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Published on February 3rd, 2012 | by john.weir

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Perth rental scam could hit UK migrants

Anyone emigrating to Perth from the UK and looking for rental accomodation is being advised to watch out for online fraudsters.

It seems too good to be true; a luxury house, in a great location, for a fraction of the market cost. But when your money leaves your account, it doesn’t get you that great rental property. Instead it heads overseas as part of a scam which has duped more than 220 people in the last year.

The scam is quite simple, using popular websites such as Gumtree and Flatmates.com. Posing as landlords, the scammers say you can’t meet with them to view the property, usually because they’re overseas, but demand a payment to secure the rental.

Consumer Protection industry and consumer services director Dave Hillyard has warned potential renters that the scam is real. “You’re being conned, it’s a professional con, it’s a scam that’s going on,” he said. The scam is particularly efficient in today’s tight rental market. “In desperation, a lot of would-be tenants are prepared to hand over money without seeing the property,” Mr Hillyard said.

Consumer Protection says tenants should always meet with the landlord face to face, don’t rely on photographs and view the inside of the property, before paying anything.

If you want more information on renting in Perth or property in Australia, come to the UK’s number one event for Australia & New Zealand – Down Under Live – in London, Edinburgh and Birmingham.

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