Tipperary student loses thousands in elaborate rental scam

Photo: Pixabay

A Tipperary student has been scammed out of thousands of euro in a convincing rental scam.

The student from the Killaloe Ballina area lost three thousand euro after paying a sum of money to secure a property in Limerick.

The third-level student who is studying computers fell foul to the scammer when a link was provided to pay the money.

It was very like a genuine escrow account where money is held by a bank until after a transaction is complete, but days after the lodgment, there was no contact and then the website listing and money were both gone.

PRO for Aontú, Eric Nelligan told Tipp FM that they are warning people to be vigilant and to always try to meet someone in person and never click on a link for a payment.

He said the student had researched and was careful, but the scam was very sophisticated.

“He saw the house, checked the location on the map and checked it on Google Earth and saw the picture on the map matched with that, so he thought it was genuine.

“For all intents and purposes, the house itself was a genuine house, but the scammers took old pictures of an ad and they re put the ad up a couple of months later as a genuine house.

“The rent for the house was that little bit below market value, so it was quite enticing to people.

“The person they were dealing with online was saying ‘I’m paranoid about meeting up with people with Covid, I want to do as much of the preliminary stuff online.

“It was quite an elaborate and well-thought out scam.”