Fraudsters have been advertising rental accommodation via social media, targeting potential overseas students who are likely to be interested in rental accommodation but do not have UK bank statements to provide what is termed ‘a statement of affordability’.
How It Works:
The fraudsters advise the victims to transfer funds into a Western Union/Moneygram account to show affordability, which they would then be able to withdraw once they arrive in the UK.
The victims are then instructed to take a picture of the Western Union/Moneygram reference and send it on to the fraudster.
When the victims arrive, the funds have already been withdrawn from their Western Union/Moneygram account and the accommodation does not exist.
Protection / Prevention advice:
- Seek the source of the accommodation
- If possible, ask someone to visit the location of the rental property
- Use accommodation recommended by your college/university
- Do not post Western Union/Moneygram references on social media. These can be used to withdraw the funds.
Report any offences to Action Fraud by calling 0300 123 2040