Header Ad Module



No announcement yet.

Rent scam hits New Zealand

  • Filter
  • Time
  • Show
Clear All
new posts

  • Rent scam hits New Zealand

    Rent scam hits New Zealand
    By HANK SCHOUTEN - The Dominion Post Last updated 05:00 01/05/2010

    Rent scammers are ripping off property advertisements in a bid to suck money from would-be tenants.
    A Wellington real estate agent is advising people not to forward money to anyone unless they are sure they are dealing with the authorised agent.
    Professionals agent Jason Knott said he had been rung by nine people who were almost taken in by scammers advertising a property he had listed for sale. He suspected others may have lost money.
    Scammers lifted a photo and details of a two-bedroom townhouse he had listed for sale at 332 The Terrace, and advertised it for rent.
    People who inquired were told by email that the owners had moved to Britain. They were told to forward money and the keys would be sent.
    Mr Knott, who is from England, said this sort of scam had been going on over there for years "but they're now targeting places where it's not been done before".
    "If somebody is asking you to send money before they release the keys, then it's a scam. And if it's too good to be true, then be aware."
    Eight or nine people had rung him after checking the property and seeing his "for sale" sign. "I only know of those ones, but I'm sure there's people who have sent the money."
    Peter Smith, of Porirua, said his stepdaughter Aroha Waa, 19, was one of those nearly taken in.
    After responding to the advertisement, she was told the townhouse was owned by a Kiwi missionary and her husband.
    They were offering the flat for $650 a month and asked her to forward four weeks' rent and two weeks' bond money to an address in London, saying they would then send the keys.
    "I had my suspicions right away and when I went on the web to check it out I saw it was listed for sale. I rang Jason and he told me the whole thing was a scam," Mr Smith said.
    The national cyber crime centre chief, Detective Senior Sergeant John van den Heuvel, said this sort of scam came up quite often. It was easy for people to copy advertising on the internet and use it as their own.
    Mr van den Heuvel said these sorts of scams were often run out of Nigeria and other countries where there was no way police could follow them up.
    If it's too good to be true, it probably is – be wary of cheap rent deals.
    Don't send money to people you only know over the internet – a landlord is bound to have a local contact or agent you could phone or visit.
    Visit the advertised property or Google the address – rent scammers often lift details off real estate agents property sales sites.

    Don't pay to get a key.
    No landlord can expect you to move into a place without seeing it first.
    Be wary of demands for payment in advance that give you no way to retract or cancel, such as electronic funds transfers or wire service payments.
    Be suspicious of any seller or shopping site that does not give their full contact details.
    A post office box is not enough to trace a scammer, especially overseas.

    Rent scammers are ripping off property advertisements in a bid to suck money from would-be tenants.
    "There's one way to find out if a man is honest-ask him. If he says 'yes,' you know he is a crook." Groucho Marx

  • #2
    I saw this is Perth 2 years ago when a friend of mine was looking for a place. The landlord claimed she was overseas working and to send money by Western Union. What got me suspicious, apart from that, was that the apartment was fairly new and some of the interior shots showed frilly curtains with oversized furniture that clashed with the modern decor shown in other rooms. We went to the address and realised there was no way that the photos related to that house.
    There was no other contact other than email, very dodgy!


    • #3
      Thanks for the advice


      • #4
        Pay Pal Scam

        People from overseas are starting to use pay pal to pay for things off Trade me and Sella website. Becarful when dealing with people who ask for Shipping money through Western Union. They send back a similar email that looks like a Paypal one with the [email protected] name but once you move your cursor over the name it shows up as some other email address.

        They tell you I have included the shipping fee in the paypal credit that they have sent you but paypal wont release funds untill a western union number is given back to that fake email.

        Heads up guys


        • #5
          London Scams

          Yep this Western Union scam has been doing the rounds again in London recently.

          They were targeting the Gumtree website which a lot of antipodeans use for flat hunting.

          Still why anyone would wire money to someone without seeing the property or agent in person is really beyond me!!!