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Old 11th January 2017, 03:10 PM
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Exclamation Rental scam

I was the victim of a rental scam on facebook. I had a job offer in Manchester so i needed to find a flat in a short time. A friend recommended i went on facebook and look at flat share options. I went on Manchester flat share group and found a post. I replied to the post to which the poster then said they can send me pictures via email.

This person send me nice pictures of this apartment which was 700/month. I was impressed as it was nice and close to where i work like 10 mins walk. I was a bit cautious so asked for ID so i can confirm their name matches their facebook profile and e-mail. The ID was American, so i asked about this. The person explained they're half American and uk and her parents lived here but are old now so he/she is working in Edinburgh and managing their investment flat. It sounds a little unbelievable but i did know someone who was American and worked in the UK, so not all that unbelivable to me.

Anyways, i got a contract that was well written and signed sent to me, i signed it back and asked to pay the deposit. The scammer was laid back and did'nt reply in a rush; as they were always busy ( all makes sense to me now). I've always been cautious all my life, never in my life would i have thought facebook is now a means of rental scams ( like seriously, who does that?). Proceeded to sending a deposit of 1700, rent plus security deposit and maintenance security

For some reason once i sent the money, something clicked and i rang my bank once i got home to withhold the payment. anyway HSBC staff did't know what to do and blamed me straight then. I had to ring Barclays and they lied and said they froze the acccount, but they haven't. I kept ringing for a whole week, by this time my money had been withdrawn from the Barclays account.

This case went to the financial ombudsman; and ii already accepted i lost my money. What i don't seem to understand is, if someone sent money through my account in a fraudulent way, surely i would be held accountable so why can't banks be held accountable if someone uses them as a means to scam people or launder money. I assumed a barclays account in the uk would have someone that has opened it with a passport, and identification to show its not going to be used for fraud like a council tac bill and utility bill. This took 3 months to resolve. Eventually i recieved a settlment from Barclays as i had proof i rang them more than 4 times before the money was withdrawn. Like to think i am one of the lucky few.

My point here is anything could be a scam. Can't believe a facebook house share group would be a target for scammers unlike gumtree. If anything looks to good to be true, don't even think twice about it, forget it; this flat looks to good to be true now that i look back the pictures. Do not send money to anyone that won't talk to you, won't see you face to face. And when you do meet them, make sure you have enough information on them and their legality.

I am scared but much better with my decisions now. I will only ever work with estate agents with a shop from now on. Please watch out for this rental scams.

Best Wishes
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Old 11th January 2017, 04:47 PM
Divine Divine is offline
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Default Re: Rental scam

Hi There,

Happy you're here in Consumer Forum and share your experience. One of our authorized representative will respond to you shortly, but in the meantime please introduce yourself here:

Best wishes,

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money, facebook, flat, rental, scam, barclays, pictures, asked, account, deposit, send, american, share, back, uk, rang, good, true, bill, signed, scams, means, security, life, cautious

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