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    • LeytonJonPaget
    • By LeytonJonPaget 12th Oct 18, 12:33 PM
    • 2Posts
    • 4Thanks
    Is this a scam?
    • #1
    • 12th Oct 18, 12:33 PM
    Is this a scam? 12th Oct 18 at 12:33 PM
    My sister recently applied to rent a flat, and a lot of things don't really seem to add up:

    • The person letting the property said that this is because she is going to America for a year and is looking for someone to look after her stuff while she is away.
    • The only paperwork she has received about the property so far is a generic looking "application form", asking questions like whether or not she smokes or has any pets, to gauge her eligibility for the property, which was accepted straight away.
    • They have now asked for a payment of 500 to be made to their attourney/lawyer in the USA via Western Union to obtain a reference number (MTCN), which "will be used in the shipping process after finishing the documentation", after which the keys and flat documents will be sent to her via 24 hour courier. In earlier e-mails, they have said that this 500 consists of a 250 security deposit and 250 part payment of rent, and that this will be protected under the Tenancy Deposit Scheme.

    The fact that they are asking her to pay upfront via Western Union without having signed any paperwork makes me question the authenticity of this. However, I only have experience renting a flat through a letting agency, and so I am unable to say for certain whether or not this is normal.

    Any advice? I will provide any other details I can, but I didn't want to copy-paste the e-mail correspondence here because I'm not 100% sure if that's against the forum's policy or not.
Page 2
    • tealady
    • By tealady 13th Oct 18, 4:47 PM
    • 3,061 Posts
    • 3,956 Thanks
    That is hilarious!
    Proud to be an MSE nerd
    Judge people by their achievements, not by their mistakes
    • robatwork
    • By robatwork 14th Oct 18, 10:40 AM
    • 5,178 Posts
    • 5,978 Thanks
    • troffasky
    • By troffasky 16th Oct 18, 12:43 PM
    • 154 Posts
    • 86 Thanks
    there are times when statements can be immediately dismissed as scams - the OP's situation being an obvious example, and there are other times when statements should be considered for whether they are true but are simply a case of someone knows more than I do and scepticism should be given the benefit of the doubt until you've read up on it - so, welcome to the non resident landlord scheme :
    Originally posted by 00ec25

    Well I never. I've been lurking in this forum for a decade or so and don't recall ever seeing a thread where a tenant has been caught out by this. I don't recall ever seeing a rental listing where this is mentioned either.
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