Scams

Notice to all who are listing:

There have been recent reports of scams specifically targeting landlords and property owners. The scenario usually involves a person claiming to be a student or a student's parent. The supposed student’s parent then usually emails or occasionally phones and wants to do a credit card transfer and asks the property owner to withdraw money and send via Western Union or PayPal. While the details and scenario will most likely change, as these scammers are very sophisticated, please do not give away your bank account or credit card details and ensure that you have passport or other forms of id before conducting any negotiations. If it sounds suspicious or too good to be true, then it mostly likely is.

What could some of these scams look like?

A very good example of a scam email looks like:

Hi ,

 I am .... and I am interested in the vacancy you have for rent. I am presently in England that is where i stay and school with my 
parent. i will be attending UOW  <http://www.australian-universities.com/info/93/uow/> ,I'm 23,female,i  was born and grew up in Holland but i later relocated after my first  degree, I am really a sincere and honest person.am <http://person.am/> caring,kind,friendly very easy to get along with am intelligent cool  headed adaptive have a big heart and i do believe in the truth and  honesty..Cause honesty is the only key to human success and with 
honest you can easily archive your aims. and my hobbies are reading,making friends,cooking and singing,i like 
playing piano, I don't attend late night parties,i don't smoke,and i  will not be coming with a pet...i am easy going and friendly.i am 
quiet and clean and i will love to stay in a clean environment.. I would like to make an inquiry if the room is still available for 
rent and the duration in which you want to lease the unit.i will like  to secure the place before my arrival and i will like to know how to 
secure it cos my father will be responsible for the payment and he  said he will like to make all arrangement for me before coming to  Australia.pls let me have more details about you and the vacancy.  Here are the details i need
 1- Security deposit fee ?
 2- Monthly rent fees ?
 3- Utilities if applicable ?
 4- Dimension/measurement of the unit {s} ?
 5- Crime rate of the area where the apt is located ?
 6- Park lots if any ?
 7- If the unit is Furnished or Unfurnished ?
 8- Total Move in fees ?
 9-How long will you rent the room?
 Wish to hear from you soon.
 Thanks
 

If you have received an email like this, it is most likely a scam. DO NOT provide them with any details, however if you are unsure if they are geniune or not, you can ask them for their UOW student number and their letter of offer to study at UOW. It is also recommended you contact the Department of Fair Trading as they have a department that can assist with scam activity.

 

What do I do if I have been targeted?

If you have been targeted by scam activity, please ensure you contact the Housing Officer and/or contact the Department of Fair Trading to report scam activity. The Housing Officer can ensure all providers are contacted and made aware of any current scam activity. The Department of Fair Trading is able to assist you in reporting scam activity and they will investigate the scam activity.

If you have given your bank account details, personal details or passwords you MUST contact your financial institution immediately for advice. It is highly recommended you contact the Department of Fair Trading as well as they may have further advice for you.