WIRE FRAUD SCAM ALERT
There have been wire fraud scams connected with rental properties. These sham transactions have been identified in the countries of Belgium, the Netherlands and the United Kingdom, to name a few.
In this scam, the scammer advertises a property to rent on a website with only an email address to contact them. After a potential tenant expresses interest, he or she is contacted by email (in Dutch) for more information. The scammers provide the address of the property and some general information and then, using English, ask to communicate further by email only. If the potential tenant reacts positively to this request, pictures are sent along with information about the property and instructions for wiring money (one or two months’ rent) to consolidate the deal so they can send the keys of the property and the legal documents to a realty office to handle the transaction. Once the money is wired, there is no further contact.
Under no circumstances should you wire any money in this situation. You should always verify the legitimacy of any real estate transaction before transferring any funds.
We want to alert consumers to this scam so that you can take measures to ensure the security of your information and to protect yourselves. For more information on wire-fraud scams or to report an incident, please refer to the following links:
Federal Bureau of Investigation: https://www.fbi.gov/scams-safety/fraud/fraud - advfee
Internet Crime Complaint Center: http://www.ic3.gov/
National White Collar Crime Center: http://www.nw3c.org/services/ic3/filing-complaints
On Guard Online: http://www.onguardonline.gov/
If you have provided personally identifiable information (such as credit card information or a social security or bank account number) to an unauthorized party, please contact one of the following agencies to report this disclosure and receive guidance on any further actions you should take to protect your identity:
FTC toll free hotline: 877-FTC-HELP (877-382-4357)
Canadian PhoneBusters hotline: 888-495-8501
FTC online complaint form: http://www.ftc.gov/
Internet Fraud Complaint Center http://www.ic3.gov/
Non-emergency number for your local police departmentThe government agency in your country responsible for dealing with fraud
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