Co. Tipp Student Loses Over €3000 Following Rent Scam

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A Tipperary student has lost over 3000 euro following a sophisticated rent scam targetting the Mid-Western counties.

Aontú says the man in his early 20s from Ballina was distraught that his hard-earned money was cruelly taken and unlikely to be recovered.

The party’s National Secretary Sarah Beasley says all potential renters should be wary as heartless scammers are constantly prying on vulnerable desperate people.

Ms Beasley from Limerick says The rental market in the county is very challenging at the moment for people looking for accommodation, there are only 20 properties across the whole of the county with seven of those in the city environs, these shortages are pushing prices up to record levels.

The scam as described by the victim, started on the popular website ‘Daft.ie’.

A property is uploaded with details, photos and prices, the property itself is genuine but the property is not owned by the poster.

The property is priced slightly below market value, this gives the impression of a genuine price but a bit of a bargain, this tempts people to act fast.

The scammer directs people to lodge money to a ‘secure’ location operated by a trustworthy financial establishment.

The scammer says that this is to sort the genuinely interested renters from ‘time wasters’, the house seeker is assured that money will be returned if they fail to get the property.

The scam activates when the bogus house owner sends the unsuspecting potential renter a link pertaining to be from a genuine financial establishment, when in fact it is a fake website designed to look exactly like the genuine one, this is known as a ‘phishing website scam’.

The altered functionality of the fake website allows the criminal to take the money that has been transferred under the guise of a secure location.

Ms Beasley is reminding house hunters to always keep a close eye and check the URL to any link, this is the key to making sure the website is genuine and not fraudulent.