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Friday, February 23, 2024

Beware of Online Rental Scams: Two students lost Rs 13 lakh in London

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Eason Lee and a friend were scammed into paying over Rs 13 lakh for a two-bedroom apartment in London. The incident highlights the growing issue of rental fraud in Britain…

Eason Lee, 22, and a buddy were victims of a complex rental scam in London, which cost them more than Rs 13 lakh. It was a traumatic affair.Lee was deceived by an OpenRent listing for a two-bedroom flat in Stratford, east London, while desperately trying to locate home in the competitive London rental market.

He had no notion the crooks had posed as a real company. Lee used Booking.com to access the unit and felt he had a legal booking. Lee and his friend paid six months’ rent ahead and five weeks’ rent as a deposit after visiting the residence and received what looked to be authentic contracts and bills. After receiving a panicking OpenRent email, their hopes were shattered.

They tried to contact the agent but failed, leaving them without the property’s keys. During this unpleasant time, Lee ran into further victims who had fell for similar frauds.

Realizing the seriousness of the situation, Lee reported the scam to their bank, OpenRent, and later to Action Fraud, the organization in charge of receiving allegations of fraud and cybercrime. Lee was advised by Action Fraud that their case will go through a rigorous 28-day review, which can result in a detailed investigation by the Metropolitan Police.

This instance highlights the growing problem of rental fraud in the UK, which, according to data from Action Fraud, had a 23% increase in reported incidents between 2021 and 2022. The regrettable incident serves as a sobering lesson, stressing the significance of careful verification and legal documentation before making any monetary obligations, especially in uncharted territory. In order to prevent being a victim of such scams, it is imperative for Indians traveling overseas to exercise attention. Scammers frequently prey on foreign visitors who are unfamiliar with the local rental laws.

Conclusion 

Eason Lee, 22, and a friend were victims of a rental scam in London that cost them over Rs 13 lakh. Lee and his friend were duped by a listing for a two-bedroom apartment in Stratford, east London, on OpenRent. They paid a large upfront payment and a deposit, but were left without the property’s keys. The scam was reported to their bank, OpenRent, and Action Fraud, the organization responsible for fraud and cybercrime allegations.The Metropolitan Police may investigate the case after a 28-day review. Rental fraud in the UK increased 23% between 2021 and 2022, as shown by this event. It emphasizes the importance of careful verification and legal documentation before making financial obligations, especially in unfamiliar territory. It is crucial for Indians traveling overseas to exercise attention to avoid falling victim to such scams.

Newsdesk

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