The South African Police Service in the Mount Road Cluster is warning students to be wary when looking for accommodation to rent. The warning is issued after a person was scammed when responding to an online advertisement.
It is alleged that an 18 year old teenager applied for student accommodation after viewing an advertisement on a well-known internet site. The student contacted the person in the advertisement and a deposit of R3500 was deposited into the person’s account in order to secure the accommodation. Photos of the place was also sent to the complainant. On 10 January 2017, the complainant went to view the place only to discover that the Summerstrand address supplied, does not exist. Further communication between the complainant and the ‘lessor’ proved futile.
During this time of the year, fraudsters are aware that many students will be looking for accommodation and they will take full advantage of the vulnerable. Police also advise people looking for property to rent to be extremely cautious when responding to online rental advertisements. Do not ever pay the deposit or rent for a place you haven’t seen for yourself. Make sure that you are dealing with the correct people, such as registered estate agents. Students are advised not to deposit any money without having solid proof of guaranteed accommodation.
Police are investigating a case of Fraud.