Shane Dillon was on the hunt for a new place to call home after his current landlord announced their intention to sell the property he was residing in. Facing the prospect of homelessness unless he and his pregnant partner could find a new residence, Shane took to social media to hunt for a new home.
In a post on Facebook, Shane appealed for anyone who knew of a 3-bedroom home up for let to get in touch with him, and he was soon messaged by a woman called Laura Rayner who introduced herself as a private landlord in Ventnor. She claimed that she had a property in the town available for let from the following week, and shared over 25 photos of the house – alongside details of the rent and the deposit.
The property met all of Shane’s requirements, and he was keen to get the ball rolling. The so-called landlord Laura told him that the deposit would be held securely in the Government-backed Deposit Protection Scheme, and that should he wish to view the home, he could make a holding deposit.
Not wishing to miss out, Shane transferred the £450 ‘fully refundable’ holding deposit to the ‘landlord’ after asking her questions about the property, including on how long she had owned the property.
After transferring the sum, Shane tried to further message Laura but found himself blocked. He then realised just what foul deception had taken place.
The scam, which has been reported to the police, has cost Shane and his partner almost £500 – and the couple has received little support from their bank. Shane has also contacted the estate agent that recently sold the property, who has confirmed that the home was not in fact owned by anyone named Laura or Kyle.
Shane has shared his story online in a bid to warn others who may fall for such a scam, and his search for a new home continues.