Property

Renters warned about online real estate scam

The scam ad for a property for rent in Albert Park.
The scam ad for a property for rent in Albert Park. News Corp Australia

AUSTRALIAN renters have been warned about an elaborate scam involving fake property listings posted on a major real estate website.

The scam, which has been reported to authorities, targets prospective tenants of a luxury rental in the up-market Melbourne suburb of Albert Park.

It is understood the scammer used a fake advertisement on real estate website domain.com.au. When a user sends an online inquiry about the property, the scammer, posing as the landlord, asks for credit card details to secure the lease.

Martin Haak, 39, sent an inquiry regarding a property listed in Albert Park via his Domain account and received an email from a man posing as a landlord. The ad did not include the property address, but was listed at $700 per week - much less than the average luxury Albert Park rental. "There was no agent on the listing and no contact information nor was there an address," Haak said. "They said inquire for the details."

Haak received an email from the scammer describing the property and with photographs of an Albert Park house currently listed on the site. "I did a search on Google and found there was a listing for that exact property and it was a completely different price," Haak says. Haak, who works in IT, suspected something was wrong.

The email Martin received from the scammer.
The email Martin received from the scammer. Supplied

"He eventually sent me a fake TripAdvisor email," Haak explains. The email included booking confirmation details and required credit card details. "He said that once payment had been received I would get the keys," Haak says.

"The email almost had me. Even though it has TripAdvisor in the address, it's not the TripAdvisor domain. I hope no one's lost $2000."

Domain said it was an isolated incident caused by a breach of a real estate agent's security. But in an email sent to Domain account holders on Saturday, the company said it had removed a number of fraudulent listings in Victoria, Queensland, New South Wales and Darwin.

Agent Jo Worrell of Greg Hocking Albert Park was alerted after it became clear that the property details the scammer was using belonged to one of her clients. "I've never experienced it but I've heard of this happening. People should always go through a reputable agent and never deal with someone who's contacted them directly via email," Worrell says.

Domain spokesman Brad Hatch said the website was "safe and secure".

"The issue you refer to is a single isolated incident relating to a breach of an agent's online security, not ours.

"We have processes in place to ensure the integrity of listings on our site.

"We encourage agents to be vigilant about their online security, including offering two-factor authentication as an additional security measure."

Real estate scams can be reported on the Consumer Affairs Victoria website or the CAV Helpline 1300 55 81 81.

News Corp Australia

Topics:  editors picks real estate scam



8 things you didn't know you could do at North Straddie

NORTH Stradbroke Island is the perfect getaway whether you plan to stay for a day, a week or even a month.

A whisky-lover's blurprint to Brisbane's best bars

Check out The Gresham for some old-school fine drops.

SCOTCH, Whiskey and Whisky; it all gets a bit confusing.

Your guide to the best Brisbane markets

Enjoy the beautiful offerings of one of Brisbane's many markets.

WHO doesn’t love a good market!?

Ain’t no mountain high enough

No Caption

Brisbane's dishing up the mountain-hiking goods!

Six hideaway bars to escape winter chill

The Gresham's charm will win you over before your first sip.

THESE are the perfect places to hang this winter.

Our six art gallery picks for a creative day out

Queensland's Gallery of Modern Art always has a fun, exciting and interesting exhibition on show for the whole family to enjoy.

YOU'D be mistaken in thinking Brisbane wasn't an arty city.

Brisbane's arts and culture events centre stage

You loved the film, now you're about to love the musical. Don't miss The Bodyguard The Musical in Brisbane this July.

THE arts and culture events you don't want to miss.

TELSTRA DOWN? Why mobile, internet, Foxtel may be out

TELSTRA customers were forced to face a mass outage today

WATCH: Flour mill building on the market in Maryborough

View from the top of the tower.

"It is being marketed as a prime redevelopment site."

Local Partners

Prince Harry says young royals don't want to take the throne

Prince Harry admits no one in the royal family particularly wants to be king or queen

Rebel Wilson to give away her defamation payout

Actor Wilson says she won't keep a cent of her defamation payout

What's in store for Nina and Billie on Offspring?

Kat Stewart and Asher Keddie star in season seven of Offspring.

Proudman sisters return, but their lives aren’t slowing down.

What's on the big screen this week

Mark Wahlberg as Cade Yeager in a scene from the movie Transformers: The Last Knight.

STUDIOS begin to roll out their school holiday offerings.

MOVIE REVIEW: Rough Night is rude, shocking and funny

Zoe Kravitz, Jillian Bell, Scarlett Johansson, Illana Grazer and Kate McKinnon in a scene from Rough Night.

FOUR best friends reunite for a wild weekend, what could go wrong?

Grinspoon to smash footy gig curse

Pat Davern and Phil Jamieson wearing their true colours.

THE battle for State of Origin rock supremacy is on.

Rebel’s lawyer names huge sum

Hollywood agent Peter Principato told the court Rebel Wilson should have been landing between two and three lead roles a year at a minimum.

Hollywood star wants a staggering amount in damages.

Mining giants in fight that could spell disaster for NQ town

STAND OFF: There are perfectly good homes for workers, but mining company QCoal could be forced to build a camp and the deserted streets and empty houses of Glenden would remain.

How two mining companies could ruin this small town

Home owners settling to make way for Mackay Ring Road

The Clarkson family's home was moved just down the road from their former land at Stotts Road, Te Kowai, which was resumed by TMR.

But some are still clinging on, fighting for a better deal

Three historic M'boro hotels on the market

The Lamington Hotel Motel, Maryborough. Photo: Valerie Horton / Fraser Coast Chronicle

Three historic Maryborough hotels are on the market.

Million dollar farm snapped up by the council

RESERVE EXPANDED: Sunshine Coast Mayor Mark Jamieson and Cr Jenny McKay celebrate the purchase of a $1.2 million tract of land beside Mary Cairncross Scenic Reserve.

Land buy funded by the council's environment levy

Ready to SELL your property?

Post Your Ad Here!