Huge demand for accommodation in the busy city of Edinburgh has meant scammers are rife, offering places that are not available, or simply don’t exist.
Some spot the signs, but many people don’t realise it’s a scam until it’s too late.
The shortage of affordable accommodation makes viewers more vulnerable as they try to snap up seemingly good deals quickly, without reading the fine print.
Rental properties are sometimes listed on Facebook Marketplace or Airbnb in hopes of drawing in international students.
Potential tenants are then shown properties with images stolen from actual rental listings, which are backed up by doctored paperwork of landlord registrations and rental licenses.
Some have lost thousands sending money to fake landlords who stop replying to texts and emails once a deposit and first month’s rent has been transferred.