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NZHERALD - Fake landlords trick renters in flat fraud

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  • NZHERALD - Fake landlords trick renters in flat fraud


    Just heads up for Property Managers and Renters to watch out for this fraud ring:

    Taken from the NZ Herald:

    Auckland police investigating an alleged property fraud ring are seeking this man as part of their inquiry.

    Detectives from the Auckland Financial Crime Unit are asking for help from the public to identify the man, who was allegedly filmed by Fadi Alhaddadin when he went to view a Nelson St apartment about a month ago.

    Mr Alhaddadin says he met the man, who was pretending to be the landlord, and gave him $1480 - the equivalent of four weeks' rent as a bond - to secure the apartment.
    But when he went to meet the man as planned on May 16, when he expected to be given a key, the man did not show up.

    Mr Alhaddadin tracked the man down to the address he was given and which turned out to be a fake.

    Police have confirmed they are investigating a number of complaints relating to the fraudulent leasing of apartments in the Auckland CBD.
    They would like to to speak to the man to determine what involvement he has had with the scam.

    Other victims have described another Asian man - aged 25 to 35, of chubby build with a round face and severe acne, with braces on his teeth and wearing glasses - as being involved in the offending.

    The fraud ring is believed to have netted at least 18 victims.
    The scammers work by renting the apartments from landlords using fake passports for identification.

    Then they pretend they own the property, advertise it for rent, and offer it to victims after obtaining rent in advance and a bond (usually three weeks' rent).
    The fraud has raised concerns among property managers in downtown Auckland who have seen a surge in complaints in the past two weeks.

    Gavin Aitken, a property manager at the Docks apartments in Quay St, said in one case a man who had paid a "landlord" a bond of three weeks' rent and a week of rent in advance arrived at an apartment to meet the landlord.

    When no one showed, he opened the door and found someone in bed asleep.

    Mr Aitken said he knew of another case in which a man used a property rental website to advertise an apartment at cheap prices to attract tenants.

    He has heard of at least six properties being used - one of them being "leased" to six different people.

    At least three fraudsters - two men and one woman - are believed to be pretending to be landlords. Police spokeswoman Noreen Hegarty said several complaints were being investigated.

    A woman caught last year for similar crimes is awaiting sentencing on 15 counts of obtaining by deception.

    Anyone with information about any of the suspected fraudsters should contact Detective Constable Libby Willis on (09) 302 6965.

    * Be clear on the identity and role of the lessor.
    * If unsure, make inquiries with the building manager.
    * Use reputable property agencies and never pay bond or rent down payments in cash.
    * Obtain bank details of the lessor and ask to see proof of identification.
    Auckland police are asking for help from the public to identify a man allegedly involved in a property fraud ring.

    I have heard of a Maori lady doing same thing...unsure if she is apart of this ring or not...
    Property Management Auckland