The National Landlords Association (NLA) says that it has been contacted by a number of tenants who have been defrauded following a new wave of rental scams on listing website Gumtree.
The most exploited appear to be potential tenants from overseas, who reply to adverts for rental accommodation in the UK. After an exchange of emails, the “landlord” demands payment. Having sent the money, the “landlord” vanishes. Very often a tell-tale sign of a fraudster is poor spelling and grammar.
The NLA says that scammers are posing as members of their organisation, using fake documents bearing their logo. The NLA has issued a message to tenants that, no matter where they are from, they shouldn’t send money to an advertiser without confirmation that they are legitimate. They advise overseas applicants who are required to secure accommodation before they arrive to contact their university or employer for help.