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Best tips to detect and deal with scammers in housing!

Last time Flattrust talked about “How to find a room in Maastricht?” to answer some general questions for people who have just begun to search for rooms. Today, we will discuss one of the most important issues in room search, which are scams and frauds. Although Flattrust has mentioned this issue in our Facebook posts before, we find it necessary to write a clear and fully informative article about this, so that you can protect yourself from these situations.

An example of scams

Yesterday, Flattrust saw a post on the most crowded housing group in Maastricht (Rooms/Kamer/Zimmer Maastricht). This girl reported a case of a person named Jason Scoth Luther. This person offers her a room but asks her to transfer the deposit. The strange thing is he said he worked in England but the bank account address is in Istanbul.

From our experience, this is a typical case of scammers. These people steal others’ personal information like passports, bank account information, pictures and Facebook accounts. Then they create posts in several housing groups (in different cities) with the same caption. The trick that they use here is asking tenants to contact them via email so that they can flexibly change or delete the Facebook account and no ones can track them. Moreover, they ask tenants to transfer money through Western Union which is very low in security and safety.

What kinds of scams are there?

From what we observe, there are 2 kinds of scams: Direct contact and via websites. Direct contact scams are similar to the case above where there is a person scamming by asking you to send him/her the deposit to receive the keys. Scams via websites are the cases that fake housing websites are built, asking people to register and pay an amount of fee to arrange a viewing. This is even more dangerous because a fee is already popular for housing websites and agencies (like Maastricht Housing and Kamernet), but the difference here is when people pay the fee for these fake websites, their money will be gone and no viewing will be arranged.

Some tips for dealing with scams

– Search the user or the caption on Facebook to see whether they have posted it the same somewhere else.

– Contact them, ask for pictures and A VIEWING (both online via Skype or in person is okay). If they reject it for a reason like they are abroad and want you to send them an amount of deposit first, their address is in the UK but the bank account is in Italy for example. IT’S A CLEAR SIGN OF SCAMS. So be aware.

– Don’t think that you can suit the person because he sends you his passport, bank statement, address, and contract with a signature. Because those documents can be fake or stolen from innocent people. Therefore, don’t transfer the money (especially via Western Union) under any circumstances.

– Stay away from fake or unknown housing websites. You can ask people in the housing group to check whether the website is real or not.

– Stay away from all the spam comments that appear firstly under your post.

For more information and questions, you can visit our website or inbox our Facebook page, we will answer your questions as soon as possible.

Have a nice day.

15 thoughts on “Best tips to detect and deal with scammers in housing!

  • Hi,

    Jason Scoth Luther has just tried to rent a house (!) to my daughter, in Leiden. He is a busy boy. Wanted 500 euros per month and said he was currently working in Manchester. Sounds like the same person.

    • Yes, we think he’s the same person. And definitely a scammer. We hope your daughter stay away from this fake house.

    • I believe that same person tried to scam me, under the name of Jonathan Alan Bell, also asking for 500 eur for an amazing apartment. Be careful!

      • Hey, the same guy is just trying to get a deposit for an apartment from me!! I would really appreciate it if you could let me know exactly what he told you? Thank you!

  • Hi everyone
    Man with name Jason Scoth luther scammed me 850 € for new flat in Berlin .
    Also his Lawyer have Istanbul bank That’s the big lekcion for me and big Advice for us . Don’t send money.

  • jason scoth luther is currently trying to scam me for a flat in berlin.

    “Thanks for your interest
    I am the owner of the Flat,I formally reside in the Flat with
    kids,before I was transferred to Manchester due to my work.It is fully furnished but we can get it unfurnished for you if you prefer that.Below is the details of the flat before we proceed.Flat address: Willibald-Alexis-Straße 26, 10965 Berlin, Germany
    Rent:€1000 per month all bills included Security deposit:€1200 refundable after your stay in the flat.Minimum Stay: 1 Month(s) Maximum stay:1 yr with the option of extending the contract after 12 months Flat amenities:TV ,CD – DVD – Video,Radio,High-speed Internet with WiFi,Washing Machine ,dryer, gas central Heating, iron and Ironing, board,Gascooker,oven,Electric.Kettle,Toaster,Dishwasher,Refrigerator,Microwave ,garage for just one car e.t.c.Please, i want you to note that i am a kind and honest person,also i spent a lot of money on my property that i want to rent out. Am soliciting for your absolute maintenance of this Flat and want you to treat it as your own,I hope you understand that!!.I want you to keep it clean and tidy always and I will be glad if you are able to fulfill that at the end of your stay in my flat,that is the reason i decided making the rent affordable..Can you kindly answer these following questions: Where are you currently located and what are your full names?
    Your nationality?
    Your profession?
    How long have you been renting ?
    Let me know how soon you are willing to move in, as I am deciding soon on who to lease my flat to.
    Thanks “”

    Beware.

  • I have the same problem with Jonathan Alan Bell aswell. He promised me to rent his flat in Amsterdam for 500 euros and I luckily enough I didn’t trust him. Be aware

    • Hello there, I have been contacted by the same person for a flat in Maastricht!! Could you please let me know exactly what he sent to you in the email? Thank you!

  • This person is certainly busy. He has looooots of apartments. Never pay anything without having contract and keys in hand. And who the hell addresses himself as Mr… His email is jallanpeter@outlook.com but he calls himself Bell Jonathan Alan. Where did the Peter come from? :p

    Hi,

    I am very pleased with your response and I am willing to rent out the flat to you and have you as my tenant. The pictures reflects the most current condition of the apartment. The flat is available now cause i recently moved out of the flat to Manchester for work. At the moment, there are no other tenant in the property. I have no problem with you welcoming visitors in the flat as all i require is that i do not want my apartment to be overcrowded cause some tenants abuse that privilege in the past when given to them. You will be renting the whole flat and living there alone. You will not be sharing the living room, kitchen, bathroom with anyone. I have the keys of the apartment with me here and I did not register it under any private agency. The size of the apartment is 60m^2. There is a on street parking permit available and you can bring in your own furniture and the ones you don’t like in the flat will be kept in the storage.

    My name is Bell Jonathan Alan. I’m a British citizen born and raised in Sheffield. A construction engineer by profession and I am currently working on a construction project here in Manchester. I travel a lot due to the nature of my job. I’m 53 years old. I decided to make the rent cheap and affordable because i do not want to leave the flat empty while I’m away so i need someone who can take care of it for me as my tenant.

    I will love to know if you will be willing to reserve the flat before your move in date. Therefore, if you want to secure and reserve the flat, my Lawyer would need to draft an Assured Shorthold Tenancy Agreement which you will print, sign and email back to me  the signed copy.

    After all these is done, you will be making a payment of the refundable security deposit to secure and reserve the flat for you till your move in date and get your papers ready. Once the payment is confirmed, I will let you know when I will be available cause I will have to take a day off work so I can meet you and take you to the apartment then hand over the keys of the flat to you then you can pay me one month rent. The payment of the deposit will be guaranteed by both parties sharing a copy of our passport to secure the deal.

    I bet you will enjoy your stay in my flat as long as you keep and abide to my rules and keep the flat neat and tidy.

    Regards,
    Mr. Alan
    +447451215036

    ======================

    Hi,

    Thanks for your interest in my spacious one bedroom flat. I formally live in the apartment with my family before I was transferred to Manchester for work. It is still available for rent which is located at Wurzerstraße 16, 80539 München, Germany. The pictures reflects the most current condition of the flat and you can stay in my property as long as you pay your rent at when due. Here are the necessary things you need to know about the rent and  security deposit. Rent per month is €500 for the flat all bills inclusive { water, gas, council tax, TV license and wireless Internet} also Security deposit of €600 protected by the Tenancy Deposit Protection Scheme and it’s refundable after end of your stay in my property. It is available for both short and long term.

    Please, i want you to note that i am a kind and honest person, also i spent a lot of money on my property that i want to rent out. Am soliciting for your absolute maintenance of this property and want you to treat it as your own, I hope you understand that!!. I want you to keep it clean and tidy always and I will be glad if you are able to fulfil that at the end of your stay in my property, that is the reason i decided making the rent affordable..

    However, i need to know some details about you.
    Can you keep my property clean and tidy?
    Where are you currently located and what are your full names?
    Your nationality?
    Your profession?
    How many of you will be living in the flat?
    How long have you been renting?
    The property is new and all the facilities present are all new so i am looking for a responsible and clean tenant.
    I am reliable and open. If anything is wrong in the flat, I make sure the problem is quickly rectified. The property is furnished but i can make it unfurnished or part furnished if prefer.

    Let me know if you have any question or request.

    Regards,
    Mr. Alan

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