File photo: Gardaí noted that there has been a 50 per cent increase in victims of accommodation fraud aged under 25 in 2022.
An Garda Síochana have issued a warning to third-level students, including those in Laois, following a worrying increase in accommodation fraud.
Gardaí are advising people to be wary of rental scams, particularly at this time of year when students are returning to college.
According to statistics, there has been an increase of 30 per cent in accommodation fraud in 2022, in comparison with 2019 (February–July 2022 v February-July 2019; pandemic restriction years have been omitted).
€1,300 was the median amount stolen, while 50 per cent of fraud incidents occur in Dublin.
Gardaí noted that there has been a 50 per cent increase in victims of accommodation fraud aged under 25 in 2022.
In addition, a total of €291,452 was stolen due to these frauds in 2022, compared to almost €250,000 in 2019.
Detective Superintendent Michael Cryan of the Gardaí National Economic Crime Bureau gave the following advice:
Other 'red flags' and warning signs listed by gardaí include:
Gardaí also advise people to: never agree to rent a property without first having the opportunity to view it, not to hand over cash and instead insist upon a proper receipt, and to ensure that the accommodation keys work and you have proper contact details for the landlord/agent.
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