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Possibility of fraud from so called property owners!! How to avoid?

Hi,

While looking for an accommodation in Luxembourg, i posted adv on Justlanded.com. I got few responses from property owners who are not living in Luxembourg and have moved to some other country for work.

1. One of them is offering such a beautiful apartment at very affordable rates in the heart of the city, that i couldnt believe and i searched for the apartment images in google and to my surprise i found exactly the same images in some apartment in brussels. So it looks to me a fraud.
2. One of them suggested that they will send me a signed rental agreement which i will review, sign and send them back and also transfer the deposit money to their account after which they will send me the keys. I understand this is not safe at all and there are high chances of fraud involved in this as well.

Looking at these too things, i am just worried and want to understand what all i should take care while looking for a rented accommodation:-

1. First, should i even deal in such cases where the owner is not physicaly present?
2. In case we deal with such cases, how to validate the identity of owner and make sure that you are not getting into any kind of fraud?
3. What all i shud take care while signing an agreement especially in the cases, where we are not dealing directly with owners?
4. If i dont have any bank account in Luxembourg (as i am cmoing to Lux for the first time and opening bank account which might take soem time), should i pay the deposit in cash?
5. Should i ever directly transfer money to owners account or a joint account should be opened and then transfer the money into that account? Which is the safest way to deposit the amount?

Really appreciate if anyone can help.

Regards
DassKhands

Hi DassKhands!

While i think the ads you saw are (very) probably scams, the first general advice would be to meet the owner physically.
As for do's and don'ts in Luxembourg i hope members of the forum will be able to help you out.

Good luck
Armand

1. From my experience, in most cases you will deal with agencies, and the actual owners will not be physically present; I would consider that normal.
2. Use your common sense, pay attention to illogical details, as with any fraud.
3. Read the rental agreement carefully and discuss any concerns with the agent. The agent's job is basically to keep both sides happy.
4. To be on the safe side, do not pay in cash. Although I doubt that any agent/landlord would accept cash payments anyway. You do not have to have a bank account in Luxembourg for that. Any bank account would suffice. Or perhaps you could bring the cash to the bank and do the transaction there.
5. Yes, you can open a joint account or rather get a "bank guarantee". Basically it is a bank deposit, and the bank issues a letter to the landlord. I think most landlords will be happy with that. But be aware that this solution is not cost effective unless the deposit is really big (over 8000€ I would say), because the bank charges quite a big yearly fee for the guarantee letter.

Attention:

Please pay attention:

There are several fraud (ghost announces) placed on web. For example: 1000-annonces.com announcing the apartments in Luxembourg and in other cities of Europe.

The same people acting by different names using collected ID from deferent individuals.

1. Very nice photos, best locations at very good prices you would not believe.

2. Check the photos and the actual street on google map– you will not find any property (apartments) similar to the photos provided.

3. But they certainly studied carefully the restaurants and cafes on the streets around where they suggested the meeting

4. The same templates of the letters send to you, even the same order of the communication. Same fonts used.

5. Family Marchal or other Family G or similar with innocent photos of house wife and a child or a retired individuals who has no idea how the photos are used.

6. The same scenario: Transfer the money via Cash Urgent Mandate, Western UnionMoneygram

7. DO NOT DO any transfer to ANY NAME – or sent ANY scan copy –They have individuals who will take the money even they do not have the security codes. They checking if there is a payment incoming on the name provided and empty the amount.

8. They book a meeting with you and never shows up

9. No phone call normally would be answered or if you reach someone it can happened, the person is a frog answering weekly on the questions

10. They will agree about the fraud cases, but they are of course honest citizen

11. Suddenly the owner will have health problems and someone else will come to a meeting – Nobody shows up. Names of attorney or representatives who will come instead is actually real names from real people (you will find them on Google, maps, even LinkedIn, but the owners are not aware of the case

12. You could also receive a message that you were not coming to the meeting and second chance to be done booking the meeting again but please provide the payment ASAP. – DO not DO any payment

13. Call the police and report the FRAUD of the homepage and the individuals.
14. ID can be attached to convince you, but it is someone who sent them ID when looking for apartment and being asked to send the standard info.

Please be careful!!!

There is no free cheese in the rattrap and EUR 1500 can disappear quickly.

Regards,

MG

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