Real estate agents have confirmed scams targeting renters are on the rise, with some scammers targeting multiple victims with a single post.
After reaching out to a woman going by the name Regina, she lost $2000 on what she thought was her future home on the Gold Coast.
After transferring the money for the Pimpama property’s bond, she said the online ad disappeared.
“It makes me sick with anxiety that this has happened,” Lord said.
“I was willing to pay up to six months rent up-front.
Emma Snowdon from Wings Real Estate, who manages the real Pimpama property, said 10 people had fallen victim to the same scam.
“Never have I seen anything like this,” she said.
“I have just told people you need to report it to the authorities because it’s out of our control which is really unfortunate.”
Police are urging people to do their research and always inspect the property before sending any money.
Renters have been told to cross-check properties from reputable websites to see if ads have been copied from another site.
Those who think they’ve been scammed should contact their bank immediately to try to block the transaction.
Federal cyber-crime investigators are looking into the scam.
“My advice is definitely if it feels too good to be true, it normally is,” Lord said.