At least six renters in London have been ripped off to the tune of £30,000 since April by a fraudster posing as a landlord.
The Met Police have issued an alert today for information to catch the suspect, pictured below, and have asked members of the public to call 101 and quote reference 1217609/15.
The victims, who responded to Gumtree adverts for properties across London, handed over deposits but were then unable to move in.
Finding a home in London is stressful and can make people so desperate to secure a flat that they neglect to carry out checks before parting with money. That makes the rental market fertile ground for criminals, and increases the need for a system of landlord licensing that will allow flathunters to check on their landlord's credentials before taking a property.