Warning after man is scammed by fake Norwich Airbnb page

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Suffolk Trading Standards has issued a warning over fake Airbnb scams in Norwich after a Bungay man was made to hand over personal information. - Credit: PA Wire

A warning has been issued after scammers attempted to pinch hundreds of pounds from a man looking to rent a home in Norwich.

The Bungay man had found details online for a three-bedroom flat for rent in Norwich for £450 per calendar month and contacted the landlord who requested images of their passport, and sent them a link to pictures and reviews of the property on Airbnb.

He realised the price was "too good to be true" and noticed the link they had received was a fake Airbnb page. 

Although he did not send any money, the man had already sent copies of their passport before realising the scam, leaving them open to identity theft according to Suffolk Trading Standards.

Following the incident the trading standards body issued a warning to those looking to rent property in the area.

A trading standards statement read: "Rental fraud happens when would-be tenants are tricked into paying an upfront fee to rent a property.

"In reality, the property does not exist, has already been rented out, or has been rented to multiple victims at the same time.

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"The victim loses the upfront fee they have paid and is not able to rent the property they thought they had secured with the payment. Rental fraudsters often target students looking for university accommodation.

"Identity fraud is when a criminal steals someone’s personal details and uses them to obtain credit or make a purchase.

"Fraudsters only need a few key bits of information to pose as you to take out a loan, mobile contract, credit card or current account with an overdraft facility.

"A passport is a powerful piece of the puzzle that allows criminals to succeed in pulling this off as it contains sensitive information like your full name, date of birth and where you were born.

"If you think have provided any financial information to a fraudster, contact your bank immediately. If you have provided copies any personal documentation such as passports, driving licences, plastic cards, cheque books etc, you should report to the relevant organisation."

Suffolk Trading Standards urged anyone who may have been scammed to report all incidents to them via the Citizens Advice Consumer Service on 0808 223 1133.