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Scammers target Irish students desperate for somewhere to live

Deposits are being paid to fraudsters for non-existent properties.

THE UNION OF Students in Ireland (USI) has issued a warning over scam artists taking advantage of needy students.

In recent weeks fake ads have appeared across a number of websites offering non-existent accommodation to needy students.

Those caught up in the scheme are then duped into handing over deposit money. Students identified as being particularly vulnerable to these scams are those coming to Ireland from abroad and first year students.

The fraud has been made possible by the recent housing shortage that has seen students desperate for accommodation.

In one case yesterday a student who had come to Ireland from overseas paid out €700 for the deposit and first month’s rent on a room purported to be in an apartment on Dublin’s Fade Street.

When the student went around to see the property the owner was unaware that any deal had taken place. The incident has been reported to gardai.

Speaking to about the scams Greg O’Donoghue, Vice President for Welfare of the USI, said:

It is important that students do the research. They need to make sure it is adequate accommodation. Don’t sign a lease unless you have read the contract.

It was advised that students struggling to find accommodation should contact the Private Residential Tendencies Board (IRTB) or Threshold. The IRTB offer a service for students searching for digs.

In addition to this students can search for spare rooms, apartments and digs on the USI’s Homes for Study website.

Read: Students to be put up in hotels due to building delays at Montrose site

Also: College students warned they may have to stay in hostels in accommodation scramble

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