If an agent has fallen victim to phishing, and a fraudster has access to their system, they may be able to post fraudulent listings on SmartNewHomes pretending to be the agent.
It's important to be aware of what fake listings can look like, and report any you see to our customer support team.
If you do come across a fake listing, please ensure you:
- Do not contact any phone numbers or email addresses advertised on the listing
- Copy the property URL and send it to us using the below contact form
- Delete the property from your Saved Favourites list
Listings which ask for contact outside of SmartNewHomes
Avoid and report listings that contain the agent's personal mobile phone number or email address either on the property photos or the property description.
This behaviour may be an attempt to engage with you outside of the SmartNewHomes system in order to trick you into giving the fraudster money.
The below image is an example of how this might appear on a listing image:
Example of a fraudulent listing: request for contact outside of SmartNewHomes
Requests for payment
Offers to secure a property before an inspection by providing a deposit should also be declined. Be wary of agents asking for money before either viewing a property or signing paperwork.
Ensure you inspect the property yourself, or send a trusted individual on your behalf to validate it is a legitimate property before exchanging funds.
Fees chargeable by estate agents for rental properties in England and Wales are highly regulated and estate agents should not ask you to pay monies in advance of viewing a property. Further information on tenant fees and when they can lawfully be charged can be found here: https://www.gov.uk/government/collections/tenant-fees-act.
Listings which seem 'too good to be true'
Be wary of listings which have a lower than the market price value for what is offered, or seem too good to be true. Ensure you or a trusted party inspect the property before committing to any paperwork or payments.
Example of a fraudulent listing: asking price too good to be true
Lots of online agents that have national coverage, ensure that the property you are looking at is in a similar location to the agent's branch. If in doubt, check the agent's website (always best to do a search online rather than clicking on any unfamiliar links) to ensure they are either national or have coverage in the area the property is listed in.
If you are ever unsure if a listing is real or fake, simply send the property URL to our team using the contact form below and we will help!