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Student landlords warned about potential scam

Private landlords offering accommodation to students who are planning to go to the University of Newcastle this September are being targeted by scam artists, it has been revealed.

Despite offering private rented properties through proper channels, many buy-to-let landlords could still fall foul to cheats, some of which are believed to already be operating through the system.

Registered providers earlier this week received an email from the University of Newcastle warning about two people “that have unfortunately made their way into [the] database.”

The University of Newcastle said emails under the names Paul and Janet Castillo are being sent scripted as father and daughter seeking a room.

Janet Castillo’s email comes first, the University told landlords, expressing interest in the room and seeking details for her parent to get in touch.

The individual posing as Paul Castillo then follows up, saying a US-based financier will take care of his daughter’s “payment and some other expenses”.

He continues: “I will instruct him to send a Pay Cheque for Two weeks rent before her arrival so as to secure the room,” the email, including in the university’s warning, states.

“I will send you her flight details immediately she's through with her assignments in Philippine.”

To accommodate the alleged payment, the Newcastle Herald reports that he requests a name, address, city, postcode, email address, phone numbers and rent amount.

“I'm very proud of her and i can assure you that you will have nothing to lose by holding your accommodation for her,” the emails in Paul Castillo’s name state.

The university is warning landlords to remain vigilant.

“We cannot seem to locate either name in our system and they may have a number of different alias' they use,” the University told landlords.

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