Scam artists are targeting Newcastle student landlords who are letting private properties to tenants planning to study at the University of Newcastle this September, the institution has warned.
Despite offering private rental properties through proper channels, many Newcastle student landlords could still fall foul to cheats, some of which are believed to already be operating in the city.
Earlier this week, registered providers of student properties received an email from the University of Newcastle, warning about two people “that have unfortunately made their way into [the] database”.
The university said that emails under the names Paul and Janet Castillo are being sent to Newcastle student landlords, scripted as a father and daughter seeking a room.
Janet Castillo’s email comes first, the university told landlords, expressing interest in a room and seeking details for her parent to get in touch.
The individual posing as Paul Castillo then follows up, saying a US-based financier will take care of his daughter’s “payment and some other expenses”.
The email continues: “I will instruct him to send a Pay Cheque for Two weeks rent before her arrival so as to secure the room.
“I will send you her flight details immediately she’s through with her assignments in Philippine.”
To accommodate the alleged payment, the Newcastle Herald reports that he requests a name, address, city, postcode, email address, phone number and rent amount.
“I’m very proud of her and i can assure you that you will have nothing to lose by holding your accommodation for her,” the emails in Paul Castillo’s name state.
The university is warning Newcastle student landlords to remain vigilant.
It informed landlords in the area: “We cannot seem to locate either name in our system and they may have a number of different alias’ they use.”
We remind all landlords to remain vigilant when letting any type of rental property privately.