Been totally ripped off :( (Update)

103
Found 14th Jun 2009
Don't know if any of you saw the thread I posted a few weeks back about this cottage that we'd put a deposit on- we found the listing through gumtree, was a private agent just setting up on his own, gave him £550 deposit and £200 admin in cash. He didn't send the contracts as promised and was difficult to get hold of but we had sporradic contact and set today as a moving in date...
After frantically trying to get hold of him yesterday to confirm we could move in today he TEXTS me at 10am this morning to tell me that the landlord has suffered a bereavement and needs the cottage, sorry for the inconvenience, he has other properties on his books blah blah.....
He isn't answering his phone, and hasn't offered us a refund. My dad is a landlord/tenant solicitor and i've threatened him with legal action as well as reporting him to the police if he doesn't return our cash but no reply yet..... I don't know if he's a con artist through and through, but he has had other listings on gumtree with the same mobile number.
I'm so upset. £750 we are going to have to fight to get back, not to mention how excited my OH and I were about getting our first place together. We feel like such mugs, naieve and too trusting
Just had to have a bit of a rant, it's been a really naff day!!!

-update-

My dad got back from his hols today and rang the agent ... basically because the deposit isn't protected we are entitled to sue for three times the amount which is what my dad threatened him with- except we'd sue the landlord as that is who to the deposit went to.... the agent seems VERY keen for us not to contact the l/l so i just think he knows nothing about any of this... it does seem like we're going to get the money back one way or another so i feel a bit happier but the whole thing sure has taken the fun out of moving in with my boyfriend! Anyway it was good fun hearing my dad sort him out.... ' I hope you know who you're DEALING with mr finnigan' he was going.... the agent certainly didn't talk to my dad in the rude way he did with me yesterday,lol. Thanks again for everyone's advice- will let you know if/when we get the money back xxx

103 Comments

oh sweetie, how awful for you.

I hope things turn round and get better for you from now on x x

Original Poster

Thanks hun, just been a bit of a shock but at the end of the day it's only money and although it's a lot, no one's died and we have our health and each other..... want to kick that agent's butt though!! Thanks for the kind wishes xx

ClarityofMind;5490781

oh sweetie, how awful for you. I hope things turn round and get better … oh sweetie, how awful for you. I hope things turn round and get better for you from now on x x

Can you not go to his address or at least the place where you exchanged the money? Lots of lessons to be learnt though.

For the future - only pay for things like this by credit card - that way you'll get protection.

Banned

How did you get the money to him?

Original Poster

We tried to but as he was just setting up he said he didn't have that facility ... we were just stupid and too trusting really!!

moob;5490812

For the future - only pay for things like this by credit card - that way … For the future - only pay for things like this by credit card - that way you'll get protection.

Original Poster

Gave it to him cash at the property... feel so stupid now!!!

guv;5490826

How did you get the money to him?

Original Poster

So I am finding out

starsparkle2311;5490814

That's a shame, gumtree is rife with scammers tho'

Original Poster

That'll be the next move.... I agree, next time we're only dealing with a proper agent rather than a bloke off Gumtree!

pghstochaj;5490811

Can you not go to his address or at least the place where you exchanged … Can you not go to his address or at least the place where you exchanged the money? Lots of lessons to be learnt though.

Original Poster

Thanks very much

vinylandtrinkets;5490827

hope you get your money back hun, will keep my fingers crossed for you.

torapoole;5490843

That'll be the next move.... I agree, next time we're only dealing with a … That'll be the next move.... I agree, next time we're only dealing with a proper agent rather than a bloke off Gumtree!



I think it can be fine, but you really have to approach with caution. If legitimate, he would have been acting on behalf of the property owner so at worst, that's an easy possible contact method. If it is a full scam and not him just trying it on however, I think you will find yourself stuck. Sorry.

Banned

torapoole;5490833

Gave it to him cash at the property... feel so stupid now!!!



Oh!!!!!!

Have you ever watched "the real hustle" on the BBC? Hopefully you are on it and set for a refund!

If not................ This doesnt sound promising.

Original Poster

pghstochaj;5490854

I think it can be fine, but you really have to approach with caution. If … I think it can be fine, but you really have to approach with caution. If legitimate, he would have been acting on behalf of the property owner so at worst, that's an easy possible contact method. If it is a full scam and not him just trying it on however, I think you will find yourself stuck. Sorry.



We'll see... my dad is going to do a land registry search to see who the owner is and contact him to check he was actually acting on his behalf. If this is the case I think we're in a stronger position..... if it's a full blown scam I don't hold out much hope!

Sounds very much like a Scam, take this straight to the police and give all the details you have of him.

i,m sorry to hear that i hope you get it all sorted out and try and stay positive and one day you will move in together this is just so unfortunate for you both.

Original Poster

guv;5490868

Oh!!!!!!Have you ever watched "the real hustle" on the BBC? Hopefully you … Oh!!!!!!Have you ever watched "the real hustle" on the BBC? Hopefully you are on it and set for a refund!If not................ This doesnt sound promising.



Haha that made me laugh. Yes I have seen the program and always thought noooo don't do it when they scam someone and now it's happened to me!
Ah well, we plan to go to the police and through the courts if needs be so all we can do is keep fingers crossed.
I guess these are the lessons we learn when we're young, maybe one day I'll chuckle about this??

Banned

torapoole;5490876

We'll see... my dad is going to do a land registry search to see who the … We'll see... my dad is going to do a land registry search to see who the owner is and contact him to check he was actually acting on his behalf. If this is the case I think we're in a stronger position..... if it's a full blown scam I don't hold out much hope!



still keep any texts or the like and I would still contact the old bill and see what they can do for you..





and before the mob arrive with some smart bottomed reply.. heard it all before :roll:

Original Poster

dean3988;5490885

Sounds very much like a Scam, take this straight to the police and give … Sounds very much like a Scam, take this straight to the police and give all the details you have of him.



I've text him and said we're giving him 48 hrs for him to refund us or we're going to police, which I think is more than fair.... I'm not holding out much hope though tbh!

Original Poster

dog_cop;5490897

still keep any texts or the like and I would still contact the old bill … still keep any texts or the like and I would still contact the old bill and see what they can do for you.. and before the mob arrive with some smart bottomed reply.. heard it all before :roll:



You're a policeman right.... would they take it seriously? Am worried they're just going to say 'Tora you're a mug, nowt we can help you with'!!

Original Poster

wulshaz;5490887

i,m sorry to hear that i hope you get it all sorted out and try and stay … i,m sorry to hear that i hope you get it all sorted out and try and stay positive and one day you will move in together this is just so unfortunate for you both.



Thanks hun, nice of you to say so I'm doing okay, we'll get there one day even if this has set us back a few months!

Sorry for your situation. You are fortunate than most in that your Dad might be able to help.

Never be too proud to ask for advice before big decisions. Most of us have all made these mistakes long before you.

you viewed the property?

he has other listings? call from another number to arrange viewing of one?

Original Poster

You're right, at least we get free legal advice! :thumbsup: My Dad has already said to ring him before handing over money so he can check the circumstances in the future.... I will be doing that but it's all just so embarassing and I feel like a right old numpty

iglimpse;5490925

Sorry for your situation. You are fortunate than most in that your Dad … Sorry for your situation. You are fortunate than most in that your Dad might be able to help. Never be too proud to ask for advice before big decisions. Most of us have all made these mistakes long before you.

He isn't answering his phone, and hasn't offered us a refund. My dad is a … He isn't answering his phone, and hasn't offered us a refund. My dad is a landlord/tenant solicitor and i've threatened him with legal action



What legal action? You have no contract.

I remember how excited you were, so feel really bad for you.

Loupomm speaks sense, as always... arrange a viewing on another property if he refuses to meet with you/refund

Original Poster

loupomm;5490926

you viewed the property?he has other listings? call from another number … you viewed the property?he has other listings? call from another number to arrange viewing of one?



Could try this but I have a feeling he's already spent the money we gave him! I know he's friends with a couple of the neighbours so could go that route... we'll see.... the thought of seeing him after all this makes me feel a bit sick tbh.

Original Poster

thesaint;5490937

What legal action? You have no contract.



No but he's committed fraud if he doesn't give us the money back, have discussed it with my Dad and can try and claim the money back through courts.

lol but looking on Gumtree for a house.
Thats just asking to be scammed.

Original Poster

bazzaric;5490939

I remember how excited you were, so feel really bad for you.Loupomm … I remember how excited you were, so feel really bad for you.Loupomm speaks sense, as always... arrange a viewing on another property if he refuses to meet with you/refund



Thanks hun, hope it all works out

Original Poster

h_360;5490949

lol but looking on Gumtree for a house.Thats just asking to be scammed.



Helpful, thanks.

Banned

thesaint;5490937

What legal action? You have no contract.



Fool. Of course she has. Verbal agreement is still a contact, which obviously needs to be proven. The texts should do that,

Original Poster

guv;5490959

Fool. Of course she has. Verbal agreement is still a contact, which … Fool. Of course she has. Verbal agreement is still a contact, which obviously needs to be proven. The texts should do that,



Cheers Guv. I also have a receipt from him showing we paid him the money, with his signature so at least we have proof!

I don't mean to sound harsh but if your dad is a property solicitor why didn't you check this stuff out first? surely you must've considered the need to be cautious if you knew you were dealing with someone with no track record. in fact this whole thing doesn't make much sense with me, are you saying that up until yesterday you were under the impression that you were going to move in without having signed a tenancy agreement?

maybe i'm missing a bit of the story. well regardless i hope you sort it out and get your money back.

torapoole;5490948

No but he's committed fraud if he doesn't give us the money back, have … No but he's committed fraud if he doesn't give us the money back, have discussed it with my Dad and can try and claim the money back through courts.



Granted. I just was interested what legal action you'd threatened him with when he hasn't committed an offence.

Banned

thesaint;5490973

Granted. I just was interested what legal action you'd threatened him … Granted. I just was interested what legal action you'd threatened him with when he hasn't committed an offence.



LOL... You iz funny.

Original Poster

bruffterman;5490972

I don't mean to sound harsh but if your dad is a property solicitor why … I don't mean to sound harsh but if your dad is a property solicitor why didn't you check this stuff out first? surely you must've considered the need to be cautious if you knew you were dealing with someone with no track record. in fact this whole thing doesn't make much sense with me, are you saying that up until yesterday you were under the impression that you were going to move in without having signed a tenancy agreement?maybe i'm missing a bit of the story. well regardless i hope you sort it out and get your money back.



he said he was going to email us the contract and kept fobbing us off- we were under the impression that he would bring the contract with him the day we moved in or email it to us that day so we could sign it and then move in, so no, we weren't going to move in without one.

And yes, we should have been more thorough.... But as I said, was our first time and we were just too trusting and naive... totally admit that! Ah well, hindsight is a lovely thing! Thanks for the good wishes, lets hope we can get the money back

portsmouth.gumtree.com/por…tml

Just been looking back at your previous posts and found it was this 1,I realised now you were after renting it. When I saw this thread I thought it was about a home you were going buy,if buying,I thought bit of a silly thing to do but now it's a place to rent,well I think a lot of people could easily be ripped off this way.

Thinking back how we used to find private rents,we used to look in newsagents windows and local papers under lettings and go from there. However we never handed over any cash until the day we got the keys and the tenancy agreement/contract and inventory etc,but can still see how some wouldn't think any different and hand over cash.

So gumtree it's just the modern way of how we done it in past to get past the letting agency fees in past.

Hope you got some more cash for a deposit,I know how hard it can be to save up a deposit for rented place.

Banned

torapoole;5490906

You're a policeman right.... would they take it seriously? Am worried … You're a policeman right.... would they take it seriously? Am worried they're just going to say 'Tora you're a mug, nowt we can help you with'!!



take all items of corrispondance and text messages to your local police station and explain the situation , he may have done it before

Original Poster

Yeah, I definitely won' t be handing over money before we get keys etc in future but I guess we've just learned the hard way.
No money atm for deposit but we're lucky we can both stay at our parents so hopefully we'll be ready to look again in a month or so.
And yeah, I think you're probably right that people can easily get ripped off this way, esp if you're young and inexperienced like my partner and I were.... tough life lesson tho!!

Mum2Connor&Cerys;5491018

http://portsmouth.gumtree.com/portsmouth/40/38914740.htmlJust been … http://portsmouth.gumtree.com/portsmouth/40/38914740.htmlJust been looking back at your previous posts and found it was this 1,I realised now you were after renting it. When I saw this thread I thought it was about a home you were going buy,if buying,I thought bit of a silly thing to do but now it's a place to rent,well I think a lot of people could easily be ripped off this way.Thinking back how we used to find private rents,we used to look in newsagents windows and local papers under lettings and go from there. However we never handed over any cash until the day we got the keys and the tenancy agreement/contract and inventory etc,but can still see how some wouldn't think any different and hand over cash.So gumtree it's just the modern way of how we done it in past to get past the letting agency fees in past.Hope you got some more cash for a deposit,I know how hard it can be to save up a deposit for rented place.

Original Poster

dog_cop;5491029

take all items of corrispondance and text messages to your local police … take all items of corrispondance and text messages to your local police station and explain the situation , he may have done it before



Thanks for the advice, appreciate it :thumbsup:
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