Wiltshire Police have released pictures of a man we would like to speak to in connection with two incidents of rental fraud in Swindon.
On two occasions people have been fooled into handing over deposits for a rental property by someone who has turned out not to be the owner of the house.
A property in Ferndale Road, which was empty as it was in the process of being sold, was advertised on Gumtree as available to rent.
Two separate people viewed the house in April 2019 and paid £1,200 and £2,400 in deposits to a man posing as the owner.
The scam was uncovered when the victims went to the house, hoping to move in, and discovered the actual owner of the house, who said the empty house had been broken into and the locks changed.
Local Crime Investigator Debbie Jones, from Swindon North Community Policing Team, said: “There are a number of victims in this case.
“Firstly, there is the owner of the house, who has had his property broken into and the locks changed.
“Secondly, there are two people who have unwittingly handed over large amounts of money to a man posing as the owner or landlord of the house, who has duped them into thinking they were viewing and securing a new home.
“We are asking people to look at the images attached and let us know if they recognise the man.
“Also, we would like to hear from anyone else who believes they may have fallen victim to either this man or a similar scam in the Swindon area.”
Anyone with information should contact LCI Jones on 101, quoting crime reference 54190036118. Alternatively you can call Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111.
You can find crime prevention advice on rental fraud on the Action Fraud website: https://www.actionfraud.police.uk/a-z-of-fraud/rental-fraud