A Dundee flat is at the centre of a fraud investigation after a man was duped into thinking he was the new tenant.
George Mitchell thought he had secured himself a new property on Daniel Street, near the Hawkhill, before it became clear all was not what it seemed.
The 54-year-old was forced to contact police after he was given a fake set of keys for the flat.
Police Scotland have confirmed they are now investigating after George handed over £700 in cash for the first month’s rent and deposit.
Social media advert
George saw the flat advertised on Facebook and went to view it on Monday.
He said: “I met a man and a woman at the address before the male advised it was his father’s property.
“Despite concerns about the amount of personal items and furnishings still in the address, I thought it was ideal for when my current lease finished.”
George agreed terms with the pair, which would see him paying £350 cash for the first month before a direct debit would be set up for future payments.
He added: “We met outside the property on Thursday evening, he and the woman were in a white van.
“Given they had physically been inside for the viewing, I had no reason to believe this wasn’t genuine.
“They handed me a set of keys and advised relevant paperwork would be sent in the coming days.
“They drove away and as soon as I tried the door to get into the block the keys weren’t working.
“I messaged them and they blocked me and it left me with no other option to contact the police.
“This is the first time I’ve ever heard of a stunt such as this, I’m completely shocked.”
‘It has clearly been a scam’
George’s quick thinking daughter, Kayleigh Mitchell, immediately posted all details of the dodgy deal on social media, including images of the pair, to warn others.
She added: “My dad was obviously looking for a new address as his lease ends in August.
“Money is not easy to come by and he had been saving up to get himself ready to get a new property.
“It has clearly been a scam, after they blocked my dad we all tried to contact them but we tracked down images of the pair on social media and shared them.
“Our main objective was to warn others to ensure this didn’t happen to anyone else.”
But the scam took another twist when the “landlords” got back in touch, asking for the photographs identifying them to be removed in return for the £700.
Kayleigh added: “They contacted me saying if we take down the posts they’ll post the money though my letterbox.
“I gave them my address to return the cash. They snuck in late in the evening and placed the money in my letterbox with a note.
“They contacted me again on Friday asking for the posts to be removed.
“I’m just so scared that this could happen to someone else so we haven’t removed anything online yet.”
A spokeswoman from Police Scotland added: “We were called to a report of a fraud in the Hawkhill area of Dundee around 7pm on Thursday June 10.
“Inquiries are at an early stage.”