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Housing Scam Notification

It has come to our attention that several landlords have been contacted via e-mail by people posing as international students/visiting scholars/faculty. The majority of these e-mails have originated from the UK. 

Typically, the scam works like this: 

  • Tenant expresses urgency in completing rental agreement & agrees to send a check/money order for the cost of the rental ASAP. 
  • Tenant sends a counterfeit check/money order for more money than is needed and requests the landlord send them the balance. 
  • Tenant states that they’re planning to use the balance to purchase their plane ticket, furniture or another urgent cause and asks the landlord to send the money ASAP. 
  • Upon initial deposit, the bank accepts the counterfeits but contacts the landlord within a couple of days and notifies them that the check/money order was fake. 

IF THIS HAPPENS TO YOU, DO NOT SEND OR RETURN MONEY

WHO SHOULD YOU NOTIFY ABOUT FRAUD OR SCAM ATTEMPTS? 

If you feel suspicious that a potential tenant may be attempting a scam, request that the bank/post office investigate and/or contact the following: 

  • FTC toll free hotline: 877-FTC-HELP (877-382-4357) 
  • FTC online complaint form (www.ftc.gov) 
  • Internet Fraud Complaint Center (www.ic3.gov/) 
  • Non-emergency number for your local police department. 

PLEASE TAKE NOTICE OF THIS WARNING AND BE SUSPICIOUS 

http://brown.edu/Administration/Auxiliary_Housing/documents/ScamNotification.pdf 


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