We noticed that you're using an unsupported browser. The TripAdvisor website may not display properly.
We support the following browsers:
Windows: Internet Explorer, Mozilla Firefox, Google Chrome. Mac: Safari.

rental scams!

Which London hotels are on sale?
dd/mm/yyyy dd/mm/yyyy
See hotels
New York City, New...
Level Contributor
25 posts
Save Topic
rental scams!

I've been looking at short lets in London and have came across 3 definite scammers. Of course I haven't fallen victim to those scams, and I'm getting in contacts with people I know personally for rentals. But these scammers are so transparent and I'm wondering if there's a way to report them? I even have the person's full name, address and complete bank details because he blatantly wants me to wire money. The other two I have their phone numbers and their seemingly legit websites and they're shamelessly requesting to make deposits. What is my best option to act against them?

96 replies to this topic
Vancouver, Canada
Destination Expert
for London
Level Contributor
54,618 posts
15 reviews
Save Reply
1. Re: rental scams!

The best option is not to book with them, as you have done. Should a scam website be taken off line, a similar site will probably appear within 48 hours, as the moral-free people who create them have no compunction about continuing their efforts to separate people from their money.

There isn't much that can be done except to do one's due diligence and make no agreement to book with a website that claims to offer flats in Knightsbridge for £300 a week. If they're ignored the villains may tire of a losing game and quit, hopefully sooner rather than later.

London, UK
Level Contributor
7,040 posts
209 reviews
Save Reply
2. Re: rental scams!

Scams can be reported on www.consumerdirect.gov.uk This is generally an advice site and they do not take action themselves but do collate the information and pass it on to the authorities that can.

Upminster, United...
Level Contributor
11,284 posts
36 reviews
Save Reply
3. Re: rental scams!

I even have the;

person's full name - I doubt that that is a real name

address - Definitely fake or you could offer to send a cheque and see what they say.

complete bank details because he blatantly wants me to wire money - If you have their bank details why would they ask you to wire money, you could just transfer it electronically

The other two I have their phone numbers - Are they 070.... numbers which redirect your call to another phone and therefore the end phone becomes untraceable.

their seemingly legit websites - They will only have been registered for the minimum amount of time and will be gone tomorrow.

Hitchin, United...
Level Contributor
8,322 posts
42 reviews
Save Reply
4. Re: rental scams!

Yup, Mr Cellophane's right. You don't have:

"the person's full name, address and complete bank details"

You have a fake name, a fake address, and the bank details of a third person, otherwise known as a mule.

This is why scams are perpetually succesful, there is no risk to the person committing them.

If you're really into your scam fighting, join 419eater and learn how to report a mule bank account, you'll be doing some good eventually. But the made up address and name are no good to any law enforcement agency, regardless of country.

Arlington, Virginia
Level Contributor
25 posts
25 reviews
Save Reply
5. Re: rental scams!

I actually was not aware of these rental scams until I have started looking for summer rentals on Craigs List. The following are scams that I came across: anything by Lawrence Shawn, Tiffany Wilson (as a reference) WV Homes, Luxury City Rentals, Page London Bookings (with an extensive website) , Holiday Rentals,-. Having contacted all of the above, I noted similar pictures, money wire transfer instructions, apartment descriptions, reference names. Fortunately I did not send money, but naively I actually did not even know of these rental scams until I did some research this week.

Bingley, United...
Destination Expert
for Edinburgh
Level Contributor
31,664 posts
Save Reply
6. Re: rental scams!

If Craigslist is involved then the chances of a scam are high

Arlington, Virginia
Level Contributor
25 posts
25 reviews
Save Reply
7. Re: rental scams!

I have used Craigs List for two apartments in Paris and have never had problems, but I agree, more risky than reputable--particularly it appears for London.

London, United...
Level Contributor
2,809 posts
1 review
Save Reply
8. Re: rental scams!

I would suggest that everyone reads the "Do's and Don'ts for short term flat rental in London" at the top of the first page is this forum. Two rules seem to apply, never send any money by Wire and if it is too good to be true, it probably is.

Perth, Australia
6 posts
Save Reply
9. Re: rental scams!

Has anyone used

Mr David Bale

44-0808-189-0815

HOLIDAY RENTAL MANAGEMENT SERVICES LIMITED

enquiry@homeandaway-rentals.co.uk

www.homeandaway-rentals.co.uk

We are travelling to the UK soon and were about to book when I read these posting and now am too scared to book anything.

Hitchin, United...
Level Contributor
8,322 posts
42 reviews
Save Reply
10. Re: rental scams!

Free packing space! £92 for Mayfair? A VOIP phone line? Walk away, that's a scammer.

There's a thread somewhere today where TexScott has helpfully listed trustworthy London rental sites, I'll see if I can find it.

Reply to: rental scams!
Get notified by e-mail when a reply is posted