Italian international student, Alessandro Talotti, arrived in Ireland on 8 September to begin his Erasmus year at University College Cork and immediately lost €1150 in a an accommodation or rent scam.
Before travelling to Ireland Alessandro searched online for somewhere to live in Cork. He posted in some Facebook groups to find a room for the year and was contacted by someone with an Irish name who offered him a room in a house in Old Blackrock Road.
The Facebook contact – who turned out to be a scammer – sent Alessandro pictures of the room and gave him an Irish phone number. They spoke on the phone and the scammer told him that he must speak with the person who would be his roommate and gave him another number. Alessandro explained what happened next:
I was told to pay €600 for the deposit and €550 for the first months rent, and I was sent details for an Irish bank account.
It is a common scam that tricks thousands of internation
Two days later he had been An Italian international student at UCC has been left homeless after falling victim to a complex scam that saw him duped out of €1150.
Alessandro made the payments and thought that he had his accommodation sorted out. When he arrived in Cork and went to the address the scammer gave him, the person living in the house told him he had been scammed. They also said that other international student victims of the scam had also come knocking.
He has reported the matter to police in Cork, but it is unlikely that he will get his money back.
The good news is that a kind family has come to the rescue and agreed to have Alessandro stay with them until he can find permanent accommodation.
A common scam
The rent scam is a very common form of accommodation scam. Many international students get ripped off by this scam every year in the main study destination countries, including the US, Canada, UK and Australia.
Other types of accommodation scam which trick international students include the fake property scam, and the fake landlord scam.
Help yourself – don’t get scammed!
As an international student, the best way to protect yourself from scams is to ensure you understand the risks and warning signs.
Stay safe – by taking the free course on ‘Scams Targeting International Students‘ today.
It could save you a lot of money and stress.