Fighting Housing Scams
We are responding to an increasing level of housing scams targeted at students seeking accomodation
In summer of 2014, the SRC Advice Centre were concerned to see a number of both home and International students who had been scammed via online accommodation adverts. In most cases, the property didn’t exist and/or the “landlord” had asked for money up front; sometimes to be paid into overseas bank accounts, which could never be recovered by the student.
The Police were notified and our evidence passed on although it is difficult to pursue these cases. To alert future students, a new leaflet on Housing scams was printed and also published on the website – Top 10 tips for avoiding Housing Scams.
We strengthened our advisory note to students on the SRC’s Flatshare website, made sure International Student Support in the University were aware of this issue, gave out leaflets at the Accommodation Options Forum in February 2015 and highlighted it in our Housing Workshop for International students in March 2015, and provided the leaflet and web information to the University’s Recruitment and International Office in April 2015 for them to forward to incoming students.