Lake Illawarra Police are warning residents about a new scam that has targeted a number of victims across the Illawarra who have been searching for rental properties.
Police are investigating a number of incidents relating to homes advertised online for rent on sites such as Facebook Marketplace and Gumtree.
According to police, victims have seen the advertisement online, taken a liking to the home and contacted the alleged home owner.
The home owner has asked the victim for payment of bond and rent upfront without allowing the victim to see the property in person.
The victims have later found out that the property doesn't exist and they have been scammed.
"Please be vigilant when searching for potential rental properties online," Sergeant Peter Northey from the Lake Illawarra Police District Crime Prevention Unit said.
"Ensure that you inspect a property in person and make inquiries to the legitimacy before paying for any bond or rent."
If anyone has information that may assist police in their investigation, contact Lake Illawarra Police's 'Anti Theft Unit' on 4232 5599 or Crime Stoppers on 1800 333 000.
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