A fake lettings operation has been uncovered by a leading legitimate agency - and now the National Trading Standards Estate and Letting Agency Team is probing the fraudulent scheme.
On Friday Kristjan Byfield, head of London agency Base Property Specialists, was made aware of the fraudulent lettings operation after a suspicious consumer contacted the legitimate firm.
The consumer had been asked for immediate payment by the fake company, posing as Base.
The fake was called London Base Rentals and was on Craigslist - its website was https://londonbaserentals.co.uk/#
Byfield told NTSELAT: “I have flagged their listing on Craigslist which appears to have got them removed and have also reported their Facebook page. I am not sure what if anything further can be done but can you please acknowledge receipt of this notification and that further investigations/monitoring will be undertaken accordingly please?”
NTSELAT now says it will look into the issue.
Earlier this year in February Byfield asked both Trading Standards and the police to probe another fake company posing under a similar name.
On that occasion the fake - which called itself Base Property (London) Limited - posted listings of properties on Zoopla which Byfield believed were ‘lifted’ from the websites of other agencies.
These properties were listed with what he called “insanely below-market rate” prices.