But that is what happened recently to a number of would-be tenants, seeking to rent flats in Edinburgh, according to a BBC Scotland special investigation which was broadcast last week.
Basically it went like this. A mystery individual calling himself “William Wilson” managed to obtain the keys of a flat on Fishmarket Close in the Old Town which is regularly let out on a short-stay basis. Without the knowledge of the owner “Wilson” scanned in photographs from a legitimate website and advertised the property for long-term let. He even managed to obtain the services of a “viewing agent” to show people round.