House hunters beware!

The Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) said rental scams increased by more than 32 per cent from 2019 to 2020. 

In recent months, renters have lost thousands of dollars for bond and rent payments for a property they have only viewed online and is often someone’s family home. 

Scammers are copying listings from real estate agents and posting the house as an available rental on Gumtree and Facebook, then telling the hopeful tenant that they are interstate, overseas or unable to meet at the property for another reason. 

Bond and rent payments are requested, with the promise of keys being sent or left for pick up once the money is received.  

In some cases, victims have been contacted after posting in Facebook groups that they are seeking a rental property. 


Tips for avoiding rental scams: 

  • Be skeptical of any property you are told you are unable to view in person prior to handing over money. 

  • Be wary of any property ad that states the prospective tenant will not be able to view the property due to the property owner “being overseas.”  

  • Check if the house is listed on and Domain 

  • Research the wording of the ad. Scammers often re use the same copy for the ad and a search can reveal previous scams 

  • Ensure you are dealing with a licensed agency and make sure the person you are speaking to exists and works for that agency. Request a meeting in person if possible. 

  • It is possible to rent a home sight unseen, but only through a licenced agent who shows you the property via a virtual tour.  

  • Understand what your rights are as a tenant and how bond payments work by visiting