Almost got taken in a scam - whew!
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  1. #1
    Registered User Dutchie's Avatar
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    Default Almost got taken in a scam - whew!

    As some of you know, our daughter will be moving to London in a few weeks. She has been really looking and looking for accommodation but it is VERY difficult to find something affordable in a suitable area.
    She found a couple which seemed really great. Expensive - but what isn't in London? Anyhow, we all got involved and were looking and corresponding and it all seemed above board.
    We had said that we would be in London this coming Sunday, Monday and Tuesday to view any potential properties. These people wouldn't even come to the property without us sending money beforehand via Western Union which they saw as a guarantee that we were 'good' for the money.

    My dh said that it was probably safe to do because they needed a password to access the money but I had the 'neck hairs on my neck moment' about it and said that it couldn't be right. We replied that we would bring cash (of course we wouldn't but we would make sure that we could get to money if necessary) if the accommodation was suitable.
    They wouldn't hear of it and refused to do business with us.

    We have since joined a on-line (free) site for rooms and the first thing that they mention is NEVER EVER TRANSFER MONEY VIA WESTERN UNION - IT IS A SCAM. It seems that these people have found a way to access the money without you ever being shown an appartment.
    Whew!!!
    We have also hired an agency (60 pounds but we all feel it is a good investment since the free site isn't giving back much feedback).
    The agency will make the appointments for us at appropriate and safe and approved flats and the landlords are all aproved and trustworthy.

  2. #2
    Registered User Momto5RN's Avatar
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    scary- and for me safety comes first and i am sure that 60 pounds will be well worth it in the long run !

  3. #3
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    close call! Glad you caught it.

    Can you report the place or people?

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  5. #4
    Registered User The Muse's Avatar
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    I'm so glad you caught it! Moving to a new country is difficult.

    I recently moved from the US to Denmark, I own a flat on the first floor of the building, the guy who owns upstairs told me I have to pay him 500 DKK/month for electricity, but then yesterday, I got an electric bill. I've already given him 1000 DKK and now I have to sort that out.

    You have to be so careful.

  6. #5
    Registered User mek42's Avatar
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    Always listen to those neckhairs.

    Also, a good rule of thumb is that if the advertising and marketing seems overdone, it probably needs more due diligence.

  7. #6
    Registered User savvy_sniper's Avatar
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    Anything involving Western Union with persons unknown is NOT good. I am glad you listened to your gut.

  8. #7
    Registered User britbunny's Avatar
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    Goodness, well done for listening to your gut feeling. I have heard about this kind of thing happening with student houses too, always a chancer out there.

  9. #8
    Registered User Dutchie's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Russ View Post
    close call! Glad you caught it.

    Can you report the place or people?
    I asked about this and it seems that Western Union (at least in the UK it seems) places the burden of security in these things with the individuals.
    It seems that some people are pretty naive and that they are so desperate to get accommodation that they will do almost anything.
    So when the crooks tell them to send money via Western Union and then ask for a copy of the transfer (NEVER EVER DO THIS), these people do it. They then lose their money because with the transfer slip and a fake ID the money can be accessed.
    It has been reported many times but because Western Union warns not to hand over the transfer slip to anyone but Western Union when retrieving the money, they say that they don't have any liability. At least this is the story that I heard from the agency today and is also present on the free website that we have been using for the accom.

  10. #9
    Registered User Syn D's Avatar
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    Those scams are going on everywhere, not just for living space .. Thankfully you went with your gut/neck feelings.. Many people have fallen for them, usually the elderly..

  11. #10
    Registered User Englishlady's Avatar
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    Always listen to your gut instinct it won't let you down

    I hope you get something sorted out that is suitable.

    If you get chance and you have any contact details it might be worth reporting these people to the police.

  12. #11
    Registered User frugalfranny's Avatar
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    That was a close one dutchie............glad you didn't do it.

    Agree........I would question anything with WU.

    Hope the company comes through with a living place!

  13. #12
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    What i got told is at the moment you get a call on your mobile THEY said they are an engineer doing a test please press 90### what ever it is ...DONT this means "they can access your phone and make calls with it PLEASE TAKE CARE BRITS

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