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Caution urged after Clare woman falls foul of rental scam

ESB Apprentice Moneypoint

CLARE gardai have urged caution when renting properties after reports of one woman being scammed this week.

Clare crime prevention officer Sergeant Triona Brooks said, “During the week we received a report from a lady who saw an advert on Facebook Marketplace for a property to rent in Dublin.

“She presumed it was legitimate and paid a month’s rent and a deposit totalling €1,463.00. She has since realised that the property never existed.”

Sergeant Brooks has appealed for caution to avoid being tricked into paying a deposit for a property that does not exist or has already been rented, often to multiple people.

She said that people should do their homework – look at the average rent price in the area and if the rent is unusually low and it seems too good to be true it usually is.

Potential renters should use online maps, she advised, to double check that the property being advertised actually exists and is at the stated address.

Sergeant Brooks also advised people to keep copies of all correspondence between themselves and the advertiser, including bank details and the advertisement itself.

Also, where possible, use legitimate well-known rental agencies and don’t hand over any money until the property has been seen and the renter is happy with its condition.

Once satisfied use a cheque or bank draft to pay the deposit, but don’t make any payments until the keys have been handed over and a rental contract signed.

“Always check that the keys fit in the lock,” said Sergeant Brooks, and don’t be embarrassed if you have been scammed. Report it to your local Garda Station and contact your bank.”

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