Posts with tag: rental fraud

RLA issues warning to Gumtree over letting scams

Published On: February 19, 2016 at 2:27 pm


Categories: Landlord News

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The Residential Landlords’ Association (RLA) has called on a leading classified online listings service to issue clear guidance over possible scams involving bogus letting scams.

A warning was issued to Gumtree by the RLA after fraudsters posed online as landlords to post ads on the site asking for money in exchange for property viewings.


In certain cases, the advertisements posted online show affordable and attractive dwellings. However, when potential tenants attempt to arrange a viewing, they are told that the landlords lives a long way away and that they must provide a deposit in order to secure a viewing. Sometimes, these fees cost £1,500!

The criminals behind these scams have cloned websites’ logos, including that of the RLA’s Deposit Guard Scheme. As such, the schemes look genuine to would-be tenants.

Once tenants pay cash for their fake viewing, they never hear from the fraudsters again and their money is lost.

RLA issues warning to Gumtree over letting scams

RLA issues warning to Gumtree over letting scams


To stop more innocent renters becoming victims, the RLA has now contacted Gumtree demanding visible warnings on its website.

‘Often, the victims in this type of fraud are young foreign students, who have limited knowledge of how the rental market works in the UK,’ said a spokesperson for the RLA. ‘The fact that our DepositGuard logo is being used in this manner is something we are taking extremely seriously and we have approached Gumtree asking for clear warnings about scams of this type to be included on its website,’ they added.[1]

Any victims of this kind of fraud are being advised to call Action Fraud on 0300 123 2040.


Online Rental Fraud Rising in England and Wales

Published On: January 26, 2016 at 12:53 pm


Categories: Landlord News

Tags: ,,,

Online rental fraud is surging in the capital, according to a report from the BBC.

Last night’s Inside Out London show found that there were 3,193 cases of alleged rental fraud reported to Action Fraud in England and Wales last year, up from 2,216 in 2014.

Online Rental Fraud Rising in England and Wales

Online Rental Fraud Rising in England and Wales

The fraudsters offer rental properties that they do not own to tenants and then take deposits.

Researchers at the BBC posed as prospective tenants with the help from portal EasyRoommate. They contacted advertisers whose advertisements had been blocked by the website.

One scammer, calling themselves Louise, advertised a luxurious apartment in Kensington for £700 per month – well below the market rate.

Louise tried to convince the researcher into wiring £1,400 to a branch of the Coventry Building Society in order to secure the property.

She then emailed both a rental contract and a passport image of a German lady.

Land Registry data confirmed that Louise was not the legal owner of the flat and that all the apartments in the block were already occupied.

The real owners of the property said that Louise had no association with the apartment.

The BBC found that the fraudster is based in this country and had stolen the identity of a real German lady.

A second scammer offered a flat in Willesden at below the average price for the area and insisted the researcher wire £1,500 to a Halifax account.

The property’s managing agent knew nothing of the fraudster and the flat was already occupied.

Additionally, the fraudster claimed to be based in London, but was in fact using a computer in Nigeria.

EasyRoommate had also blocked this advertisement. The portal blocks 5% of adverts each week, as they are suspected to be fraudulent. A further 1.5% are taken down after publication.

Watch the full episode from last night here: