This scam warning was posted on a Facebook group that I belong to. I have the poster’s permission to reproduce it here.
Gumtree is a hotbed for scammers. Anyone can post and anyone can answer. Do some serious research before parting with your money for anything that you haven’t seen in person.
If anyone sends you photos of a property, holiday home, goods do a Google image search to see if you can find the originals.
It’s an easy thing to do……
a) Go to https://images.google.com
b) upload the image you have been sent.
c) look through the results and see if you can find the original of that image. Then follow the links if the image has been found.
d) Ask yourself if the website(s) you are taken to belong to the person who has contacted you. Take the precaution of using any contact details on the website and try to speak to the person to see if they sound genuine. (This particularly applies to holiday villa scams and entire websites full of fake villa rentals. If it sounds too good to be true, you know what to do.)
WARNING – GUMTREE SCAM!
Just to warn others that I placed an ad on Gumtree on Saturday for Property/Land wanted to rent in Lewis/Harris. I was contacted by text by a person called “Harry Pike” who was offering his South Galson home for rent. He sounded genuine and even sent me pictures of the house in question and details of it. My partner and I were relieved and thankful as we are desperate to live on the Island, having given notice on our rented house and having sold most of our belongings to fund the move.
The man suggested sending the keys to us upon receipt of an initial deposit of £300, which I agreed I would transfer on Tuesday. He pushed for it to be done yesterday or today and that’s when alarm bells began to ring with me.
I asked him for proof of his identity and ownership of the property and he initially agreed then went quiet.
I have since googled him and found out that this “Harry Pike” is a serial scammer who has made it his business to scam unsuspecting people out of anything up to £300 a time.