SeLoger, Leboncoin: investigating thousands of housing scams

In Paris, Lyon, Marseille and even Bordeaux, the commentary is evident: the actual property market is saturated and the businesses are overwhelmed. this again to high school 2021. Costs are skyrocketing and it’s significantly college students and younger staff who discover themselves in troublesome conditions.

Websites like SeLoger and Leboncoin, which record commercials from people, are taken by storm. Confronted with the pressing want to seek out lodging as shortly as attainable, with the uncommon pearl that’s cheap and already furnished to seek out, some malicious individuals are deploying hundreds of fraudulent advertisements. An actual nightmare.

“I do not give cash with out a contract. However given the misery of the scholars right here, we will simply fall for it ”, wrote Justine, on a Fb group gathering housing advertisements. “This gentleman will not be the proprietor however an Airbnb tenant”, alerted Camille, after being ripped off. “In my analysis, I solely see scams”, regretted Fatma.

A whole bunch of “ghost proprietor” scams

To find the extent and the dangerousness of the scenario, we carried out the check, on the lookout for lodging in Lyon. Funds: 600 € for a furnished studio or one-room condo. On the SeLoger website, after configuring the search filters, a smile awaits us. Reassured, just a few days earlier than the beginning of the varsity 12 months, the bulletins are quite a few and effectively situated.

The residences are effectively outfitted, the photographs are clear and exact. The outline appears to be that of a person trying to shortly lease out his condo left empty by his daughter, who returned residence after graduating from school. First huge shock after we first contacted us: a fast response. As if impulsively the frenzy of the tons of of people competing with us for visits had vanished.

SeLoger housing scam

Fairly often, the emails acquired are very poorly written and laid out. Then again, the attachments for the photographs of the condo are at all times very clear. Too clear. © Presse-citron.web

On our mailbox, the solutions are the identical for every of our requests. Out of 19 contacts despatched, nearly all of them responded positively within the following hours. However all of them have been scams. To make sure, our first intuition (which we invite you to undertake) was to sort a fast google search on the interlocutor of the announcement.

Specialised websites like “” allowed us to shortly uncover that we have been coping with malicious individuals and pretend advertisements. Their identify seems on totally different areas, in numerous cities, and the photographs of the residences are often reused, from Paris to Lyon, by way of Bordeaux, Lille, and even Marseille.

Whereas persevering with the exchanges by electronic mail, every time we obtain a message with comparable phrases and explanations. To construct up our file and manage a go to, you’ll need to ship a duplicate of an identification doc along with a safety deposit. These two components, even earlier than the assembly, are trigger for concern.

The safety deposit specifically, is often requested in different type than that of a switch on the day the keys are handed over. You’ll have to undergo Western Union or NEOSURF pay as you go playing cards to advance a sum (typically that of the primary month) to the lessor. With no file and a cost made, the rental corporations won’t be able to proceed with you and can notify you that different individuals are prepared to go to.

Listed here are a number of examples of rip-off emails acquired from commercials printed on the SeLoger website:

Lyon accommodation scam

After a primary contact, our interlocutor presents us with a doubtful means of securing the lodging with the “Neosurf” playing cards © Presse-citron.web

Lyon deposit housing scam

The decision for safety deposit comes up shortly within the dialogue with these scams. No appointments or visits have but been scheduled at this stage. © Presse-citron.web

Housing scam online

The reasons at all times very particular in regards to the availability of housing © Presse-citron.web

Dangerous scenario

Whether or not they are often simply detected with a fast Google search, the housing scams on these websites compete in creativeness and might typically go additional. Behind a pretend commercial and pretend photographs, others go as much as renting an Airbnb, to arrange visits to future tenants. What to consolidate in the concept that the announcement may be very critical.

To beat this actual drawback, only one reflex. You need to imperatively request a supporting doc from the lessor. On a FAQ of the Jinka software, which lists all of the bulletins of businesses and platforms akin to Leboncoin and Se Loger, it’s advisable to verify “That the one that claims to be the proprietor is telling the reality. Ask him for a duplicate of his property tax. Additionally ask for the names of the present tenants. This can even be helpful for sure sensible steps ”.

However what do these scams imply? There may be in fact the safety deposit. With out warning, it is simple to get ripped off for a lot of tons of and even hundreds of euros. However by falling into the entice of those individuals, it is usually harmful to offer copies of your identification papers, akin to your passport or your identification card. You would possibly effectively do your self impersonate your identification, they usually might get better your identify to make it a brand new bogus landlord with proof of identification.

When you’ve got an issue with this final level, word that you’ll have to flip to the police stations to file a criticism. Then again, the latter can’t do something till no proof of identification theft is noticed. We should subsequently, to our nice remorse, wait till our identify is definitely utilized in a fraudulent marketing campaign to have the ability to begin the method …

What are the platforms doing? What options?

On account of our investigation, a number of advertisements have been eliminated earlier than a response from the bogus proprietor was despatched to us. On two events, 4 days after our seek for lodging, the SeLoger website contacted us to warn us that we had contacted an advert that turned out to be a rip-off. “Now we have been notified of fraudulent conduct on an advert posted on SeLoger, on which you’ve got made a contact request”, can we learn within the mail.

Housing Scam

© Presse-citron.web

Like SeLoger, Leboncoin makes an attempt to take away fraudulent advertisements. On each websites, nevertheless, pretend housing finally ends up returning just a few hours later to entice new customers in pressing housing search. By scrolling by the advertisements, it is usually very straightforward to return throughout a number of advertisements with the identical photographs, and moderation of platforms doesn’t appear environment friendly and quick sufficient.

To keep away from having to play the detective every time they make contact, many find yourself turning to actual property businesses. Others are on the lookout for different options on different platforms devoted to authorized businesses. Our recommendation, to your analysis and your safety, is to present desire to commercials from people with a cellphone quantity, then name it.

Lastly, by no means present your copies of identification doc even earlier than the primary appointment for the go to, and don’t begin any safety deposit process earlier than having a contract and having delivered the keys.