Thousands of euros in damage: a new scam in Vienna with fake advertised apartments.

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In Vienna, the tenants’ association and the police are warning of a new scam in which criminals are offering apartments on online platforms that do not belong to them. Prospective tenants are being cheated out of thousands of euros for the transfer fee and deposit.

Finding an apartment in Vienna is becoming increasingly difficult and expensive. But now the tenants’ association is warning of a new scam in which unsuspecting apartment seekers are being cheated out of thousands of euros. Criminals are offering apartments on online platforms such as “willhaben” or Airbnb that do not even belong to them. Their approach is extremely professional, and they even fake viewing appointments.

How the scam works
The fraudsters advertise attractive apartments on the platforms at a low price. Interested parties are then invited to a viewing, where a fake employee shows them the apartment. This is usually fully furnished and looks very professional. After the viewing, several potential tenants are promised the apartment at the same time via WhatsApp, and a contract is drawn up. A deposit and transfer fee totalling thousands of euros are demanded.

Tips for avoiding fraud
The tenants’ association advises apartment seekers in Vienna to exercise increased caution and gives tips on how to protect themselves from such scams. For example, you should only make payments when the keys are handed over and look out for suspicious details when viewing the property. You should also ask to see the estate agent’s or property manager’s ID and speak to other residents in the house if possible. The deposit should also only be paid when the keys are handed over.

Vienna police investigate the fraudsters
The Vienna police have already started investigating the fraudsters, as there are already several people looking for an apartment who have been affected. The fraudsters are extremely sophisticated and even create fake homepages to legitimize their supposed real estate company. The scam is always the same. The fraudsters just vary individual details.

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