Bunbury uni student looking for a home stung by scam

A Bunbury university student desperately looking for a home has been scammed by a supposed fly-in, fly-out worker.
A Bunbury university student desperately looking for a home has been scammed by a supposed fly-in, fly-out worker.

BUNBURY’S Consumer Protection team has warned people urgently seeking rental accommodation to be aware they could become a target for scammers.

The warning comes after a university student looking for somewhere to live in Bunbury was stung by a scam.

The student, who speaks English as a second language, saw an advert for a room on Gumtree supposedly posted by a male fly-in fly-out worker who said he could only communicate via text message.

The scammer claimed to have a brother in Bunbury who would finalise the details and said that there was an open day on February 12 with four couples already booked in for a viewing.

The student was advised via text that if he wanted to get in first he could pay upfront costs of bond and rent totalling $1,200 and would then be able to meet the brother at the property to get the keys.

The student’s partner wanted to view the property first but because they were desperate for it, they paid the money by bank transfer.

After transferring the money the text messages stopped and the mobile number is no longer working.

In 2014, about 30 accommodation scam victims contacted WA ScamNet and between them the total monetary loss was almost $43,000 – an average loss per victim of nearly $1,500.

Consumer Protection South West regional coordinator Debbie Butler said she was looking to get in touch with the scam victim to pass on some information.

If this was you, contact 9722 2888.  

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