Holiday Letting Scam

Holiday accommodation ****. They post ads on gumtree for holiday accommodation. Beautiful beach front houses to rent at low costs. Everything is always available. Once you start emailing back and forth they send you a lease agreement with blank spaces and expect you to just sign at the bottom- they will fill in the rest. They even have a "head office"- I phoned back to see if they are still answering, and they actually did. The house addresses are all wrong, and these holiday homes are definitely not where they say it is, let alone available. Then they require 50% deposit to secure the accommodation. All the "agents" work from gmail accounts- even the manner in which they reply is so ridiculous. They have a website (very funny) with pictures of the company owners (not real) with beach houses (not real) with a lease agreement (not real). They post about 20 new listing on gumtree every day.   I got this add for accommodation in the Gumtree and responded to it were after I got a call from a guy Stephen 076-563-6396/076-727-9252 –E mail William Whirlsmith They sent a lease agreement that was completed. And mails with picture and photos of the flat. I received a invoice and proof of payment from them after deposit was paid. The agencies involved is SHINE THE WAY HOUSES and QUEEN ESTATE PROPERTIES with lots of cell numbers and a HQ number in CPT that they use ,but they do not answer ant of these phone now. There is about 8 to 10 people on their webs that deal with letting and none off them can now be reached     I paid my deposit of R4560.00 on the 19th Nov 2014,I then phoned on Monday 2014/12/08 to find out when the rest is to be paid and they indicated 10 days before arrival. Ten minutes later I got a mail again stating that their account were I paid the deposit into has been hacked and that I have to pay the outstanding amount in to another account which then made me suspicious. I then started to do some investigation and came across the story above on helopeter. I then phoned the Amamazintoti tourist board and they investigated for me about the flat and came back telling me that it is a scam as the flat is not available and is permanently occupied and not available for holiday letting. I then sent a mail again to the guy I was speaking to e mail WILLIAM WHIRLSMITH and indicated to him that I am cancelling due to personal reasons and he replied it is fine they will pay back my deposit the next day being the 10 th Nov 2014 witch did not happen and from there on to now they do not answer their phones or e mails I have sent a few mails and they just stopped to answer them now.

Report ID: 7504
Crime Category: Other
Province: Gauteng
City/Town: Alberton
Suburb: Brackenhurst
Address: KZN,CPT
Crime Date/Time: 19 Nov 2014, 00:11 AM
Reported By: Username7504
Reported Date: 17 Dec 2014, 10:12 AM
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  • pasqual 22 Dec 2014, 09:17 PM

    Hi there We were also scammed by them, i booked accommodation in Margate and paid the deposit on the 12 November, i spoke to william a few times telephonically and on the 12 december he actually asked me to deposit the remainder of the accommodation which i then did, we arrived in margate today to find all of the numbers provided are off and the number of the unit we were supposed to stay in doesn't exist! We went to the bank to try get the transfer reversed only to be told the money can only be reversed if william agrees to it. The worst part of this all is there is nothing we can do to stop this guy and he will carry on scamming people :( im willing to assist with any investigation or information with regards to this criminal

  • Username7504 19 Dec 2014, 06:45 AM

    Hi Tony You can contact me on my email

  • Tony8 18 Dec 2014, 08:13 PM

    I am in contact with these fraudsters. The current pseudonym is Stephen Holmes. I asked him to send additional pics and they were send by William Whirlsmith (probably the same guy). I would be happy to correspond with the person who was scammed. They may be able to catch this guy.

  • Username7591 18 Dec 2014, 12:55 AM

    Have you reported to OlX to take down?

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