Scam Alert! Beware of the following messages

Private Property South Africa
Cathy Nolan

In life, there will always be bad apples. Our bad apples come in the form of fraudulent operators posing as landlords.

Private Property has systems in place to prevent this from happening and has recently upped its game tremendously in this regard, drastically reducing the number of fraud cases.

However, even in instances where we validate the homeownership, potential tenants should take heed of the following tips. These will help you identify rental scams so you can remain confident throughout your rental search.

  • Do not pay someone until you have met them. All rental transactions should be conducted in person or sent electronically after a face to face meeting.

  • Do not pay for what you have not seen. While there may be pictures of the property online, it may not exist. Make sure you view the inside and the outside of the property in person.

  • Do not pay anyone until the lease agreement has been signed. The lease agreement is a binding document between you and the lessor.

Should someone ask you to act against the above principles, they could be a fraudulent operator. In order for us to investigate the said listing, you can click on “Report this listing” next to the property description. Alternatively, please don’t hesitate to contact our national call centre on 087 375 1000, and we’ll investigate the listing for you.

We will also be publishing the latest names these fraudsters operate under and the emails used to scam potential tenants.

Do not interact with the following people:

Paul Light

Mariana Spinelli

Cliff Robredo

Hermann Debeer

Brenden Supharad

Darrell Maestas

Caitlin Bryant

Paul White

Sean Watts

Joe Lester

Dean Jeffery James

Tommy Papidakis

Flaviour Moura

Umbreen Chaudhry

Dennis Schafer

Fraudulent Emails:

1.

Hello,

I am Paul Light and I just received an email of interest in my apartment. I am an English researcher working for a pharmaceutical company and this apartment was bought while working here in South Africa on a 5 year contract, as I thought it would be a better investment than renting. I am the only owner of the apartment, it is paid in full and it has no legal problems . The apartment has not been inhabited since I am no longer living in South Africa.

I wish to rent my apartment to some nice and responsible people and in order to do that I have to know a some details about you, like how many persons are you planning to live in the apartment, for how long, if you have a steady income, etc. I must tell you from the beginning that I do not have a problem if you are a student and I am very fond of pets and willing to accept them in the apartment(I am the proud owner of an English bulldog). You should also know that I appreciate sincerity very much.

In addition to everything else here is a little something about the apartment and myself so we can get to know each other.

The apartment is the one in the pictures from the advertisement.I have the option of sending all my furniture into storage if you want to bring your own (no extra costs)

The rent for 1 month is 5100 ZAR (for the entire apartment) including all utilities (water, electricity, Internet, cable). You can rent the flat for any period of time (open end contract) but not less than 3 months.

About myself, I am 42 years and as I told you I am a researcher in pharmaceutical products, currently living in London, my home town .

You can move in the apartment in the same day when you receive the keys. The only issue is that I am already in United Kingdom but I hope that together we are going to find a solution.

I appreciate your interest in my property and I am looking forward to a future collaboration and friendship.

2.

I am the owner of the apartment located at Umhlanga Rocks - Ipanema, 15 Ocean Way . It is still available for rent for ZAR 5000 per month including utilities ( Gas /Electricity /Dishwasher /Telephone /Cable /Internet /Car Park ) for as long as you need. The rent is for the complete apartment. The apartment is in the best conditions; it is newly furnished and equipped with all the dependencies.

I used to work as banking consultant in South Africa for a few years and i have bought the apartment as an investment and a place to live during my stay there.

The apartment is available for a very long period. I will not be moving in the apartment for the next 15 years for sure, maybe never.

In the apartment you will find a dishwasher, a refrigerator, a freezer, a washing machine, a dryer, an iron, , an oven, a toaster, a coffee maker, vacuum cleaner, a big screen TV, cable TV with the basic access, ADSL internet and Wi-Fi access. Also the apartment is near the public transportation, a shopping mall, a gym, and other facilities. There are no problems if you have any pets, as long as you clean up after them. The apartment has a parking space for one car.

There are no personal belongings in the apartment. Also you have storage space available in the building and you can move my furniture out , or move it around as you desire.I have spent a great amount of money refurnishing the apartment and my request is that you treat it like it was your own. I am not interested to make a lot of money from the rent as I am interested to find a tenant that will take good care of the property.

Because I had to return to London, United Kingdom so soon I didn't had the time to find a trustworthytenant, I had to take the apartment keys with me. I can't come to show you the apartment and I don't have any friends in the area to send the keys. I found an alternate solution in order to manage the rental transaction safely for the both of us. You will have the chance to inspect the apartment personally before you sign the agreement.

Please let me know if you wish to move forward so i can explain everything step by step.

3.

Thank you for your fast response in English. As you already know, my name is Umbreen Chaudhry. I used to work as a banking consultant in South Africa. I am now the Manager at Clean Energy Invest. Like i said you can move the furniture as you wish. You have available a large storage space.

The rent is ZAR 11000 per month including all utilities, Gas/Electricity/Dishwasher/Telephone/Cable/Internet/Car Park. I am requesting first 2 months rent + 4000 ZAR security deposit so the total amount will be ZAR 26000.

As per this first payment you will not pay rent for the first two months after you move in. The amount of 26000 is not a security deposit , it is 2 months of rent paid starting with the day you move in. Like I said in my first E-mail, my current location is London. I am not planning to return to South Africa in the near future. Attached to this E-mail you will find a picture with my passport to know me better. Please let me know if you wish to move forward so I can explain everything step by step.

4.

Hello I like the property you posted and i am interested, please get back to me with your last price.If you are the real owner. Best regard, Flaviour Moura.

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