Gardai Warn Students Of Accommodation Scam

By Seamus Whelehan

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Chief Superintendent Ger Dillane issued the warning on Monday 24 July alerting unsuspecting students and people desperate for accommodation in Cork City and its satellite towns.
The senior garda said while he didn’t want to be alarming parents the force had recorded a number of fake landlords had duped would-be tenants into paying deposits for non-existent properties.
He said large amounts of money had changed hands for accommodation that did not exist last year.
Mr Dillane said adverts were circulated on, newspapers, social media and other free online platforms advertising available accommodation close to Cork City colleges, CIT and UCC which included internal photographs.
Rental scams can often be sophisticated involving seemingly authentic documents from familiar firms.
Gardaí say its vital perspective tenants speak with other occupants to ensure the person letting the property is the actual owner as in some incidents last year people had paid deposits but when the tenant arrived to occupy the unit the person was gone.
They say it’s best not to hand over cash and where possible use a bank transfer.
Accommodation Experts say there are a number of additional ways to protect yourself against the swindlers.
Deposits are standard once a contract has been signed.
They say look at listings that use the same photographs and those that have none.
Check to see if the property is comparable to others in the area, by price and quality.
Visit the property you intend to rent. Check the landlord is registered with the PRTB.
Be wary of landlords who ask for money to be wired through western union this should only be done with someone you know and trust.

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