On BBC Television’s Breakfast
news programme this morning, Detective Chief Inspector Nick Downing of the Metropolitan Police issued a warning about accommodation scams in the run up to the 2012 Olympics. Although this warning has been given many times before, its message is one that can’t be reiterated too often.
Scammers have targeted especially the Gumtree website
, offering plush accommodation and taking on-line bookings, only for the victims to find out too late that the apartments they are renting either do not exist or do not belong to the sham landlord concerned.
Variations of this perennial scam can be found on websites worldwide; the Olympics have also generated a number of ticket scams. Earlier in the week, the same officer
said around eighty people had been arrested for buying tickets from stolen credit cards.
The following links can help you avoid getting ripped off:
Metropolitan Police fraud alert page
Financial Services Authority fraud page
newspaper fraud page
Office of Fair Trading scam page