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Scammers in action – Northern Times

On July 12th, the city of Groningen announced emergency housing or peak overflow (Piekopvang) To help international students who have not yet found a room.

Temporary allocation in plutoraan 329 It will offer about 120 beds from August 11th to October 16th and will cost €400 per month.

Although the government has taken steps to keep international students from being stranded on the streets, the problem of housing scammers continues to be a major thorn in North Korea for those seeking to make it home.

From false advertising to outright lies, scammers have multiple ways to prey on vulnerable students desperate to find a place to stay.

International students are perfect targets

Scammers have long been a problem in the north of the Netherlands.Organized exclusively by the University of Groningen 10,000 It’s no surprise that international students are often targeted by scams.

With no prior knowledge of the Dutch housing market, and seeing how dire the situation was, the students hoped to secure housing by the academic year, and were tricked by the promises of potential ‘landlords’. put away.

Ms. Sidney (pseudonym) was also like that. A future PhD student at the University of Groningen, Sidney wanted to move from communal accommodation to a more personal space.

After months of searching Rentola.com, she finally found the place. I’m not entirely convinced, but the time is running out.

“I found an ad in February. The landlord replied to my email, but I didn’t. It was quite far from my university. Until April or May, there are other options.” I’ve searched for it and haven’t found anything, it’s hard,” she said.

Possible red flag

All contacts were between Sidney and the Belgian “pharmaceutical scientist” Sandrine Boucay, who according to Sidney most likely used a false identity. She contacted Sydney again and she said the place was still available. This may have been a red flag, given that homes tend to disappear from the market quickly, but she wanted to move out without realizing the potential scam.

Since Buckey was in Germany and could not accompany him, he arranged a viewing of the house through TripAdvisor. Ms. Sydney has to pay her two months’ rent and he also has to pay one month’s security deposit to secure her chances of a new home.

Even though she didn’t have the keys to see the place and hadn’t been in contact with a TripAdvisor agent, she thought she should visit and get a feel for her new neighborhood. Along with her friends, suspicions began to mount from the moment she arrived.

“The landlord said the house was vacant and I could move in anytime.

Unfortunately for Sydney, her suspicions came too late. She had already transferred a total of €2250 to her bank account in Spain.

“Once payment was made, she stopped responding.”

She contacted Buckey again and asked if the place had housing allowance (heart eslag). Mr. Buckey told her it was certainly possible. That was the last time she heard from Sydney again.

“Once payment was made, she stopped responding,” she said. “Three days later, I found an article on a website about a pharmaceutical company. The article had her name, but she was about a scammer.”

Sidney immediately called the police. They were willing to help her, but there was little she could do for the police.

“They said it was totally impossible to get the money back,” she said.

To this day, Ms. Sidney has still not received the money she paid back.

learn the hard way

Unfortunately for Sydney and many other international students, fraud is an annual problem. There seems to be little that can be done about it, but Sidney hopes her story can inform others of the dangers that come with the housing market.

“Don’t pay or sign a contract before a preview. If the place is so great that it’s not true, you should be careful about that too,” Sydney said.

“If you have a friend who already lives there, let them go see the house to see how it is. prize.”

Fraud comes in all shapes and sizes

Sidney’s story is most common when it comes to housing fraud, but there are many ways students can be exploited in a volatile housing market.

One source, who chose to remain anonymous because of concerns about future employment opportunities, said they were construction workers helping repair homes. He remembers Hornzemeer asking him to fix a new kitchen in a place and a week later he found an ad with the same address on Kamernet.

“I clicked on the ad and saw some pictures but it was nothing. Trees in front of the window that didn’t exist in real life. I removed the kitchen myself, old or new It didn’t change at all.”

Tania Flores van Onglunds, a recent graduate student in Leeuwarden, said she had to tell students twice that her house was not for sale when she was shown a picture of her house for sale. He said he had to.

“I was kind of scared, I’m not going to lie,” she said.

She said the photos used in the ad were old before she moved, but she didn’t know her place was still online.

She has no intention of contacting the police, but is concerned about what this potential scam could lead to.

“So far we’ve had good people, but what if there are people who aren’t so thoughtful and kind?” ”

Students don’t seem safe from legal housing brokers either.according to reports sitcomMaxx Aanhuurmakelaars Groningen has received an official warning for charging questionable amounts for home viewings and activities, as well as a charge of €20 per email.

Be Prepared and Stay Vigilant

With so many new international students flocking to Leeuwarden and Groningen, it is important that all students are aware of all potential problems they may encounter when looking for housing.

The most common type of scam is the one that Sydney fell victim to. Email scammers pretending to be landlords outside of Groningen. They tend to ask for a deposit without showing the property, which is usually sent to a foreign account. After that, I lost contact and money completely.

Basic guidelines to follow are: never pay up front without seeing the property, never give out personal information such as passport copies, and be careful of housing advertisements on social media.

At home in Groningen has a manual on how to watch out for potential scams, including tips, types of scammers, and who to contact if you do get scammed.

The Northern Times will run regular coverage of student housing in the North over the next few months.

https://northerntimes.nl/students-beware-scammers-at-play/ Scammers in action – Northern Times

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