In recent weeks there has been an increasing amount of fake adverts placed on the popular site Gumtree aimed at tenants looking for a place to live, these adverts have been recognised as scams.
The online advertisements often show a very attractive and affordable flat. But when prospective tenants call to arrange a viewing they are typically told that the landlord lives far way, sometimes abroad and that they must provide a deposit to secure a viewing – a figure usually in the region of £1,500.
The adverts are very convincing as logos have been cloned and The fraudsters behind these scams have cloned logos of popular websites including the RLA’s DepositGuard scheme so if prospective tenants make cursory checks the schemes look genuine.
However once the cash has been paid they never hear from the scammers again.
The RLA is taking the fraud extremely seriously and has spoken to Gumtree demanding visible warnings on the website to stop more renters becoming victims.
Andrew Goodacre, chief executive of the RLA said: “We would like to make it clear that no genuine landlord will ever ask for money to secure a viewing. This is something that we echo here at Condor Estates, viewings of any type of property are something that we feel anyone can request and these are provided by the Landlord, Agent or third party as part of the service at no cost.
Have you been affected by a scam like this? Leave a comment below and let us know. As a member of the RLA we part of a network of Landlords and Agents that follow the laws and regulations here in the UK.