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Avoid Accommodation Scams

The University continues to recommend you DO NOT make any agreements or accept payment from students you have not met in person.


A number of scams have recently been reported to the service. Accommodation providers are warned to be cautious of communications from scammers posing as students overseas.

  • Scammers are usually outside the country and most often use PayPal or Western Union
  • Scammers will attempt to engage you with long personal emails about themselves, and can include pictures
  • They will share personal details to build trust and pull at heart strings
  • They will offer to send you payment as a deposit for the room. They will then send an email saying there has been a complication and they need to you send some of the money back urgently.

You can report scams directly to Scam Watch.

Scam Examples:

Common scam emails that people have recieved:

---------- Forwarded message ----------
Hello

I'm interested in your room. My name is Anne Ning Magpuri, 21 years old, female and Chinese Filipino. I'm coming from Philippine to Deakin University on December 30th, 2016. I'm very clean, polite, non smoker, hard working, very pleasant, easy going personality.

I will be happy if you can secure the room for me and also let me know the actual price per week for rent so that i can inform my Parent to get in touch with you about deposit payment arrangement as soon as possible.

Thanks and have a wonderful evening
Anne

The scammers then send you another email supposedly from the father asking for your details to send you money. They will then make up an excuse to send you more money than is neccessary and give you a reason to send some of the money back urgently (being before the money they sent you has appeared in your account).

Hello XXX,

Good Evening! This is Mr Jose Alvarez by name and my daughter Sandra Alvarez has been getting in touch with you regarding to your accommodation for rent. She is a potential tenant, very clean, polite, easy going, hard working and responsible, she is a dream of every family. I'm very proud of her and i can assure you that you will have nothing to lose by holding your accommodation for her.

We have a financier that is based in the States and he will be handling the payment and some other expenses, so he will be the one that will be taking care of the service payment throughout her stay in Australia. I will instruct him to send a Pay Cheque of her rent deposit for two weeks rent before her arrival so as to secure the room. I will send you her flight details immediately she's through with her assignments in Philippine. So my financier would be needing the following Information below to make out the payment

(I)Your Full Name On Payment:
(II)Your Residence address where it will be delivered to(no P.O.Box please):
(III)City:
(IV)Post Code:
(V)Mobile and Home Phone numbers:
(VI)Email address:
(VII)Amount for the rent per week:

NB: She will sign the lease agreement paper when she arrive. I will be waiting to hear from you.

Thanks and have a blissful Sunday evening
Jose

Known Scammer Names:

Anne Ning Magpuri

Harry Big

Jose Alvarez

Joseph Paolo

Jose Sun Alejandro

Jose Sungha Chan

Naomi Tong Sunghua

Sandra Alvarez

Sandra Matha Alvarez

Sandra Eliza Alejandro

Sheila Paolo

robrown007@gmail.com

Details of people landlords have been asked to make a payment to via Western Union:

NAME: Raul Alvin Suarez
COUNTRY: Philippines

NAME: Gabriel Johnson Silver
COUNTRY: Philippines

If you think you have been contacted by a scammer:

If you think you have been contacted by a scammer please contact Scam Watch as noted above and also please notify the Houseme Team via any of the email addresses below.

Burwood

Email: housing-melbourne@deakin.edu.au

Geelong

Email: housing-geelong@deakin.edu.au

Warrnambool

Email: housing-warrnambool@deakin.edu.au