Paul Maher, General Manager of Compliance and Conciliation joined Mike to warn listeners about a new rent scam.
Two people searching for rental have lost over $23, 500 after scammers hacked into a Perth real estate agency’s email account. The prospective tenants received a fake email stating that their rental applications were successful and gave instructions to forward the bond and rent to a bank account. In one case, an international arrival to Perth was staying at a hotel awaiting confirmation of the rental property and made several payments to the scammer amounting to $13,100. The scammer blamed a COVID-19 outbreak in the office for not being able to deliver the keys to his hotel. In the other case, a woman who was re-locating from a regional area to Perth paid $10,400 following an email exchange with the scammer who was masquerading as the property manager. She had also sent personal and financial information as well as identification documents.
These alarming cases have prompted Consumer Protection to urgently warn potential tenants to be cautious when communicating and transacting online. Prospective tenants should be aware of this latest scam activity and are recommended to make phone contact with the property manager to confirm the outcome of their application. As well as double check the bank account details provided for the payment. Sending personal and financial information as well as identification documents to scammers will also increase the risk of identity theft, so people need to be extra cautious and verify the recipient is genuine before sending money, information or documents.
Do you have an experience with a scammer that other people should know about. Let us know by texting or messaging us on socials. Listen to the full chat below!