment.
With this Hetty decided to take a look into this a little more. She checked the account details online and found that the account was not a Western Union account at all and came to the conclusion this was a scam after all.
Thank goodness that Newsagent was switched on and was a decent human being!