Police search for bogus landlord who used Airbnb and Gumtree to operate rental scam

Police have launched an investigation after a man who appears to have rented an Airbnb property in Dulwich, south-east London, then posed as the landlord to set up a rental scam.

The Metropolitan Police have released an image of the man, below, who they wish to speak to in connection with a rental scam where the victim made an advance payment of £1,600 to a bogus landlord after seeing a property advertised to let on Gumtree.

The police statement said the victim was shown round the property by the man who stated he was the landlord.

Detectives said: “The victim went on to transfer an advance rental payment of £1,600 to a bank account, details of which were provided by this bogus landlord.

“However, after transferring the money, all contact with the bogus landlord ceased and he stopped replying to calls or texts.

“It became apparent that access to the property had been obtained via a short-term let on the Airbnb website and the bogus landlord had no authority to arrange for it to be rented out.

“The rental payment of £1,600 was lost, having been paid to a ‘mule’ account controlled as a result of a stolen bank card, from where it had been withdrawn.

“An investigation was launched by detectives from the Met’s Operation Falcon (Fraud And Linked Crime Online).”

Anyone who recognises the man, or has information that may assist the investigation, should call Op Falcon on 101 or contact the Met via Twitter @MetCC.

To give information anonymously contact Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111 or visit the crimestoppers-uk.org website.


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