An online scam offering cheap rental accommodation continues to exploit potential tenants seeking rental accommodation, and again highlights the advantages and the security guaranteed when renting with a reputable property agency such as MICM Property.
This scam involves the fraudulent advertising of rental properties that are not actually available. The perpetrator copies images of properties for sale or rent on larger websites and then lists these properties on smaller websites, available for rent usually at a lower price.
The contact always requests that you transfer money and proof of identity and then upon receipt they will arrange the keys to be couriered to you, once transferred the money is taken and the identity information that you provide is used for identity theft. Potential tenants are willing to provide proof of identity and money for bond, and the first month’s rent as this is a common part of the normal rental process, dealing with an agency guarantees that this information will be protected.
At MICM Property we have dedicated property managers to ensure that bonds are lodged correctly and to provide the tenant and landlord with the condition report for their rental property and the receipt for the bond lodgement with the Residential Tenancies Bond Authority (RTBA).
How to rent safely and ensure that this does not happen to you:
- Choose to rent properties through a reputable agency such as MICM Property, an agency will ensure that both you and the landlord are protected. Do your research on the agency; look at their website and where possible visit one of their offices or at the very least call the office number.
- Meet face-to-face with the agency renting the property to you and always ensure that you have an inspection of the rental property before providing any money (other than a key deposit).
- If you are overseas ensure that someone local is able to look at the property and meet with the agency on your behalf.
The Australian Government has some useful information on their website regarding this scam and they provided details on who to contact if you have been scammed click here to learn more. http://www.scamwatch.gov.au/
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