scams and fraud when using flatfinder
from china, nigeria,
uk, and more
don't ever send any money to people overseas.
also, be aware that if people overseas may try to send you stolen money.
there is a common scam which uses hacked bank accounts. generally they will send you funds, claim that they sent too much and ask you to use western union or wire transfer to send them back funds. your bank will then reverse the original transaction, leaving you out of pocket.
our users have received email requests to send money with
western union to nigeria / china / UK etc, BEFORE
being allowed to view a flat in new zealand. the scammer,
usually from a yahoo.com or yahoo.co.uk address, then tries
to convince the user that he is away for various reasons (claiming
he is an evangelist or reverend, or is on work placement or
working for a charity etc) and will DHL the keys to them on
receipt of a deposit.
a complete scam. NOBODY ever requires payment of a deposit
up front before allowing you to view their flat.
can sidestep would-be scammers by following these common-sense
DEAL LOCALLY WITH FOLKS YOU CAN MEET IN PERSON - follow
this one simple rule and you will avoid 99% of the scam attempts
on the internet.
NEVER WIRE FUNDS VIA WESTERN UNION, MONEYGRAM or any other
wire service - anyone who asks you to do so is a scammer.
FAKE CASHIER CHECKS, TRAVELLERS CHEQUES & MONEY ORDERS
ARE COMMON, and BANKS WILL CASH THEM AND THEN HOLD YOU RESPONSIBLE
when the fake is discovered weeks later.
NEVER GIVE OUT FINANCIAL INFORMATION (bank account number,
social security number, ebay/paypal info, etc.)
AVOID DEALS INVOLVING SHIPPING OR ESCROW SERVICES (third
parties that hold your funds before releasing to the scammer,
these escrow services are usually run by the scammers themselves).
involve one or more of the following:
enquiry from someone far away, often in another country
western union, money gram, cashier's check, travellers
cheques, money order, shipping, escrow service, or a "guarantee"
inability or refusal to meet face-to-face before consummating
someone requests wire service payment via western union or
scam "bait" items include cheap apartment, laptops, plasma
TVs, cell phones, tickets - but could be almost anything
often claim that an MTCN or confirmation code is needed
before he can withdraw your money - this is FALSE,
once you've wired money, it is GONE.
common countries currently include: nigeria, china, romania,
united kingdom, ukraine, spain, italy, netherlands - but
could be anywhere
apartment listing may be local, but landlord/owner is
"travelling" or "relocating" and needs you to wire money to
deal often seems too good to be true, price is too low,
rent is below market, etc. you may use google image search to search the provided photos. if the listing has photos with it, a quick tip is to use google image search, as generally scammers have sourced their photos from other ads on craigslist, uk, australia or nigeria. google image search will bring back any matching images allowing you to verify if the images have simply been lifted from another property ad overseas.
person offers to send you a money order, travellers cheques
etc and then asks you to wire money back to them via money
is ALWAYS a scam, in our experience - the cashier's
check or travellers cheque is FAKE
accompanies an offer of merchandise, sometimes not
often asks for your name, address, etc for printing on the
deal often seems too good to be true
suspect an ad is fraudulent, please contact
us and forward us the link of the fraudulent ad and we
will remove it.
examples of recent scams and learn to recognise them
to recognise the elements of fraud
also read the following warnings and
examples if you have placed an ad online, so that you
are aware incase a fraudster tries to contact you.
here to see the latest flatfinder scammer warning facebook
to add a warning about a possible scammer? email