No, we’re not in trouble :) I was recently invited, along with representatives from City of London Police, to discuss "fake landlord" rental fraud on BBC One’s Crimewatch Roadshow.
I spoke a bit about my own experience as a victim to this type of scam (which you can read more about here). I also got the opportunity to share a bit about the work we’re doing at RentProfile to bring about a more transparent safer rental sector.
You can see the clip below. It was live TV and I won’t lie it was nerve-wracking! I’m pleased that we were given this platform to help raise awareness, and by speaking up I hope that it reduces the stigma sometimes associated when fraud like this happens, as many cases go unreported.
If you have been a victim of a rental scam you’re not alone. Our research found that 5% of all UK renters have at one time been scammed from fake landlords or agents, typically through free listing sites.
How to avoid being scammed
We recommend that you ask the landlord to setup a free Landlord Profile, so that you can have confidence they are who they say they are, before you transfer any money. In doing so a genuine landlord will also help protect themselves from being impersonated by somebody else.
Thank you to the BBC and Crimewatch Roadshow team.