If you’ve been scammed, there are organisations you should report the scam to as soon as possible. Try not to feel embarrassed about reporting a scam – rent scammers are clever and scams can happen to anyone. Whether you’re young or old, tech savvy or not, It’s hard to keep your guard up all of the time and a momentary lapse at a time when we’re tired or distracted can make it even easier to fall for a scam. Cybercriminals are highly organised and professional criminals who deceive, manipulate, and exploit vulnerabilities. Their tactics are very persuasive which is why so many people, of all different ages and backgrounds, fall victim to their scams.
Reporting a scam help others
Reporting a scam is important – it give you a chance (even it’s small in some cases) of getting reimbursed but it also helps track down and stop scammers. This can prevent other people from being scammed.
Incidents of fraud occurring in Ireland should be reported to your local Garda station who can investigate the matter on your behalf. If you live outside this jurisdiction you should report the matter to your local police station and request that the complaint be forwarded to this jurisdiction for investigation.
Provide as much detailed information as you can
In order to report a rental scam, you will need to visit your local police station. A member from an Garda Siochána will establish the exact details of the fraud and take a statement from you. It is advisable to have the details written down before your visit, just to avoid any confusion, as the finer details can easily get mixed up. You are likely to be asked the following when providing your statement:
- Date you were first in contact with the scammer
- How you were introduced (eg. platform, online advertisement etc.)
- How you communicated (calls, whatsapp, messages etc.)
- Rent scammer details including phone number, social media profile details, alias etc.
- Total amount lost in the scam
- Details of how you paid the rent scammer (e.g. Revolut, bank transfer etc.)
- Rent scammer’s account details (bank account number, Revolut details etc.)
- Any documentation to support the details of the case (correspondence etc.)
- Any other relevant information
Unfortunately low prosecution rates
From there, an Garda Siochána will log the report in their computer system (PULSE) and commence their investigation. It’s worth noting that the number of prosecutions versus the number of rent scams reported is extremely low however we would always recommend that you report it. Also, each police investigation is assigned a unique reference code which you can use when following up with your financial institution to seek redress.
As a matter of urgency, we would also recommend that you report the rent scam to the following:
- The platform/property website which introduced you the scammer
- Your bank and the rent scammer’s bank (you should do this right away)
- Any other relevant agency or advocacy group (Examples in the UK include Action Fraud in the UK, Citizen’s information, Which.co.uk)
- Secureprop.com – we log and monitor scams in order to raise awareness and alert relevant platforms, community hosts Universities etc.)
Finally, it’s worth noting that there are supports in place for victims of rent scams and financial crimes. If you or a friend or family member has been impacted by crime, there are a number of organisation in Ireland who can help. We recommend reaching out for support via the Crime Victims Helpline in Ireland (registered Irish Charity) as it can be helpful to receive support from family, friends or support services. You can contact the Crime Victims Helpline Freephone at 116006.
Feel free to contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org if you need further assistance.