S: Right Ted, what subject have we got for discussion this week? If I had arms, I’d be rolling my sleeves down right now.
T: Well, it’s quite a serious one this week Smudge. We’re going to have a chat about a scam.
S: A scam?
T: A scam.
S: What kind of scam?
T: Scammers have been pretending to be Rightmove on other property search sites, and then duping prospective tenants out of their rental deposits.
S: That’s awful! How on earth do they manage that?
T: I know, it’s really terrible. Basically fake ‘landlords’ have been advertising cheap rents, and then sending interested tenants an email from ‘Rightmove Tenant Verification’. There’s a link in the email that looks like a branded Rightmove web page where tenants are encouraged to pay their deposit straight into the scammers’ bank account in the name of ‘Rightmove Plc’.
T: I know. Apparently the email also says that once contracts have been signed, the landlord would receive the deposit paid.
S: And I think I know what comes next. Does the ‘landlord’ disappear, leaving no trace or way of the tenant getting their money back?
T: You got it!
S: So how can someone protect themselves from this?
T: The biggest thing to remember, is the age-old saying if it seems like it’s too good to be true, then it probably is. If a property is marketed well below market value rather than at a similar price to other properties in the local area, then be suspicious! And also don’t feel pressured into transferring large sums of money.
S: So true and it also really highlights how it’s worth taking your time, and doing a bit of research into prices in the local area before you commit to anything.
T: I know we’re not the biggest fans of the postman, but sometimes I really do yearn for the days of snail mail.