Reykjavik Police issue warning about apartment scams
The Reykjavik Metropolitan Police issued a warning in both Icelandic and English on apartment scams in Reykjavik. They warn of scammers advertising housing online which does not exist.
The warning is as follows:
Recently we have seen a number of attempts to scam people by offering housing that does not exist on the internet. These scammers are from abroad, even if they use Icelandic websites like bland.is and mbl.is. We are in good cooperation with these services to take down such false advertising but sadly it is easy to put up new such scams.
The scammers offer all kinds of false reassurances. They pretend to use companies like Airbnb but this is easy to fake. Airbnb only guarantees services done through their website and would never conduct business via email.
The modus operandi is almost identical in these cases. They pretend to live abroad, the apartment was for their child. They used to have a dog (this is a psychological trick as people tend to find people who have dogs more trustworthy – but the dog like everything else is a lie). It is well known that the Icelandic rental market is tough but similar scams are well known in almost every country.
Never rush into such agreements. Always be suspicious if you are to send money to a different country than an apartment is in. Go have a look at the housing in question and ask your friends to help you. You can even send us a message if you suspect a scam. Either here on Facebook or at firstname.lastname@example.org
Be careful. The best defence is prevention.