Scam involved falsely advertising flats for rent in Ealing
A bogus landlord who scammed more than £30,000 from tenants had falsely advertised flats in Ealing.
Police say that between Wednesday, 1 April and Friday, 19 June, criminals made use of the Gumtree website and claimed that flats were available in Lambeth, Islington, Barnet, Kilburn as well as Ealing.
Prospective tenants handed over large deposits totalling more than £30,000 but when they arrived on their moving-in dates, it became apparent that they had been victims of a scam.
The bogus landlord has given a variety of names including Adam Holt, Craig Myers, and Ashley Elliot, but all could be fake identities. He is described as a smartly dressed black man in his 30s with short black hair. He sometimes wears glasses.
He is also known to work with others - including a taller black man with a moustache and a black woman. All dress smartly in business attire.
Police are aware of six victims so far, but believe there may be more. Officers are advising potential victims to carry out some basic checks before handing over money.
Detective Constable Ross James, from Lambeth CID, said:
"We are keen to identify this fraudster as soon as possible. Anyone with information about these crimes, or who recognises the man shown in the image, should call police or Crimestoppers."
To provide information to police, please call 101 and quote reference 1217609/15. To remain anonymous call Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111.
If you are about to secure a deposit on a flat, please carry out some basic checks before you hand over your money and personal details. Advice is available at www.actionfraud.police.uk
23rd June 2015