As an advertiser or user of the QUT Accommodation Listings database, we would like to ensure as positive and secure an experience as possible. QUT would like to bring to your attention that on-line accommodation services around the world may be subject to scams from time to time. The following details a scam that is currently being used by fraudsters originating from outside Australia:
How the SCAM works:
- You have a property or accommodation listed on the QUT accommodation website;
- You are contacted by a student (or close relative representing a student – a father) indicating that they are interested in securing your advertised accommodation;
- This contact is normally of International Origin and via email;
- They advise that they will be sending you money as a deposit for the accommodation. This money is then sent in the form of a cheque or as a PayPal payment;
- Shortly after this payment (whether cheque or Pay Pal) is sent, you are contacted and advised that an error has been made in the amount sent. For instance the negotiated deposit might be for $600, but the amount sent is for $1600. Various excuses will be made for this over-payment (the extra money was supposed to be deposited in the daughter’s/ son’s account for travel). However the bottom line is that you will be asked to return the over-payment to their account - THIS IS THE SCAM;
- The cheque despite appearing to be authentic (Australian Tax Office Cheque for example) is fraudulent and the PayPal deposit has a hold on it – not allowing you to withdraw the money.
- Sometimes other documentation will be provided in an effort to obtain your confidence – There have been cases where Passport details, birth certificates and other legal documentation is provided (in the form of scanned documents)
Protecting yourself from a Scam is simple:
- Never send money to someone without meeting them first. For example, they may ask you to send money online – Don’t do this!
- Never give out your bank details to anyone;
- Never provide your personal details and ID details without meeting someone face-to-face. For example, if you haven't met them in-person, do not trust a hotmail or yahoo account or nice pictures.
Please report potential scammers to the following contact details:
- The Australian Federal Police
- ACCC Scam Watch who investigates accommodation scammers. You will need to report suspicious activity to the site with a copy of the article and email address.
- Queensland - Office of Fair Trading 13 13 04, Qld Scam Smart—information, Report a scam to Queensland
Please inform the QUT Accommodation office of any scam activity on our website - firstname.lastname@example.org