Recently there have been reports of phishing emails which target prospective tenants on the topic of deposit protection and ask for payments to be made to secure rental on a property.
Email scams have existed for as long as emails themselves, however fraudsters are constantly changing their tactics and as technology continues to evolve it has become harder to detect fraudulent emails. This is why we continually monitor the use of our service. However with email now being one of the most popular ways to communicate and a necessity for the majority of businesses, including landlords and letting agents, it’s important to stay alert online.
How email scams work
More commonly known as spam, phishing emails are a type of online scam where criminals send an email, which appears to be from a legitimate company, and ask for sensitive information. Commonly phishing emails will contain a link where the user is asked to fill in their personal or financial details and that information is sent directly to those behind the scam.
Deposits schemes have recently identified a new threat where:
– The fraudster emails a prospective tenant claiming to be from the tenancy deposit protection company, in connection with properties being let by a landlord going by the name “Katarina Blanka Stead”
– These emails state that, to secure the rental, prospective tenants should make a deposit payment to the deposit scheme using a set of bank account details that actually belong to the fraudster
Tell-tale signs of a fraud email
- Poor spelling and grammar
- Asking you to confirm information the sender should already have
- Lack of an email signature
- Urgent or threatening messages
- Offer seems too good to be true
What to do if you suspect a scam
- Never click the link, if an email asks you to log into your account visit the company’s page direct via a browser or search engine
- Check the from email address rather than the sender name
- Never give away personal or financial details
- Don’t open any attachments
- Delete the email and block the from address
At mydeposits we will never ask a tenant to make a payment directly to us. You should only ever make a deposit payment to your letting agency or landlord. Fortunately fraudulent landlords and lettings agents are rare however we do advise that wherever possible you inspect the property/room in person before paying a deposit and always obtain a receipt for any transaction.
If you’re unsure whether an email has come from us, please forward it to us at firstname.lastname@example.org and we will let you know if it’s genuine.