Although I have written about this scam before, the websites seem to be up and running again so I thought that I would show you some scamming websites in operation, how professional they can look, and the signs which give them away. You can also see for yourself the mechanism by which the scammers set up their traps.
The sites feature descriptions and photographs of real flats which have been stolen off genuine websites, and then put together in an impressive looking fiction. They target people who won’t be viewing the flat – the serviced apartment market.
Advertisements are run, most typically on a free to advertise directory, which direct enquiries to the website which has been established to present the non-existent flats.
Two such websites are:
You can look up the details of the owners of websites on the internet Scammer 1 Scammer 2 , and hence I was able to establish that unsurprisingly these two websites are in fact owned by the same person, and that this person owns 19 domains (sadly I have to spend $559.92 to find them out).
There is no doubt that the owner of these websites has given false information to the website host, they have been registered by:
31 Queen Anne Street Marylebone
London, London W1G 9DL
Whereas there is actually a Doctor’s surgery at that address:
Dr. Leonard M Selby
31 Queen Anne Street
The phone number given on the website starts 070 ( 07023089852 ) - calls made to 070 numbers are anonymously transferred, and to rub salt in the wound – the caller pays the charges for the transfer!
These mobile-style personal numbers (beginning 070) give you fantastic flexibility for your business at no cost. 07-K numbers include free call forwarding to UK mobiles, UK landlines and landlines in over 180 overseas countries. This flexibility ensures that they are a perfect additional tool for roaming business people or employees ‘away from base’ – as well as for staff back at the main office. Customers dialling from the UK will have their calls diverted automatically at no cost to you.
Always ask for a fixed landline number or at least a UK mobile number if you are looking for a genuine transaction.
If you phone the scammer’s number or reply to their Ad. they will claim to be
Mr A. Rosso
Great British Homes
So there you have a genuine scam in operation.
- Scam Properties are a Bargain. If it seems too good to be true – it is.
- Only deal with established businesses. Check out the address. Look for a working Landline Number, if there is only a number forwarding phone number move on.
- If it’s a business it won’t be advertising using free ads on Gumtree, Craigslist, et al
- Only pay by a reversible method (Credit Card, Paypal).