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16th Aug 2023

Warning issued for students of rental scam ahead of CAO results

Ellen Fitzpatrick

A warning has been issued for college students due to apparent rental scams as they return to university next month and receive CAO offers.

Housing charity Threshold has joined the Irish Council for International Students and the Union of Students in Ireland in introducing The Scamwatch campaign in order to prevent students being left short when it comes to accommodation.

The campaign shares the ‘dos and don’ts’ of finding a place to live for the academic year and gives students advice on their tenant rights, as well as how to identify scams.

Students are being targeted by rental scams and have seen people posing as landlords. They will be offered accommodation that is falsely advertised or does not exist.

False websites are now also becoming more common and websites that appear to replicate real rental platforms are also cropping up.

It is also being warned that social media is being used as part of these scams.

According to RTÉ, the Irish Council for International Students said that students coming from abroad are the most vulnerable to these scams and a survey found last year that one in seven international students was a victim to a rental scam.

Threshold has since released more advice on their website and also offers a helpline from Monday to Friday, from 9am in the morning to 9pm at night.

They advise that you should view a property in person and being aware of offers that sound too good to be true, such as extremely low rent, the landlord living abroad or the money needing to be sent to a foreign bank account.

The Union of Students in Ireland has also urged students to contact them if they fall victim to a scam and report it to the Gardaí.