Cape Town's northern suburbs have been hit by rental scammers. The scammers go online and steal ads and advertisements placed on existing websites then advertise the property fraudulently on other sites.
Estelle Nagel, Head of Public Relations at Gumtree, says they are working with the police and their online crime unit to know what scams to be aware of. She adds that Gumtree has a full-time team that monitors advertisements, suspicious behaviour and investigates reports from users.
In general we believe prevention is better than cure and we try and put a lot messages out there to inform our users on what to look out for.— Estelle Nagel, Head of Public Relations at Gumtree
If something looks or sounds too good to be true, it usually is, says Nagel. She advises to ask for additional photographs when you are applying for a rental space or looking to purchase property.
Another big warning sign is being asked for a deposit before viewing the site and if someone claims they are out of the country, contact the website as soon possible for verification says Nagel.
You can also do a reverse Google search to determine the original source is.— Estelle Nagel, Head of Public Relations at Gumtree
Take a listen to the full interview here: