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THE VOICE OF GEDLING BOROUGH SINCE 2015

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Students in Gedling borough warned to beware of bogus landlords

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Students preparing to rent a property in Gedling borough for the first time have been warned to be wary of a scam which each year costs young people thousands of pounds in lost deposits and rent.

Scam-busters Action Fraud say seasonal rental fraud is an emerging trend with students looking for suitable accommodation around August, before the start of the new term.

Fraudsters use a variety of websites to advertise available properties to rent, often at attractive rates and convenient locations. Adverts will seem genuine, accompanied by a number of photos and contact information to discuss your interest.

Due to demand, students will often agree to pay upfront fees to secure the property quickly, without viewing the property, only to discover that the fraudster posing as the landlord does not have ownership of the property, or often there are already tenants living there.

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A spokesman for Action Fraud said there were ways to ensure you don’t fall victim to this scam.

He said: “You should only use reputable letting companies when looking for a student property to rent. Do some online research such as using Google maps to check the property does exist.

“Always make an appointment to view the property in person and make sure you have viewed the property prior to paying any advance fees.

“Look out for warning signs, such as landlords requesting a ‘holding deposit’ due to the property being in high demand.”

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He added: “A landlord will usually conduct some due diligence on any successful applicant. Be wary of handing over cash without the landlord requesting employment or character references.”

If you, or anyone you know, have been affected by this fraud or any other scam, report it to Action Fraud by calling 0300 123 2040 or visiting www.actionfraud.police.uk.

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