An article in Property Eye has showcased a very worrying new scam where a gang of 3 people has conned unsuspecting tenants out of their deposit and 2 months rent upfront with no realistic chance of getting their money back and no home to move in by purporting to be the representative of the ‘landlord’.
As we all know; most properties for sale or let have boards outside with internal pictures advertising the property on social media making it somewhat easy for fraudsters to target empty properties.
But I am also seeing a worrying amount of pictures of properties on social media by various contractors and companies completing work on them which is effectively advertising that the property is empty and ripe for targeting by the fraudsters.
I can see why clerks and contractors use pictures of their work as it helps provide a more tangible link to where they operate and the helps highlight and showcase the quality of the work however there is a real danger that you may be helping fraudsters by showcasing properties that are clearly unoccupied or about to be let so can give fraudsters and opportunity to take advantage.
I filmed in a clients property for the videos in our training package – Learn How To Produce Professional Property Reports but made sure we had written permission, ensured that we did not identify the properties location and respected the privacy of tenants who had already moved in.
My advice to both clerks and contractors is:
- Aways obtain permission by the landlord or letting agent to use pictures from the property in your social media
- Always keep any property pictures as non specific as possible
- Don’t identify streets or location of the property
- Respect the privacy of occupied properties in the surrounding area especially flats
- Always place yourself in the property owners or tenants shoes when taking pictures so you do not compromise their personal security
So always bear in mind that posting pictures of your work on social media may be helping fraudsters scam landlords and tenants out of their homes #foodforthought