The high levels of competition for rental properties is providing another windfall for fraudsters. Fraudsters are placing online adverts for rental properties, often at very attractive prices, prospective renters are then being asked to pay a deposit and even the first month’s rent upfront prior to viewing. Victims are falling for this because of the attractive price and the promise, (falsely), that the monies will be put into the Tenancy Deposit Scheme, and thus protected by government legislation. After making the payments victims receive a fake email claiming to be from the Tenancy Deposit Scheme confirming receipt of the payment. However, the property has not been secured and the money has disappeared. ActionFraud over the last few years has seen average losses per victim to rent fraud of £1396.
NEVER PAY ANY MONIES UNTIL YOU HAVE VIEWED A PROPERTY AND THEN ONLY AFTER FOLLOWING THE TIPS BELOW
Tips and Advice
- Always view a property – with the agent or landlord before making any payments
- Ask to see – gas and electricity safety certificates for the property, bona fide agents/landlords will have them
- Spot the scam – If the deal looks too good to be true, it’s a scam
- Time pressure? – Fraudsters commonly use time pressure as a tactic to push you into making the wrong decision, if someone starts doing this is often the sign of a scam
- Follow the crowd – Using well known and well-reviewed agents is a good idea where possible
- Avoid paying by bank transfer – If possible, make any payment by credit card, this offers you much more protection than bank transfers
- Check where the money has gone – Once you have paid the deposit you can check if it is protected by entering your tenancy deposit code on their website
- Still Unsure? – Join Reassura 0800 888 6400 and one of our fraud advisor’s will help you to stay safe
- To report a fraud – If you think you have been a victim of pension fraud you need to receive a police crime reference number call Action Fraud on 0300 123 2040 or use their online fraud reporting tool
Reassura is dedicated to helping raise awareness of scams and fraud along with the impact they have on their victims. Reassura’s team of specialist anti-fraud advisors are here to help members make better decisions and avoid falling victim to scams and fraud.
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