Agent detects illegal rental scam

A rental agent told the BBC he spotted illegal rental scams using online platforms, but the police chose not to act.

The BBC investigation found that a tenant, Mary Whitbread from Bournemouth, lost around £ 3,000 after paying a deposit and fees – only to find that the property shown to her had in fact been squatted and did not belong to the fake agent. take his money.

Phil Skorochod of the Bournemouth branch of Martin & Co said the problem has become widespread with ads copied from legitimate agency websites and posted to Airbnb or other online platforms.

“We desperately tried to involve the police, they did nothing,” Skorochod explains.

“They don’t take details, they don’t go out, they don’t check people. They refuse to get involved, ”he continues.

Dorset Police, in response, told the BBC the issue had been referred to Action Fraud, the national fraud reporting center.

It’s a fairly familiar story to many agents, but the issue at least now has a national audience and the agent is rightly shown trying to identify fraud at the source and prevent scams – if the criminals can be caught early enough.

You can see the story and the video for yourself, here.

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