Property rental scams target the desperate and students around the start of the year or close to month-ends
Be careful of properties being advertised at rental prices that just seem too good to be true.
On 10 January 2022, the Windhoek City Police issued the following statement online:
“January month is common for scammers who target students and desperate people looking for places to rent. Innocent people are tricked to give a deposit up front through various payment methods example; EFT, Easy-wallet or E-wallet or blue wallets in order to secure accommodation.”
Safety tip: Carry out a thorough homework on rental places advertised on social media and confirm that those advertising are the real property owners or genuine agents before you give your hard-earned cash.”
This statement was issued in response to scams that appear to be increasing in frequency – of scammers offering rental properties online that do not exist or properties that they have no involvement in.
According to a Facebook post warning of various rental scams being operated in Namibian property marketing groups on the platform, the following are tell-tale signs:
“Hello my darlings. I know we’re desperately looking for affordable accommodation, but be careful of scammers. These here are some of them. Take note: 🚩They usually have very affordable places (1500-2200). 🚩They usually use Telecom Namibia numbers (085). 🚩Their places only have one convincing photo. 🚩The places always have everything (kitchenette, paved yard, own bathroom, etc) too good to be true. 🚩Their accounts have non-Namibian people. 🚩They mostly post early and mid month, hoping that you send them deposit to secure the place for month end. Please be aware everyone‼️‼️”
Tips to stay safe
- If you suspect and confirm you are dealing with a scammer, report the post and the account to Facebook.
- You can take a further step and contact the mobile operator to report a number the scammer uses.
- Or the Windhoek City Police can be contacted on 061 302302 or 061 2902239 to report a scam.