Alex van Terheyden
Scammers are targetting Airbnb owners & those looking for a bargain property rental on Gumtree
There are almost 8 billion people wandering around planet Earth and sadly a small fraction of them live their brief lives by scamming others. Now while Hollywood over the years has made some amusing films about the scammer (Dirty Rotten Scoundrels, The Sting & Catch me if you can - to name but a few). The reality is scammers can destroy people's lives in seconds with a well-thought-out scam. And at least in London, it would seem the Metropolitan Police does not seem to care to act on these scammers.
I recently found my day being turned upside down as I was made aware that the property that I rent out on Airbnb & Booking.com was being used by a Scammer to potentially steal money from people looking for a London apartment. Once I had the details I immediatly got in contact with the Metroplitan Police. I informed them that the lady who had informed me of the scammers was willing to partake in the sting that would enable the Police to bring these scammers to justice. The response I got from the Police was to stay away and that they would not be helping me today. Well, I wasn't going to sit back and allow innocent victims to be scammed especially if they were under the belief that they were going to be moving into my property. I sprang into action and made my way to my property. I wasn't sure how many scammers were going to be at the property or if I would interupt the scammers stealing from an innocent victim. This is what went down:
Sadly, the Metropolitan Police refused to take arrest the scammer. They didn't even want to search the scammer. They could have easily conducted a sting operation that day but because they didn't no one was brought to justice that day.
However, I believe the world should know that Luke Francis (pictured) was one of at least two scammers involved in this operation. He and his accomplice or gang have most likely tried to continue with the scam as everyday victims are coming forward to say they have been cheated by scammers who fit the exact same discription as those I encountered that day.
Londoners deserve a police force that looks those who pay their wages. The Metropolitan Police seem more concerned about policing those who don't want to wear a mask or those who are simply purchasing a coffee with friends than spending any police time or resources on catching real criminals in the act. London deserves a better police commisioner and a better police force. Sadiq Khan doesn't seem to care for the plight of Londoners and the people are tired of London becoming more and more lawless - something needs to change!
The Ingredients of the Gumtree / Craigslist Scam.
Find a property on Airbnb or Booking.com
Rent that property for 1 night
Advertise that property on Gumtree or Craiglist.
When people respond to the advert inform them they can view the property on the day you are renting the property.
The day you collect the Airbnb / Booking.com keys will be the day the scam takes place.
As the Scammer will be playing the role of a fake Estate Agent. You will be showing potential victims around the property that has been advertised for 50% of its true value.
Inform the victims that if they would like to secure the property they must return to the property with 6 weeks of rent up front in cash.
Final day of the scam - the victims turn up to the apartment with 6 weeks rent in cash. Get them to sign a fake contract and inform them they can move in at the weekend.
Repeat this with every person prepared to leave a cash deposit prepared to secure the property.
Hand the Airbnb Keys back to the owner (hopefully via a lockbox that way they need not meet you) - the owner is none the wiser that their property has now been fraudulently sub-let to a victim whose cash you have just taken.
Go home with thousands of pounds of cash in your bag, safe in the knowledge you are a scumbag and you have just ripped off countless victims who worked hard for their cash.
By the time the victims realise they have been scammed - you the scammer will be long gone with their cash and the victim will be thousands of pounds poorer and the Metropolitan Police won't give a damn.
Of course if you are a good human being you won't be scamming anyone. The bullet point list on the scam is meant to inform people of the existance of the scam so that it does not happen to you or people that you know. Please do not go down the dark path in life where you think the only option you have in life is to scam innocent people out of their hard earned money is the only way you can earn a living. If you found this information useful or eye opening share with a friend or relative that you think might find this information useful. The only way to beat these scammers is to never allow them to win. The police certainly won't want to help you so it is your job to help yourself!
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Thank you - Alex van Terheyden AKA The Wondering Englishman