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Scammers target vulnerable renters in search of homes

Online Scams

Scammers target vulnerable renters in search of homes

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A Queensland mum has been scammed out of hundreds of dollars after falling victim to online scammers taking advantage of the challenging rental market.
Cassandra Johnston said she had been couch surfing for a year when she believed she’d finally found a rental property for herself and her children.

The mum of three posted an ad on Gumtree seeking a rental property when a woman by the name of Natasha Barry seemingly offered her a home in Morayfield south-east Queensland.

The mum of three posted an ad on Gumtree seeking a rental property when she was scammed.
The mum of three posted an ad on Gumtree seeking a rental property when she was scammed. (9News)
Ms Johnston said she filled out an application and was approved for the home within days.
Ms Johnston said she filled out an application and was approved for the home within days. (9News)

“I just wanted a place for my kids so we could all be together again,” Ms Johnston said.

“They were stoked to be moving into the property, they were getting their own bedrooms.”

Ms Johnston said she filled out an application and was approved for the home within days.

But when a man named Andrew Tickner, claiming to be Ms Barry’s solicitor asked the family for more and more money, alarm bells were raised.

Mr Tickner informed her she needed to pay $850 to secure the property and organise an inspection.

“About 45 minutes before the meet up time, she sent us an email stating she wanted another $850 from us,” Ms Johnston said.

New scam emails impersonating Australia Post

The Queensland mother said she borrowed money off her partner’s parents to make the payment, desperate to give her children a place to live.

After being told the keys would be delivered to her the next day,…

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