As with any form of online platform, people might use the anonymity of the internet for their own purposes, which might be scamming or spamming. As such, it is always important to be careful when contacting people online.
Our team is constantly working on picking up and blocking any attempts for scamming on the site (we do it both manually and automatically), however, there is no way to block these attempts completely, so we always suggest our members to be cautious (And notify us) if they have suspicions regarding an ad or a profile.
Below are some popular online scams to be wary from as well as advice and information on how to increase your safety and keep your online privacy:
Requests to use transfer monies via Western Union or MoneyGram.
Warning signs for this scam can be found in cases in which the publisher of the ad (for example, a landlord or a flatmate) claims he or she are not available to show the room/flat and asks you to:
- send a down payment to secure the property
- send to your friend/acquaintance an amount by Western-union and then send him a scan copy of the transfer
- sign a contract and pay an amount in advance
Cheque/bank transfer over-payment.
Warning signs for this scam can be found in cases in which the publisher (for example, a potential tenant inquiring about your available flat or room) claims that he sent you an amount which is higher than you asked (for example if you asked the tenants to send a deposit or a booking fee) and asks you to send back to his account the surplus.
Fake escrow services.
A potential tenant/landlord offers to use an escrow service to secure a transaction (for example, a deposit for renting a flat or a room). if using one of those, use only well trusted and established ones (a quick search in google for an escrow account will provide quick results to the nature of the service and its credibility).
As part of the social platform RoomMatesUK.com offers, you can find on the site two direct ways of communication with other members – you can either send messages via the threading system or chat online with other members. Using the site’s internal messaging options is not only comfortable and easy, but also provides a great way for protecting your privacy rather than distributing your direct contact details to strangers. As such, we suggest you as much as possible of your communication inside the service.
if you receive any suspicious message on the site from a member, please dont hesitate and report to us for advise.