A national alert has been issued by Action Fraud, warning prospective tenants that fraudsters are claiming to be the owners of rental properties advertised online.
Before a viewing, individuals are asked to pay a deposit upfront, claiming that this money will be put into the tenant deposit scheme and will therefore be protected under government legislation.
After the money is paid, the prospective tenant receives a bogus email purporting to be from the Tenancy Deposit Scheme, confirming receipt of the deposit.
However, the money has actually been sent to an account associated with the fraudster and the tenant is left out of pocket and without the home they thought they had been putting a deposit on.
Sometimes, victims are also asked to hand over a month’s rent upfront.
Action Fraud is advising tenants to be on their guard.