Student (19) loses €600 in serial rental scam in Dublin

Online scammer demanded a deposit for a property that was never actually available

Sophie Taylor (19) was the victim of a rental scam in Dublin. Photograph: Dave Meehan

Sophie Taylor (19) was the victim of a rental scam in Dublin. Photograph: Dave Meehan

 

A 19-year-old student who lost €600 when she paid a deposit on a rental property in Dublin city centre which was never actually available has since discovered several others have fallen prey to the same scam.

Sophie Taylor paid the deposit before being shown around the property on Middle Abbey Street, as she was under pressure from the supposed landlord. The scam artist did not own the property they had advertised online, and broke off all contact with Ms Taylor after she transferred the money.

The young woman, from Castlepollard, Co Westmeath, said after initially refusing several times she gave in and transferred €600 to a woman online. Upon visiting the property for the viewing she was informed by the actual owner that she had been scammed. “I ended up going to work in tears,” she said.

Middle Abbey Street

The address used by the scam artist is 50 Middle Abbey Street, Dublin 1. The owner of the property is Kevin Gilroy who lets the accommodation out to tourists holidaying in the city. He said every month or so a person will arrive at the property for a viewing, only for him to tell them they have fallen for the online scam.

“It’s been going on for the last few years, it’s the same person behind the scam. It mainly catches students, by putting pressure on the person to pay over money,” he said. “It targets people that are the most vulnerable, and that are really struggling to find accommodation.” he said.

Ms Taylor, a student in the British and Irish Modern Music Institute, is currently staying on a friend’s couch while trying to find accommodation in Dublin for her second year in college.