Room for Rent and other rental scams
#405855 by Starrystarrynight Wed Mar 04, 2020 9:35 am
I put a wanted ad for a home on Gumtree. Was suspicious from the first response so made a new less personal email address for myself, but here is the correspondence. Does anyone please have a cyber crime/fraud email address that I could forward these emails onto?

From 'Helix' on Gumtree:
I have a 3 bedroom house in TR7 TR8 Newquay.
Kindly get back to me with your email for more details if you are still interested.

I sent my new email & ended up recieving these, including beautiful photographs. Sound familiar?

1. From: Anita Lawson <anit[email protected]>
Sent: Tuesday, 3 March 2020, 21:55:45 GMT
Subject: Re: helix replied to your ad: Wanted ~ Good Landlord TR7 TR8 Newquay 2/3 Bed House Rent ~ Long term let £800-£950

Thanks for the interest you have in my house. The house is located at Tor Rd Newquay TR7 1AU. My house is still available for rent and you can stay in my house as long as you pay your rent when due. Here are the necessary things you need to know about the rent and deposit.

Rent £800 PCM: £ 200.00 PW
Security Deposit: £ 600.00 (Returnable at the end of a week stay in my house)
Utility bills inclusive ( water, gas, council tax, TV license and wireless Internet) Utility Cost: £ 0.00 PCM.

However, At this stage that you want to rent my house, I need to know a few questions about you. Can you keep my house clean and tidy? Do you have references in Newquay?. Kindly reply for further information and I will like to know where you are coming from to stay in my house.

I look forward to reading from you. Have a wonderful week ahead of you.

Mr/Mrs. Lawson

I went on to say that I was indeed extremely interested, though I needed some more details, such as the exact Rent, was it £800pcm/£184.60pw or £866pcm/£200pw. I also said that I would feel more comfortable paying my own bills, as I always have.

Anita Lawson <[email protected]>
Lucy Taylor

Wed 4 Mar at 10:09

Thanks for the reply, Regarding to your question. Yes, there is a garden and garage in the house. All bills are included in the rent. It's possible for you to come for the viewing. However, i can make a perfect reservation for you as i am giving you 100% guarantee as the house is still available. I would need to come down and schedule for the viewing. Yet some prospective tenants do not have the money to pay the rent and they disturb the landlord to arrange a viewing, so i wouldn't like such to happen again.

Moreso, i have 2 other interested candidates that just provided their details for the tenancy agreement and also willing to make an advance deposit to secure the house but i declined because they have a big family with children, cats and dogs.

Nevertheless, i will appreciate if you would be able to get the security deposit transferred now via online banking or locate the bank. Upon verification of payment, we proceed immediately with the viewing. We can proceed with the viewing at your convenient time.

Please let me know if you are willing to proceed with the payment so that i can provide to you the bank account details. You will pay the rent after the viewing and note that making a deposit doesn't mean you must rent my house after the viewing, if you decide not to proceed with the rent, then i will REFUND the deposit immediately without any deduction.

Hope to read from you soon.

After this email, my daughter found this thread. At the same time, I was replying with:
In our initial messages, you led me to believe that you were the landlord. The last message states otherwise. Are you the landlord? The postcode that you gave me is not for Tor Road, it is for Berry Road.

In 25 years of Private renting, I have never once been asked to pay a security deposit until;
1.The house has been viewed and
2.The tenancy agreement has been drawn up & agreed.
If you have been paid deposits by other people, then the house is theirs to rent.
I am unwilling to pay £600 deposit for what is, essentially, nothing.

I can easily prove that I can afford the rent, the problem is, I asked you to clarify the correct amount PCM, which is how renting works.

My daughter showed me some screenshots from this thread & I got angry & questioned her identity. I still got a response asking for money!

Anita Lawson <[email protected]>
Lucy Taylor

Wed 4 Mar at 11:23

Well was even trying to reply the previous message you sent only for me to realized that you've sent another one calling me name that i don't know and never come across in my life. I am not miss Osazuwa or whatever you call it.

However, the house again is located at Berry Rd, TR7 1AU, Newquay and the monthly rent is 800GBP. I understand your message and i know you need to be careful when dealing with someone you haven't met or pay for what you haven't seen yet. Firstly, i would like you to know that i am not after your hard earn money. I am a live out landlord and i have my own work of which i earn enough money for my family.

The lay down procedure was mandated by my lawyer and i because we have both been disappointed in the past by unserious people that are not ready or don't have the money to pay for the rent or the security deposit, yet they disturb us in order to schedule a viewing and i am not willing to let that happen again.

As a private landlord here in the UK, i am guided by law under the Housing Act and i will neither advertise what i don't have. I can provide you proof of ownership so that you can see this is for real. The flat in the photos is exactly what you are coming to see on your arrival in flat. Nevertheless, i am more than willing to send my certificate of ownership as a proof of address.

Please let me know if you are willing to proceed with the advance payment? Otherwise, you will have to look for another flat in order to avoid time wasting, as i am mostly looking for tenants that will occupy the flat as soon as possible.

By this time, I was understandably livid, I don't have the time or energy to deal with dishonest people, so I sent the following, and thankfully, have not yet had another email from her/him/them.

To Mr/Mrs Lawson, Anita, Stella Kelvin, Mr/Mrs Kelvin, [email protected], Laura Doyle, Mr/Mrs Doyle, [email protected], or whoever you are choosing to be currently,


You have tried to scam the wrong person.


I really want to contact the Police & report. Yes, they're probably using a VPN, but maybe, just maybe they'll slip up and finally be punished for what they're doing and have done. Who knows how many victims there have been within the past 7+ years? It's just outrageous.

#412909 by Poppy123 Sat Jun 27, 2020 5:02 pm
I also have had contact with “Anita Lawson” regarding a flat. The emails were very similar to the ones sent in the previous post and she was advertising more than one property all over the UK. I was sent a tenancy agreement and so I did send money but then found this post and contacted my bank and actionfraud, I have been refunded the amount I paid. After some more researching I found the law firm the tenancy agreement was with and the logo on the agreement did not match. She also wanted the money into a different account and was saying she had not received it when my bank told me she had. Upon me asking her for a refund she did not reply and so after repeating the request of a refund several times she replied saying I was being rash and unnerving her. Similarly I had confusing messages about whether she was the landlord and also had emotional stories of her health and moving to her family as the reason for the property being up for rent. Even after receiving my refund she has continued to email asking for the money to then view the property. I have reported her to the website which had the ad and other properties she was advertising, she has been removed from the website. Please do not even contact “Anita Lawson”. Would recommend reporting to Action fraud (it is a police funded website) if you have had any contact with her.

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