There is a new rental scandal which may be worse than the ground rent scandal! It's such which sees a homebuyer getting conned by supposed real estate developers via fake online ads.
What are the tricks?
These fraudsters can propose that payment management is done through ad portals in which there is no type of intermediation between advertiser and owner.
They send a link to a fake website in which the identity of the advertisement portal is impersonated and from there they continue to deceive the interested party, making them believe that the process will be carried out with them. Payment is also usually through money transfer companies.
Once the interested party sends the money, the scammer disappears, not answering the emails. Meanwhile, if you go to the address where the property was supposedly located, it would not exist. If it does, the real owner has nothing to do with it the advert.
Can these fraudsters be caught?
As these are organized networks, it is very difficult to get them permanently blocked, since they have the time and infrastructure necessary to create email accounts and obtain new telephone lines.
The bottom line
In any case, we always advise you to be prudent in unusual situations. Never advance any amount without first visiting a property, and if you do, be sure to ask beforehand any guarantee from the advertiser that is the owner, or if necessary, any document that can assure you that the real estate exists and that you are in contact with its legitimate owner or authorized person you can trust.
In the same way, most money remittance companies do not perform courier services. When in doubt, you can always contact the agency that proposes you and resolve any doubts you may have about it.
If they send you a link to a website to carry out the payment, find out beforehand if the website is real. Instead of following the link outrightly, look for that company and visit its website directly. It is advisable that you ask them about the operation that they are proposing and if they certainly provide this type of service and they know that they will carry out the management proposed by the alleged owner.
This is an awareness article and not such to scare you. Do not be caught up in a monumental rental fraud which may be worse than the ground rent scandal!