Insurance News Archive
Key-cutting scam warning for landlords
Landlords have been warned to be on the look out for a key-cutting scam operating across the country.
Fraudsters are targeting landlords that have advertised property to rent, reports Professional Security magazine, and asking to borrow the key in order to view the property.
The con artists then cut a duplicate key with which they find a new potential tenant and agree a letting.
Having demanded a cash deposit and three months' rent upfront, the scammer then disappears with the money.
"We are dealing with a number of these cases," said Mark Briegal, a solicitor at Manchester law firm Betesh Fox.
"Both the landlord and the supposed tenant are victims of this fraud.
"Landlords need to beware of handing over their keys to strangers, even if they appear to be legitimate buyers," he cautioned.
Properties for rent have a large potential viewing audience. According to the Office of National Statistics, between ten and 11 per cent of the population are currently living in privately rented properties a figure that has not changed since 1995.
06 Jul 2006