An ACT woman has warned others not to fall for rental scammers online, after spotting one preying upon people in her community.
The scammer had advertised a four-bedroom, three-bathroom home in Griffith, Canberra, for $500 a week inclusive of bills.
“In this market that seems awfully cheap for a fully furnished, bills included, property,” the woman told the scammer in screenshots of their conversation, shared into the Don’t Rent Me Facebook group.
Watch the latest news and stream for free on 7plus >>
The scammer claimed it was a “fair price” and they were “testing the market”, but told the woman if she paid a $500 bond immediately she could move in the next day.
“And that guarantees I have the property and can move in tomorrow?” the woman asked.
Paris restaurant accused of copying Totti’s: ‘Doppelgänger’
Bride furious after friend plans to bring new boyfriend to wedding – despite no plus ones
“Yes, you will move in tomorrow,” the scammer replied.
“And I can bring my 15 cats,” the woman then asked. “I also have six dogs. That OK?”
“Sure that’s OK, pets allowed,” the scammer replied.
The scammer made no mention of application forms or any of the other usual steps required when applying for a rental property.
“There is absolutely no chance in hell a property like that would go for $500 anywhere,” the woman said in her warning post.
While the scammers claimed the property was in Griffith, they can change the location to wherever they want, the woman said.
“If anyone sees this property advertised, don’t send money.”
An ACT woman has warned others not to fall for rental scammers online, after spotting one preying upon people in her community. Credit: Facebook
The woman’s actions were applauders by commenters — while others pointed out that the home in the photos used by the scammer appears to be in North America, finding an Airbnb in Canada that appeared to be the same home.
“Man I want to message them,” one person said. “I need to find a house that will allow me to have my 82 geese.”
“I like playing games with the scammers,” another person commented.
“I asked for outside photos once because all the photos of the place were inside.
“They even gave me the address and when I googled it on Google Maps it obviously looked different!”
Rental scams have become more common due to the housing crisis, and grew in numbers during the COVID pandemic.
As these scams grew in popularity, the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) warned the community to be wary.
Before paying any bond or rent money, renters should always try to view a property first, the ACCC said.
It also advised people never to hand over any personal information such as passports, bank statements or payslips.