Gardaí warn renters after victims lose thousands of euro to scams

ireland
Gardaí Warn Renters After Victims Lose Thousands Of Euro To Scams Gardaí Warn Renters After Victims Lose Thousands Of Euro To Scams
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Eoghan Dalton

A number of renters have fallen victim to a scam resulting in the loss of thousands of euro.

Gardaí in the south-east are investigating several incidents of fraud whereby people paid deposits and rent advances for accommodation, with the amount in each case amounting to €2,158.

It comes as lockdown restrictions on property viewings have been lifted, but Sgt Brendan Roche, crime prevention officer in Co Waterford, said some examples have been where people were "trusting virtual tours without any physical access" to the properties.

"People are offering properties that they have no connection at all to", he added.

"At the moment we're urging people, don't part with your money easily. People are just taking a chance and I suppose when they find themselves queueing for a property that's just come up for rent there's a sense of urgency right away.

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"It's hard to say that to someone who might be under pressure for accommodation, but the message is simple: they can't access your account until you give them the details."

Two of the cases took place in Co Waterford on Monday according to gardaí, while it is understood a number of others have also taken place in Co Kilkenny and Co Carlow this week.

No arrests have been made and investigations are ongoing by gardaí from the Waterford, Kilkenny and Carlow Division.

Garda Peter McKinnon, urged people to inspect the property in advance of handing over their money, warning that holiday rental properties may also be used by fraudsters.

"Again, we urge people to fully check out the authenticity of advertisements for rental accommodation and to check out the property in advance of handing over or depositing money," he said.

"Appropriate checks should be carried to ensure that the person renting the property is authorised to do so. We ask that people who have properties to rent use fully licensed letting agents who are licensed under the Property Services Regulatory Authority (PRSA)."

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