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Warning – Scam targets potential tenants on Gumtree

30th July 2010

A number of would-be tenants have lost money after replying to a new wave of bogus adverts for rental accommodation on the website, Gumtree.

The victims, often from overseas, reply to adverts on the website for rental properties in the UK. After emailing the ‘landlord’, tenants are asked to send money to them. Once the money has been sent, the victims try to make contact with the ‘landlord’ and collect the keys, but the ‘landlord’ is uncontactable.

Fraudsters pose as National Landlords Association members

In this latest scam, the fraudsters claim to be members of the National Landlords Association (NLA). They use the NLA logo and have created fake stationery to look like the bona fide NLA Tenant Check service.

The NLA is urging prospective tenants not to send any money to anyone advertising rental properties online until they are certain the advertiser is genuine. The NLA also advises those from overseas who need to secure accommodation before they arrive in the UK, to seek the help of the employer or university they are coming to.

Prospective tenants should also check that a landlord is a member of the NLA via the NLA’s Landlord Accreditation website.

Read more about the Gumtree rental scam on the NLA’s website.

Please note: Action Fraud is not responsible for the content on external websites.

To report a fraud, call Action Fraud on 0300 123 2040 or use our online fraud reporting tool.