An example of an email scam:
An email arrives from a person who advises that they are a young, prospective UQ student arriving from another country. They request that the room be secured for them and advise that their father will be in contact regarding the deposit payment.
On occasion they will include copies of a British Passport along with other general photos of the person. Further information can be found on the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (OCCC) SCAMwatch website: https://www.scamwatch.gov.au/
The SCAMwatch website provides useful information on this type of scam here.
Actual extract from a scam email:
"How are you doing today? I'm Josef Alex by name, my daughter (Sarah) has been getting in touch with you for a while regarding your accommodation available for rent. She is still interested and the accommodation is confirmed by her. She is a potential tenant, very clean, polite, easy going, hard working and responsible, she is a dream of every family. I'm very proud of her. I can assure that you have nothing to lose holding your accommodation for her.
We have a financier that is based in the states and he will be handling the payment and some other expenses, so he will be the one that will be taking care of the service payment throughout her stay in Australia. I will instruct him to send a Paycheck of her rent deposit for one Months before her arrival so as to secure the room. I will send you her flight details immediately she's through with her assignments in Philippine. So my financier would be needing the following Information below to make out the payment
(I)Your Full Name On Payment:(II)Your Residence address where it will be delivered to(no P.O..Box please):(III)City:(IV)Post Code:(V)Mobile and Home Phone numbers:(VI)Email address:
I will be waiting to hear from you.Thanks Have a nice day Josef"
On the UQ Rentals site , we recommend to prospective tenants that they should not pay any money to a Landlord or Real Estate Agent until they have inspected a property and are entering in to an agreement and obtaining keys to the property.
Similar caution should be adhered to when renting out a property, by only entering in to an agreement with someone when they are either accepting the property in person, or you are dealing with a reputable company which deals with student placements such as Homestay arrangements.
If you suspect that someone is trying to scam you please contact the OCCC via their webpage, or the UQ Accommodation Team via email to firstname.lastname@example.org. The UQ Accomodation Team have the ability to block/blacklist people through the UQ Rentals site if they have obtained a student's details and are misusing their identity.