Police warn residents to be cautious when applying for rental properties online

Residents are urged to be wary when applying for rental properties via online classifieds sites after Manning Great Lakes Police District received a report of a scam in the area.

A rental property was advertised on Gumtree and included a contact through a nominated email address.

The property was offered for rent through a legitimate real estate agent for $340 per week.

The Gumtree version advertised the site for $300 all inclusive.

When prospective renters inquired about an inspection, they were asked to pay a significant bond and rent in advance.

After making further inquiries with other agencies, the renters discovered the advertisement was fake and the property was legitimately rented by other people.

Upon checking Scamwatch, they found numerous warnings of rental property related scams. 

Scamwatch advises that all properties should be inspected before renting to ensure legitimacy.

Potential renters are also encouraged to search online for the address of a property, the name of the person offering the property and an email address.

Where possible, avoid paying via money transfer. It is rare to recover funds this way. 

Also consider using reputable accommodation websites that offer added protection.