Warning for cheat ads on FB

Since the demand for housing is much greater than the supply, there are fraudsters who take advantage of the housing shortage. This applies mainly in the big cities, but also increasingly in small municipalities with long housing queues for rental apartments. The most common way for scammers is to post an ad on a housing site or on Facebook. It can happen via a fake Facebook account or email address with the intention of deceiving people.

Students in Brisbane are facing the false ads issue more often. Because of the demand for student accommodation in Brisbane.

There are a couple of decent Student accommodation providers in Brisbane. Google them and approach through the website contact form. For ex: I found Campus lodge while googling for student accommodation. Which is top-rated and offering high-quality & affordable student accommodation in the heart of UQ.

Now let’s jump on the false ads identification.

This is how you see through the scam

By creating a fake ad, on a housing page or on Facebook, international fraudsters often try to find potential victims. Sometimes the ads are written in English, but it can also be an ad that has previously been advertised for, for example, sales that they reuse (without the owner of the home knowing, of course) because then they get both a nice picture and a good text that come along. If an ad has a combination of attractive addresses, a cheap rental, and a low deposit, you need to be extra careful. This is the type of ad that fraudsters place.

It is often an automated e-mail or pm that is sent out to many people at the same time where you receive an exclusive offer about the home, at the same time as the person asks for so-called “viewing compensation” or wants you to quickly transfer money to get the contract, even though you have not seen the home. Then you should pull your ears to yourself. Double check the phone number and address. Do a quick image search on Google.

Image search

You can use multiple image search programs to see if the image is stolen. If you have Chrome as your browser, simply right-clicking on the image to see if it appears elsewhere on the web. Fraudsters often copy images from various sites and blog articles, so if you do an image search, you can quickly see through most of the cheat ads. Many times it is a condominium advertisement that is copied and posted as a second-hand advertisement.

Does the person exist in the ad?

If it’s on Facebook, check to see if the profile may be fake. You can read more about how to do this later in the article. Often there is a phone number in the ad, so check if the number and name in the ad match. 

Pay first, sign a contract later

Does the advertiser want an advance payment in the form of a monthly rent or deposit? Sometimes advertisers want to pay to show the apartment, and then you really have to suspect that something is wrong, no matter what excuse they have. You should never, NEVER ,  never pay before you have signed a contract and have gained access to the home.

How should the payment be made?

If it is done through various anonymous payment services and not through a bank, or that the landlord wants the money to be sent abroad, you should be careful. It will be almost impossible for you to prove that you paid, and to claim money back if you made your payment anonymously.

Can the advertiser rent out?

Leasing is always required for subletting. Find out if the advertiser has the right to rent out the home. If the person is not allowed to rent out, he risks losing his contract – and this also means that you must move immediately. If it is a condominium, you can contact the condominium association, and if it is a tenancy, you can contact the property owner. When you get to the show, there are more things to check:

Contact the property owner

If you have not checked it out before, you can see in the stairwell who is the  property owner and who you can contact to check that the apartment can be rented out.

Does the person live at the address?

What does it say on the door / mailbox? Can he or she show a rental contract and permission to rent out?

Always ask for play

Require to see identification on the advertiser. Of course, this is not a 100% guarantee, but it still reduces the risk of fraud in obtaining personal information from the landlord.

Ask for help and support

Bring a friend to the show who can help you make an objective decision and possibly discover more warning signs. It can also help you feel more confident in the viewing.

Hurry, hurry, hurry

Is the landlord trying to stress you out to raise money? Then you should go back.