7 points to online protection

Please bear these points in mind to avoid online scams:

  1. It looks to good to be true – It probably is then, be wary of very cheap rents in an area or brochure style photos.
  2. Money transfer– There is no trace on money transfers (such as Western Union) and that’s why scammers use it.  If anyone requests you use money transfer be concerned, ask if they will accept a different payment method.  Don’t give anyone a receipt for a money transfer transaction even if the transfer was to someone you know, the scammer is trying to access the funds.
  3. Visit the room – The best way to see if a room is real is to visit it and meet the person renting it.  Be wary of anyone who will not allow you to visit the room.
  4. Overseas –  Most scams originate overseas if someone tells you they are overseas on holiday or on business be concerned, particularly if they say you can’t see the room.
  5. Money upfront – Deposits are normal in renting, paying money upfront to secure a room is not.  See the room and meet the person before you pay anything upfront.
  6. Cheques – If you recieve an overpayment by cheque, the scammer may request a refund for the overpayment by money transfer – it’s a scam.
  7. Too pushy – If someone for example says you must pay by money transfer and nothing else be cautious.  Scammers need to make you do certain things if you’re unsure or it doesn’t feel right ask questions.

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Discussion6 Comments

  1. hello all,

    I’ve received a scam for a girl call: Nicole having a house in Pitt St. in Sydney. I trust her becouse she send me a contract with her Passport Number and the copy of the passport and driver license. I didn’t see the room becouse I move there for the new year. I’ve send money in London where she is supposed to leave, through Western Union paying the upfron. when she ask me more money I realized that was a terrible scam.
    I hope that I was the first one being deceived by these person. I hope you can cancel her advertisement before that someone else will receive the same treatment.
    what do you suggest to do now?
    thank you for any help that you can give me.

    best regards
    Silvia Maccarini

  2. There is a known scammer by the name of Jenny Freeman (jennyfrmn03@yahoo.com) that I notice had an Ad on your site to get email addresses and when she was reported…she deactivated her acct. and is now writing to potential roommates. She is not legit!!!!!!!

    PLEASE POST TO YOUR CLIENTS!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  3. This is just an info for all looking for room to rent in Liverpool! I left a post in easyroommate.com and someone from Liverpool rentals called me. PLease do not rent with them , as they are the rudest people to deal with. Plus, they put in the worst houses and make false promisses. I have left them but got my security deposit only two months later after threatening I would go to small claims council and etc, please dont rent with them!

  4. There is a guy on this site who arrived on the Gold Coast Xmas day after having rung me the day b4 to say he would have to keave Newcastle Xmas Eve a/noon because of weather conditions-I asked how many units have you got to look at besides mine he said “Oh no its yours I want – there must have been a miscommunication” – so I then had to make up the bed etc. originally I had sent him lots of photos of the unit – we had a few phone calls & emails & discussed the rent and the security deposit I required to move in etc. At no stage did he say I want your room-if he had I would have required the security to hold the room. He did say in one of the last emails “I think I’m keen to take your room” & asked me 2 ring or text him – this I did & in this call I asked “do you have many others to check out & he said “just yours & one other”. Xmas day he text me from Grafton & said he had major indident at gas station… -so I text back to see if he was OK & then he rang me & said he had his laptop computer & his wallet stolen from his car while he was having a coffee etc-so you can imagine how I felt for this person who has only been in this country for 1 year & this happened on Xmas day so when he arrived my friends & made him welcome & I believe most people would have extended the hand of friendship in this situition especially on Xmas day!! I offered him the use of any food in the fridge he settled himself in his room & assured me He would have money for me on the Tuesday after Xmas as he was getting some money out of his family trust account (which incidently was in NZ so Here comes the first excuse:
    Couldn’t get any money out but his brother would be back in Auckland on the Monday after New Year & he would have the money for me then!
    He also said that he couldn’t give me any security deposit until his last pay came from his last employer in Newcastle and he wasn’t sure when it would be!! Eventually he said he the security deposit would be here on 17/01/2010 – After he been given food & board in good faith in my house 4 just over 2weeks during which time he borrowed $40 from me (he wanted $80 but I said I could only lend $40 -he said he wanted to get some food and some petrol-I said you can use the food I have to help you out but he said he really needed petrol (when I came home that evening he had was having a friend (Female)
    over for a BBQ!! I WAS REALLY FURIOUS BUT I waited till the 8/01/2010 to see if he had some money for me & He gave me rent for the 2 previous weeks & also gave back my $40 – so I thought OK he may be OK but the next day he asked me for the $40 back!! I gAVE HIM ONLY $20 & HE PROMISED MORE ON THE 8/01/2010 BUT WHEN THE 7/1/2010 ARRIVED I checked the money was going to be the here for the 8th & he said “Oh no I have to work the first week for free but I’ll have some on the 17th!” so I decided to get some of the money owing to me & then ask him to go – He wouldn’t report the stolen laptop or the wallet with nearly $1000.00 in it so to finish this off He did a runner on Saturday 9/01/2010 whilst I was getting ready for work!! He is on this site & his email is msmith.syd@gmail.com – his name is – MARTIN SMITH. HE NOT ONLY OWES ME MONEY HE OWES MONEY TO MY FRIEND. Only a con man would pull a stunt like that on Xmas Day!! We thought he was genuine but!! Many times I lent him my lapotop so he could communicate with his family in NZ + his Mother had only died in August & this was his first Xmas without her – I knew how that felt as mine died just b4 xmas ’08 – so we really felt for him but he started going here and there in his car & I & was seeing a pattern – not long after using my laptop he would say “just popping out for awhile” – this man wasn’t supposed to have any money so I checked the laptop history only to find he had been using my laptop to access heaps of dating sites & I was paying for it!! All the time he would assure me the money would be fine – please beware of this fake person — not sure what to call him but I hope that the time I’ve spent doing this will help & that no one else is a victim. PLEASE HELP TO PROTECT EVERYONE FROM THIS SCAMMER!!

  5. Please DO NOT respond to the recent ad for Secret Garden Apartment for rent in Elizabeth Bay. IT IS A SCAM!!! It was previously on another website and they ask for a deposit in exchange for a key without even checking on who you are!!! DO NOT RESPOND!!!

  6. hello all,
    unfortunately someone cheated me. i found a room in new york for a four week stay and send many emails. a girl with the name emily brown answered that her room is available. she send me her passport, we signed a contract, there was a lawyer who is called gomez with lastname in georgia. i asked why the lawyer is in georgia and she answered that he is the family lawyer for years and he deals with the properties of her father. we emailed a lot not only about the room, private stuff too. so i send the rent for four weeks in advance through western union, first she wanted the security deposit too but i said that i need a little “security” too and will bring the security deposit when i will arrive. but two days before my flight i got an email that another woman is interested in this room and when i am not paying the security deposit now i will not get the room. i arrived in manhattan and this building where the room had to be is under construction: 291 57th West street, so this address does not exist!!!! be carefull if anybody is named emily brown from england or a lawyer who is called steve gomez!!!!

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