Serial rental scammer jailed… again

BREAK-IN: Locks were changed by rental scam woman Photo credit: YouTube

OFFICERS of the Guardia Civil have arrested a woman for illegally renting out homes.

It’s understood that at least five families have been hit by her actions after signing what they believed were legal contracts.

The situation came to light at the beginning of last month when a couple living in Torrevieja went away for a few days, only to find when they arrived back home that someone had illegally been in their home.

As the investigation developed, the Guardia Civil discovered a total of five homes were being illegally occupied in the same building.  All the families were given what appeared to be legal rental agreements full of fake information completed by the same person…the arrested woman.

The 28-year-old Bosnian woman – with Spanish nationality – was subsequently arrested and immediately sent to prison due to the serious offences committed.  It appears that she had previously been imprisoned for similar activities in November last year.

Her modus operandi was to break in to properties when she knew the owners had gone away for a while, change the locks, and then advertise some of the properties online.  Many of the families that were taken in by her scam also had young children.

It was a well-planned operation right from the start.  To make her crimes look even more realistic she even removed mail from the letter boxes with the names and addresses of the owners on them to enable the contracts to appear authentic, but the contact was the same…the arrested woman.

Advice from the Guardia Civil is to always rent property from registered estate agents where possible and to ask to see the deeds to the property and a photocopy of the ID of the owner before signing any rental contract.  Also, they advise that anyone going away for a period should also ask a friend or neighbour to collect their post to avoid any theft and possible fraud taking place.

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