Following on from the post giving some insight into Homegate scams….
It seems that Fridays are very good days to pick up the scams on Homegate. Late afternoon, it seem the miscreants start their funny games, usually with lots of similar adverts with similar proportions, prices and space. And of course in the areas where people are becoming desperate because demand is far, far greater than supply.
If you know Augustinergasse in the centre of Zürich, you would see the above apartment being rarer than rocking horse poop. A proverbial unicorn and if an apartment was available with this much space, it would be three times the price.
Again, they look to suck people in and their goal is to get a dialogue going with as many people as possible and get some rental plus deposit from them. Of course you can have it now!
The three images were in an update sent to me via email recently, all in one email, all with much copy/paste and identical dimensions. And of course, Homegate staff spotted them and removed them pretty quickly.
Some simple rules of engagement:
- Never part with your cash until you have seen a place and have a contract in your hand
- Deposits go into holding accounts. It’s free at Raiffeisen, CHF50 at ZKB and CHF100 at CS and UBS
- If you’re feeling desperate, take time to think about what you’re looking at. These adverts were for spacious places with 3 bedrooms in great locations and at low prices. Without pictures! Pictures help but scam adverts can have pictures too (I’ve seen some scam adverts changing their pictures during the scam period)
- If you cannot meet a tenant, agent or owner and see the place, don’t sign anything and don’t pay anything
It’s a wicked world out there and whatever Homegate does to combat scams, they are chasing a moving target. If you are scammed by an advert on there, do contact them and let them know – you could help prevent one more victim….