Gardaí have issued a warning and advise about the dangers of property rental scams.
Crime Prevention Officer for the Clare Garda Division Sergeant Triona Brooks outlined details of a recent incident.
“During the week we received a report from a lady who saw an advert on Facebook Marketplace for a property to rent in Dublin. She presumed it was legitimate and paid a month’s rent and a deposit totalling €1,463.00. She has since realised that the property never existed,” Sgt Brooks said.
Don’t be tricked into paying a deposit for a property that does not exist or has already been rented, often to multiple people.
Do your homework – look at the average rent price in the area and if the rent is unusually low and it seems too good to be true it usually is.
Use online maps to double check that the property being advertised actually exists and is at the stated address.
Keep copies of all correspondence between yourself and the advertiser, including bank details and the advertisement itself.
Use legitimate well-known rental agencies where possible.
Don’t hand over any money until you have seen the property and are happy with its condition. Once satisfied use a cheque or bank draft to pay the deposit.
Don’t make any payments until you have been given the keys and signed the rental contract. Always check that the keys fit in the lock.
Don’t transfer money unless you have carried out all the relevant checks and you are absolutely sure that the listing is genuine.
Don’t be embarrassed if you have been scammed Report it to your local Garda Station and contact your bank.