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2nd of September, 2015

Students top targets for rental scammers.

192.com helps students protect themselves from rental fraud

  • As university starts students are targeted by bogus landlords.
  • One in five students would hand over money to a landlord without doing any checks.
  • 192.com is protecting students by offering a discounted Property Report.

With thousands of students heading off to university in the next few weeks and with most finding themselves living away from home for the first time 192.com is helping students protect themselves against falling victim to a dodgy landlord or rental scam by providing offering all students looking to rent a property a discount on a Property Report.

The Property Report prevents fraud by providing details such as owner information, the tittle registration, floor plans, photos, and rental valuations of the property and the area making sure students have all the information before renting. Meaning fraudsters who exploit the lack of rental accommodation and inexperience of first time renters can be easily protected against.

192.com's offer follows their trust survey in which they found that one in five students would hand over cash for a property without doing any checks on the landlord, property or agent.

In addition to its Property Report 192.com has compiled a list of the most common rental fraud scams so students know what to look for:

Most common rental scams:

  • Let and Run - Where con artists break into empty properties and then rent them out as their own. Unsuspecting tenants hand over large sums of money as a deposit and rent, at which point the con artists disappear.
  • Receipt Rip Off - A con artist will ask for money to be wired as a sign of good faith that a tenant is committed to letting a property. The landlord will ask that funds are wired to the tenant's friend or relative to demonstrate they can afford the property. They ask for proof of receipt and then withdraw the funds using the transfer details.
  • Complete liability - Rogues will ask renters to pay more rent each month instead of a deposit and at the end of the tenancy give this extra money back. This doesn't happen and fraudsters pocket the extra cash.

Dominic Blackburn Product director of 192.com commented; "Fraudsters are expert at presenting a credible front for their activities, don't be fooled by appearances, before handing over money or bank details make sure the person and organisation is genuine and take control of your ID check."

How to avoid rental scams:

  • Never hand over cash to a landlord until you have been given his or her name and a UK contact address. Then use 192.com check if they are who they say by checking out a name and address against 27 million edited electoral roll records. A Property Report will also give you the owner's information so you are able to compare the details.
  • Verify a letting company's name and business address. Utilise 4.5 million business listings on 192.com to check the company exists.
  • Be sure the property exists, if you are renting without having seen the property first then look on Google Street View and check it exists. Download a Property Report from 192.com and get all the property information including owner's details and rental estimates.
  • See if the property is already occupied: use 192.com find out whom the current/last occupant is or was and see how long they have lived there.

Remember it is better to be careful and invest in a Property Report if you have any doubts that be scammed by a rogue landlord.

Students can get a 20% discount by visiting (link)

For further information contact:

Simon Kelman, 192.com, 0207 909 2151

About 192.com

192.com is the UK's most awarded online directory, helping find people, businesses and places for over 10million users a month. On 192.com, users can search over 700 million records including free directory enquiries, edited electoral roll information, local business listings, interactive mapping, aerial photography and property reports.