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12.04.23 – Increase in Rental Scams, Drive towards low emission fuel in NUL

Written by on 11 April 2023

Action Fraud reported receiving more than 6,000 reports of online rental scams last year, and it is estimated that victims lost more than £10 million.

Many people are now using many different platforms to advertise and search for properties, and this has led to a rise in online rental scams.

There has been an increase in fake listings and properties being advertised that are already let out. Scammers are asking for personal information and payments before you are able to view the advertised property.

Always check that you are dealing with a genuine landlord – You can search and verify landlord details for free on RentProfile, a service set up to protect tenants from fraudsters posing as landlords. If a landlord isn’t listed, you can invite the landlord to sign up, or request a landlord background check for a small fee.

How to avoid falling victim to an online rental scam

  • Never transfer money or share bank details before viewing a property. If someone asks you to do this, report the advert and the user to the platform immediately as is likely to be a scammer.
  • Too good to be true? Scams will often promise high returns for very little financial commitment. If the rental price seems too good to be true, it probably is.
  • Don’t be pressured into making a decision. Scammers often use pressure tactics to make victims act quickly and without thinking. If a prospective landlord is pushing you into transferring money or sending over personal information, take a step back and check the listing is legitimate before acting.
  • Reverse image search. If you’re suspicious of a property ad, it’s worth running a reverse image search in Google to see if the photos have been stolen from elsewhere.
  • Don’t click on links. Be wary of clicking on any links before checking they’re genuine. Most websites will have a list of the different links and domains they use – if you’re unsure, it’s worth double checking the URL is legitimate before clicking on it.




Newcastle-under-Lyme Borough Council is increasingly switching from diesel to low-emission fuel as part of its drive to be net zero by the end of the decade.

New purchasing arrangements are being put in place as the Borough Council buys increasing amounts of Hydrotreated Vegetable Oil (HVO).

A report to be considered by the authority’s Cabinet later this month says that from this month the second of four storage tanks will be used for Hydrotreated Vegetable Oil rather than white diesel.

The Council is committed to having net zero carbon emissions by 2030 and is taking steps such as this within the authority, as well as encouraging others to make a difference by improving walking and cycling routes, improving recycling opportunities and turning weekly collections of food waste into compost or energy.