Park City man taken for $10,710 in suspected U.K. rental fraud
June 23, 2015
The Park City Police Department earlier in June fielded a report involving a man who wired nearly $11,000 to secure a rental property in Great Britain that is suspected to have been a fraudulent listing.
The report was logged late in the morning on June 11 in Old Town. Rick Ryan, a police captain, said the man found a posting on a website advertising vacation rentals listed by individual property owners.
The man believed he was booking a rental property in a region outside of London called Essex, Ryan said. He wired $10,710 to book the property, Ryan said.
"The property was not available for rent. The advertisement was a scam," he said.
The Police Department documented the case. Ryan said the British authorities would investigate, though, since the money was wired there. Ryan, though, said it is "most likely" the money was wired to another country such as Nigeria.
Ryan said it was unclear from the information provided to the Police Department how or when the victim realized the rental was apparently a scam.
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Ryan recommended people considering online rentals use legitimate firms. He also suggested using credit cards with a fraud-protection feature.
"I would never wire cash. Never, never, never," Ryan said.
The Police Department occasionally receives complaints about online advertisements for rentals in Park City that turn out to be fraudulent. In many of those cases, the police say the victim must file a report where they live rather than in Park City.