Friday, May 8, 2009

Fraud, ID Thefts and Skelms

This is not a new scam but two TPN members got caught out this month.

The least costly way to learn a lesson is from someone else’s experience.


TPN member number 1 took a prospective tenant to view a property. The prospective tenant was a young mother with her two young children. The woman stated she would be staying in the property with her husband who was currently travelling. A few days later the young mom arrived at the estate agent’s office and requested the keys so she could show the property to her husband; she would “bring the keys back that afternoon”!!!!! The young mom and her children promptly moved into the property. When the estate agent called on the property to find out about the keys, the woman told the agent, “get a court order to evict me.”

Worse still, when the agent “locked” her out, she approached the Magistrate’s Court and got a court order allowing her back in the unit. She claimed to have a verbal agreement for 6 months at zero rent. The agent is now forced to take legal action to obtain an Eviction Order.

In a similar situation, a prospective tenant hit another TPN member the same way, “wanting to measure curtains for the new residence!”

TPN member number 2 took a prospective tenant to the property over the long weekend. The tenant wanted immediate occupation and paid the deposit and first months rent via internet transfer. The money did not show in the agent’s account – as it was a long weekend. The tenant provided proof of payment – a print out of her bank account showing the deposit to the agent’s bank details.

On Monday, the money still did not reflect in the agent’s bank account. The agent having performed a TPN enquiry on the TPN, called the other agents listed on the TPN Report. The other agents immediately advised this “tenant” had scammed them too.

TPN member number 2 has subsequently laid a charge of fraud along with the relevant Bank, whose details were used to show proof of payment. Worse still the bank account details provided did not belong to the tenant. This one seems to be ending well with the tenant now moving out this afternoon and will hopefully find new accommodation is our finest correction services facility.


The concern with this behaviour was that it was habitual and other TPN members had already been hit – Shame on you for not updating the system and alerting your peers.

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