Gardaí have warned college students to watch out for scammers preying on college students determined to safe lodging forward of the beginning of the brand new educational 12 months.
he power mentioned there was a 30pc enhance in scams this 12 months in comparison with 2019.
The return to the educational 12 months exhibits a spike in lodging fraud and roughly 50pc of incidents happen in Dublin.
Figures present that €291,452 was stolen in 2022 in comparison with virtually €250,000 in 2019. €1,300 was the median quantity stolen, gardaí mentioned.
There has additionally been greater than a 50pc enhance in victims of lodging fraud aged beneath 25 thus far this 12 months.
Gardaí have suggested folks to be “cautious” of rental scams, significantly presently of 12 months when college students are returning to school.
Detective Superintendent Michael Cryan of the Gardaí Nationwide Financial Crime Bureau urged college students to solely use “recognised” letting companies.
Superintendent Cryan mentioned folks must be “very cautious” of commercials on social media or the place an individual letting the situation will solely talk through messenger or Whatsapp.
He suggested folks to push for direct solutions and if responses are imprecise, “disengage instantly”.
“Web sites will be cloned, examine the URL to make sure it’s an actual web site and pay attention to the privateness and refund coverage sections,” Superintendent Cryan mentioned.
“Be careful for unsolicited contacts or the place the contact seems to be based mostly in different jurisdictions and particularly if there’s a sense of urgency like ‘a one-time provide’.
“When you’ve got determined to take up the provide, solely use trusted cash switch techniques, An Garda Síochána would advocate utilizing a bank card. By no means switch cash direct, pay money, pay into cryptocurrency wallets.
“Be cautious if a web site is asking you to ship cash to a random PayPal handle or asking you to wire it by Western Union or pay in iTunes reward playing cards or ask you to pay for long-term rental lodging through a short-term letting web site or solely offers in cryptocurrency.
“More often than not, these strategies are carried out to keep away from scrutiny and make sure that a transaction can’t be reversed.”
Gardaí additionally urged college students to pay attention to any “crimson flags” or warning indicators together with if the owner is unable to satisfy as much as present you the property in particular person.
These embrace when communication is just by way of textual content or WhatsApp or different social media platforms or when the property is obtainable with no questions requested and cost demanded instantly earlier than signing the lease.
Scammers additionally requested to pay money, cryptocurrency or cash through a non-bank switch comparable to wire switch.
College students and their households have additionally been warned to by no means conform to hire a property with out first having the chance to view it.
Don’t hand over money, insist upon a correct receipt and make sure that the keys work, and you’ve got correct contact particulars for the owner or agent, gardaí warned.