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 blueprint 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.

Boyne Valley Flooding: Resident sick of being 'ignored'

The picturesque Boyne Valley

A Boyne Valley resident says the area's flooding is being ignored

Politicians ducking for cover in light of Deepwater road upgrade

The current track through Deepwater National Park.

Council is looking at options to link Baffle Creek and Agnes Water

WATCH LIVE STREAM: Local gun plays for Open Heelers today

WATCH LIVE STREAM: Country Heelers take on the Queensland Premier President's Team today at 3pm.

Watch live stream of Gladstone gun play for the Country Heelers

Local Partners

Arrival of NDIS, community called to act on 'social responsibility'

GCLA launches newest social enterprise and discusses NDIS arrival, calling community to act on its social responsibility


Bundy mum blogging to get families offline

FAMILY FUN: Deonie Crowther is holding family craft sessions at the Windmill Cafe in Bargara.

Crafty projects a hit with parents and children

Country music stars coming to Ipswich

Ipswich will get it's country on when The Country Superstars Tribute Show hits town on Friday, June 30 at Brothers Leagues Club.

A UNIQUE tribute show will bring a bit of country into the city.

Shoes make difference to kids in Zambia

MANY SHOES: Toowoomba Grammar School's Adrian Irwin and Fairholme College's Libby Stumer with shoes collected for children in Zambia.

Students are making a difference, creating a new project

The top 10 TV shows that need to end

WHEN Fonzie donned water skies to leap a man-eater in a pond, Happy Days’ best days were gone. It’s now time to cull some of our favourites.

Prince Harry reveals he wanted to leave the royal family

Prince Harry was the center of attention during his trip to Sydney.

Prince Harry has revealed he “wanted out” as a Royal

Why streaming movies will cost more from July 1

Australians can expect to pay more for streaming services such as Netflix when the new taxes kick in.

The new taxes from July 1 won’t hurt the MPs’ big pay rise

What's on the small screen this week

Ryan Shelton in a scene from True Story with Hamish & Andy.

HAMISH and Andy hear another funny story and Cleverman returns.

Your guide to fun at the Mount Larcom Show this weekend

Mt Larcom show June 26, 2016.Photo Mike Richards / The Observer

Your guide to having as much fun as possible at the Mt Larcom Show

Bonus Bill Busters Bingo card with today's paper!

Get an extra bingo car with today's paper.

Don't miss out on your bonus card.

Gateway to $3 billion, 4800 home new Coast city opens

The start of Peter Crosby Way at Sippy Downs, the northern access into the Harmony master-planned community at Palmview.

Palmview's $3b master-planned community of Harmony

Millionaire Nathan Birch to offload $55M in property

Nathan Birch wants to focus more on developing properties.

Sydney property investor has announced he is selling up

Government 'wrong' on home buyer's grant

Fresh REIQ figures show Gladstone's median house price for the March quarter dropped 11.6% to $271,500 from the previous quarter and units fell a dramatic 30.2% to $220,000.

Property expert says grant must cover built homes to help Gladstone

Fame factor boosts property prices in Byron

The stunning Clarke's Beach in Byron Bay.

House prices surge by an incredible 39.5% in star-studded area

Grass is greener for Warwick real estate

Warwick's rural charm and affordable property prices are enticing buyers from Brisbane.

Quality houses for half the price of Brisbane attracting interest

Ready to SELL your property?

Post Your Ad Here!