Bournemouth barman homeless after giving entire savings to fraudulent rental company (From Bournemouth Echo)
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Bournemouth barman homeless after giving entire savings to fraudulent rental company
10:00am Sunday 29th December 2013 in News
A BOURNEMOUTH barman has been left homeless after he gave his entire savings to a fraudulent property rental company.
Dean Strutt, 26, handed over more than £1,000 to secure a flat in Argyll Road that had been advertised in a newsagent’s window.
But on the day he and his girlfriend Kasia Siewiorek, a kitchen porter, were due to be handed the keys, he received a text message saying the “lettings company” had gone into liquidation and the banks would be in contact about refunding his money.
This never happened and he later discovered the company was not a legitimate business and the person who showed him the property had also used a false name.
Dean, a full-time barman at Chaplin’s in Boscombe, is now effectively homeless, with no permanent address, and only able to keep working through the goodwill of his work colleagues and friends.
He said: “I had never rented a private property before and in my naivety didn’t think anything was suspicious. The guy was very professional and knew everything about the property.
“I got a receipt and had several texts from him telling me when I could move in. When I got the text about the liquidation I nearly fainted. I started shaking, my heart just sank.”
Bournemouth East Neighbour-hood Inspector Chris Weeks said: “The matter was initially referred to Action Fraud as normal and has been passed to Dorset Police. The matter is now subject to a thorough police investigation and it would be inappropriate to comment further.
“If anyone is considering renting property we would ask them to follow this crime prevention advice.
“Never hand over a penny until you have visited a property in person, and if you have any suspicions that the person showing you around isn’t who they say they are tell the police or trading standards immediately.
“The only way you can really protect yourself against becoming a victim of scams like this is to only rent through a reputable lettings agent, and to always remember that if something sounds too good to be true, it probably is.”
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