Officers from North Wales Police Cyber Crime team have said they are seeing an increase in a social media property rental scam involving fake landlords and bogus lettings agents.
Last year the force issued a warning about the scam taking place in local Facebook groups where a bungalow is offered for rent.
They issued a further warning about an uptick in reported rental scam incidents in Flintshire.
The scam involves people being asked to pay an upfront deposit for the property.
However, once funds are transferred the advertiser does not get back in contact with the person paying the deposit.
Potential tenants should remain wary about properties being offered for rent on Facebook.
A North Wales Police Cyber Crime team said: “We are seeing an increase in incidents whereby members of the public are attempting to rent properties in the North Wales area using social media.”
“Victims are paying upfront for the accommodation only to find that the person they are dealing with is not the owner of the property.”
Police have issued the following ‘top tips to protect yourself from rental fraud.”
-Don’t send money to anyone advertising rental properties online until you’re sure the advertiser is genuine.
-Don’t pay any money until you or a reliable contact has visited the property with an agent or the landlord.
-Ask for copies of tenancy agreements and any safety certificates such as Gas Electricity or HMO Licence.
-Do not be pressurised into transferring large sums of money. Transfer funds to a bank account having obtained the details by contacting the landlord or agent directly after the above steps have been followed.
-Be sceptical if you’re asked to transfer any money via a money transfer service like Western Union.
“Please share this information with your family and friends.”
More information on scams can be found on the Action Fraud website: http://orlo.uk/vokI5
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