The deposit up front for non existent property scam


If you are booking a property via the internet you need to be very careful about this.  Apparently there has been an increase in criminals copying (or 'scraping') genuine property portals and website to advertise non existent properties.

They then ask for a deposit up front.  Needless to say, you then find that the property does not exist and you have lost the money.  


Tenants: NEVER pay a deposit for a property you have not seen.  If it is not possible for you to view the property in advance, make sure that the agent is regulated (for example you can check up on ARLA agents via the ARLA website), and ask for documents such as gas certificates etc up front. 

But the best advice is not to pay anything until either you yourself, or perhaps a friend or relative, have actually visited the property.  Although even then you want to watch out for bogus landlords.

This scan is becoming so prevalent that the Metropolitan Police now have a website >> here as do Action Fraud >> here.



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