You need to know about this scam if you're house hunting in Leeds

Action Fraud have warned house hunters about a deposit scam that has been leaving would-be renters out of pocket.
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Homes to let

Fraudsters are claiming to be the landlords of properties that they don't actually own - and then demanding that a deposit is paid before the potential tenant has even been able to book a viewing.

The biggest scams you need to look out for right nowExamples of the scam have been seen on Facebook pages where members can advertise homes for rent in Leeds.

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Six things police and banks will never ask you for - but fraudsters willPrior to a viewing, the scammer requests that the individuals pay a deposit and sometimes a month’s rent upfront, claiming that this money will be put into the Tenancy Deposit Scheme, and is therefore protected under government legislation.

After the individual pays the money, the suspect sends a bogus email purporting to be from the Tenancy Deposit Scheme confirming they have received their deposit. However, this is not the case as the money was sent directly to an account associated with the suspect and the victim is left out of pocket and without the home they had thought to be putting a deposit on.

How to avoid falling victim to property scams

- Always make sure you view the property with an agent or landlord before agreeing to rent it

- Don’t be rushed or pressured into making a decision. Only transfer funds when you’re satisfied a genuine property, safety certificates and valid contract are in place.

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- Only pay for goods or service by bank transfer if you know and trust the person. Payments via bank transfer offer you no protection if you become a victim of fraud.

- Once you’ve paid your deposit, you can check whether it’s protected by entering your tenancy deposit certificate code on TDS website (