DCC and Gardai issue scam warning to house hunters

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The City Council (DCC) and An Garda Síochána are warning prospective private renters in Dublin, that they have been notified of an email scam, purporting to require a down payment of a sum of money to DCC, to secure a tenancy in various residential properties in Dublin City.

DCC say they have been alerted to three such incidents to date and it would appear that persons living abroad and looking to rent in Dublin are currently being targeted.

In a statement release today DCC said:

“We encourage the public to be vigilant and any person targeted with this scam should not respond, but instead, report it immediately to An Garda Síochána. DCC wishes to emphasise that it has no involvement whatsoever in private lettings.

Very good practical advice is available from the AGS website at http://bit.ly/GardaRentalScamsAdvice to prospective renters on how to avoid falling victim to residential rental scams.”

How the scam works is as follows: A bogus name, “Alfred Marshall” and bogus email address “Dublin City Council Dublin City Council” <[email protected]>” , is being used to extort money from unsuspecting persons.

Further engagement with this bogus email address requires the would-be tenant to sign a “Residential Tenancy Agreement” and pay a “Security Deposit”.

The following is an example of the email scam purporting that private lettings are contingent on a rubber-stamping by Dublin City Council (It should also be noted that no section called “Notarization and Endorsement Section” exists in DCC):

From: “Dublin City Council Dublin City Council” <[email protected]>
Date: September 9, 2016 at 10:57:01 AM CDT
To: “Recipient”
Cc: “Recipient”
Subject: Re: FEEDBACK on case File #: TNA83028

Dear Landlord, Tenant and Co-tenant (sponsor),

As a feedback to your case file number TNA83028 in respect of residential lease agreement between the two parties stated herein for a bedroom with separate bath and toilet situated at Apartment XX, Address. After critical review of the agreement by the council executives they have come to conclusion that the tenant is eligible to take up the apartment but certain obligations must be meet before final handling-over of the property could take place.

The landlord must remit 5% of the first month rent deposit to the city council account nothing later than 10th day of September, 2016 and 2% of monthly rent on every month rent the landlord will be receiving from the tenant which will serves as council dues (Tax).
The tenant being an international tenant and most especially from a region experiencing insurgency of recent; the equivalent amount of two months’ rent must be deposit to the council account by or before 10th day of September, 2016, this will serves as a city security deposit which will be refund back to the tenant not later than October 10th, 2016and this will enable the tenant to ger his/her PPS process on due time. (The city council security deposit is different from the housing/property security deposit, note this.)

Note, all the above stated conditions must be met by all parties involved in this agreement before this agreement could be consider finalize, endorse and notarize by the city council. This is compulsory because this property falls under Dublin Council Home Ownership Scheme and the council stands as principal manager of the whole buildings because the building is consider as one of Dublin heritage centres.

Don’t hesitate to ask questions on any issue that is unclear to you and I will take my time to answer them in details.

Thank you and have great day!

Alfred Marshall
Senior officer
Dublin City Council
Housing and Residential Services Department
Notarization and Endorsement Section
Block 1, Floor 1
Civic Offices
Wood Quay
Dublin 8
Phone: +353 1 222 2222