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Allara St flats used in international rental scam

By johnboy - 28 January 2009 28

The Canberra Times has a piece on a Chinese girl scammed out of large sums by someone claiming to be in England for a room in a flat on Allara St.

    “The scammer, who claimed to be based in England, used photos of a Civic property and a fake contract to dupe the 19-year-old Chinese student.

    It is understood the Australian Federal Police told the student that overseas fraudsters fell outside their jurisdiction.”

While it’s not a perfect protection, never put down a deposit until you’ve actually been inside the property, and get the key at the same time you hand over the money.

Also… How do the police know the criminal is overseas until the investigate? Putting “I am in England” on the bottom of emails is now a “get out of jail free” card?

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28 Responses to
Allara St flats used in international rental scam
Tooks 7:35 pm 28 Jan 09

That scam has been around for ages. When will people ever learn?

thecman 6:20 pm 28 Jan 09

I imagine ‘they’ know the offender in this matter is in England because that’s where the victim sent the money to via Western Union or whatever other remittance service was utilised to transfer the funds from Australia.

These are not simple matters to investigate and realistically, for the relatively small amount of money involved, it is not a priority for any law enforcement agency anywhere in the world, not just the AFP. There are literally dozens of these types of scams perpetrated on Australian citizens every day and it is always the same story, the victim sees an offer that is too good to be true and ends up doing their hard earned.

Sorry Johnboy, you run a great online forum but your knowledge of what is involved in the type of multi-jurisdiction investigation you are proposing is zero.

mutley 3:33 pm 28 Jan 09

They could at least pass it on to relevant law enforcement agencies

What makes you think they haven’t?

LaLa 2:10 pm 28 Jan 09

Pretty old scam already – this has been happening in Canberra and around the world for some time unfortunately. My boyfriends sister sent us one for a house in Ainslie.

It’s quite easy to tell that the landlord is not English by their poor grasp of the English language (something a foreign student may in fact may miss)

For a bit of light humour regarding this subject you might want to read this post http://betedejour.blogspot.com/2008/11/you-had-me-at-hair-dryer-big-gumtree.html

Deadmandrinking 1:40 pm 28 Jan 09

They could at least pass it on to relevant law enforcement agencies. And would it hurt to see if this scammer isn’t actually in england? Could be local if they have some knowledge about canberra.

Ozhair 1:38 pm 28 Jan 09

In fact, it sounds like it’s fairly common in Melbourne:

http://www.theage.com.au/national/rent-scam-rips-off-students-20081001-4s1r.html

I guess we’re just catching up to our big-city cousins 🙂

Ozhair 1:28 pm 28 Jan 09

If this is the same as scams I’ve read about before, the student wouldn’t have been in Australia yet.

The scam normally runs like this: A student from overseas tries to organise accomodation online before the start of the semester, and before arriving in the country. Scammer presents a property online, and it all unfolds as seen here.

But I would’ve thought the “property owner” being in England should have raised some major alarm bells.

But if the scammer is in England, and the victim was in China at the time of the offence, it would probably explain the lack of interest from the AFP. It’d be like me selling you the London Bridge based on some photos, there’d be no interest from Scotland Yard in the matter.

tylersmayhem 1:19 pm 28 Jan 09

To be honest – I’m not surprised that the AFP want nothing to do with the actions of someone who’ve blindly handed their money over. There is a certain amount of common sense that should be expected from people.

Maybe this is a “reverse” scam where the “student” is claiming one thing, when it is in fact not true. Where is the proof this happened? Maybe she wants people to feel sorry for her and give her free accom.

I’m not trolling here – but stranger things have happened!

Deadmandrinking 11:18 am 28 Jan 09

Note to people in England, courtesy of the AFP: Scam Canberrans.

johnboy 11:16 am 28 Jan 09

Deadmandrinking said :

Wait a minute, if the property being used in the scam is in Canberra, doesn’t that warrant some kind of joint-agency investigation between the AFP and relative agencies in England, like they do with pedo’s?

If they cared enough they could.

Deadmandrinking 11:13 am 28 Jan 09

Wait a minute, if the property being used in the scam is in Canberra, doesn’t that warrant some kind of joint-agency investigation between the AFP and relative agencies in England, like they do with pedo’s?

Fiona 11:07 am 28 Jan 09

PAYPAL!

Skidbladnir 10:31 am 28 Jan 09

Rule Number One: Never trust someone who only uses Western Union.

Fiona 10:21 am 28 Jan 09

A tough one for the kids too, when their parents are transferingt eh money from overseas for the rentals.

caf 9:28 am 28 Jan 09

Not to mention the fact that since the victim was apparently located within Australia (Canberra, even) when the fraud occurred, we would be able to claim jurisdiction. (For a close example, see the Gary McKinnon case).

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