Gardaí are warning people about an online scam in Kilkenny where the culprit falsely advertised a city centre property for rent.
In the rental scam, the scam artist, using the name ‘Hannah’, was falsely advertising the apartment on social media and was looking for two months rent as well as a deposit upfront for substantially below the market price.
Exploiting the high demand for housing here, it is the latest in a spate of scams that have seen Kilkenny people being duped out of over €10,000 in a matter of weeks. Phone, text and email scams are circulating with five people having reported incidents of economic fraud to Kilkenny gardaí this month.
“The two-bedroom apartment was offered for rent for €600 per month including all bills and parking,” gardaí told the Kilkenny People.
“There was an address and eircode in the post and photographs which are clearly not those of the property at the address given,” a garda spokesperson said.
The person purporting to rent the property asked the enquiring person to provide details of their job status, number of tenants and the date of rental and communication was exchanged.
The scam artist then told the interested party that they were charging below the market value because of Covid and people having more financial challenges. Communication ceased and the matter was reported to gardaí.
Gardaí are advising people to never agree to rent a property through a website or social media and to always visit the property in person. Furthermore cash should never be used as it cannot be traced and people should not transfer funds through electronic transfer services until you are fully satisfied with the property and the authenticity of the owner.
“These rental type scams are more prevalent at this time of year as students return to college and the lack of supply in the rental market.”
Meanwhile a number of people have reported having monies unknowingly transferred from their accounts after providing fraudsters with their personal details in recent weeks.
Gardaí are urging people to never click on a link in an unsolicited email or text or to give out personal details over the phone.
“If you are in doubt, hang up and ring back on a trusted number, the number of the company that they are purporting to be from. Often these scams purport to be from financial institutions and phone and internet companies,” added the garda spokesperson.
For more information or to report any fraud or suspected scam contact Kilkenny gardaí on (056) 777 5000.
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