2 Students Have Been Robbed Of Thousands Of Euro By Rental Scams In Dublin

2 Students Have Been Robbed Of Thousands Of Euro By Rental Scams In Dublin

Renting in Dublin has never been more difficult and expensive, especially for students. The last number of weeks has seen cities around Ireland attempting to accommodate students adequately for the upcoming semester. Galway city is working on barge accommodation and UCD and TCD have teamed up to combat the student housing crisis. Now, students will have to face student rental scams unfolding in Dublin.

In the last 24 hours, two stories have broke of students being scammed after handing over hefty deposits. Sophie Taylor, a 19-year-old from Westmeath, paid €600 euro for her deposit. Sophie arrived at the property and was told she had been scammed by the actual owner. The owner informed her that several people had been scammed and the same address was given each time. According to The Irish Times, the property was on 50 Middle Abbey Street, Dublin 1 and Sophie was asked to pay the deposit before even viewing the property. The scam artist broke off all contact with Ms Taylor after she transferred the money.

Kevin Gilroy, the owner of the property who rents it out to tourists, sympathised with Sophie but revealed the situation is all too common:

It’s been going on for the last few years, it’s the same person behind the scam. It mainly catches students, by putting pressure on the person to pay over money...It targets people that are the most vulnerable, and that are really struggling to find accommodation.

The second student to be scammed was Charlotte Kershaw, a student in Dental Technology at Trinity, who lost €1,450 on a rental scam.

Speaking to Trinity News, Kershaw revealed that the scam was well organised and done through three different accounts. The advertisement came from a student who was a previous tenant and passed on the landlords' details to Kershaw. The landlord asked for a deposit of €550 to be paid with Western Union which Kershaw originally questioned:

 He wanted the deposit through Western Union, which immediately raised red flags. So I said I wouldn’t do that I would only transfer to a legitimate bank. I knew if we had bank details I had some sort of security because that could be traced. He then gave me his UK bank account details and I transferred €550 with the promise that the keys were with a courier. I did actually receive emails from the couriers asking me to confirm the address so it all seemed legit.

The keys did not arrive and the landlord asked for six months rent up front as the apartment had been double let and the second person was willing to pay the six months rent. After questioning the landlord, Kershaw agreed to pay two months rent in advance instead of six.


Kershaw was put in touch with another student who would be renting the second room but soon realised that the entire situation was an elaborate scam:

I signed the contract before I paid the 2 months rent and again with the promise that the keys were with a courier I transferred a further €900 to his UK bank account. Move in day came and went, no keys. So, I tried to contact him and his UK phone number, his email had all been blocked. I tried to contact the “other tenant” and once again I couldn’t contact her. I went back to the initial advert and the woman who advertised it. They had both disappeared so it was pretty clear at this point, that I had been scammed.

Gardaí are recommending extreme vigilance, meeting the person face to face and avoiding online interactions in order to avoid scam artists.

Also Read: UCD Students' Union Undercover Snapchats Expose Dodgy Accommodation In Dublin

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Garret Farrell

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