What is a property rental scam then?
Well, in this scam, fraudsters will typically target online advertising venues, such as the many online classified websites you see these days.
What the fraudsters will do is they will advertise properties for that are supposedly for rent.
These properties will typically either be in highly desirable areas or, more often, will be offered at much lower rates than the current market price.
If someone replies to one of these adverts and shows an interest in renting the property then they will be asked to pay a small holding deposit in order to show their they that are keen and that they will follow through with a full rental agreement.
Next, the fraudsters will then request that this deposit is sent to them via a money transfer service (because these are notoriously hard to track).
As you may have already worked out, once the deposit has been sent, the fraudsters disappear, never to be seen or heard from again.
Recently I’ve seen that this sort of scam is being applied more to temporary accommodation too – the fraudsters will be offering short-term rental of a holiday home, often linked into a major event such as when the football World Cup is being hosted in a particular country.
If you already own your own home then you may, perhaps, need to be aware of another scam – housing fraud.