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Old 10.06.2008, 11:57
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Apartment Deposit Scam Warning

Hi Friends,

I am currently searching for an apartment in Zurich. Yesturday only I got
one offer for apartment.

Owner of the apartment will send me the contract of the apartment through email without his/her sign on it. After receiving the form I need to fill it up and resend it to owner and he/she also want me to transfer the money through Western Union.

I am some what confused and not able to take proper decision. Is it worth to take this transaction forward?

As there is no proof with me when I transfer money through Western Union. Even Western Union site mentioned that it's not safe to send money through western union if you really do not know the receiver.

What did you think will it be a valid transaction?

For safetly of my money what I need to do? Any other safest option to
make this deal valid?


Welcome to new ideas and help.


Regards,
Ksheetu.
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  #2  
Old 10.06.2008, 12:01
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Re: Advice needed urgently

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I am some what confused and not able to take proper decision. Is it worth to take this transaction forward?
NO! This is a well-known scam and this is not anywhere near the standard practice in real estate contracts.
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  #3  
Old 10.06.2008, 12:03
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Re: Advice needed urgently

Avoid it like the plague, sounds like you're being scammed.

There are special bank accounts for rental deposits here, and that's what you should be using.
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Old 10.06.2008, 12:09
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Re: Advice needed urgently

Thanks Shorrik.

Just a had a chat with owner. He is in Italy so he want me to transfer the money through Western Union. He provided me apartment address in Zurich. He said as he need to travel from Italy so he asked me to transfer the deposite first and rent, I can transfer once I will get keys.

Sorry but what is the normal procedure here? As I am new I don't have much idea about this.


Regards,
Ksheetu.
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  #5  
Old 10.06.2008, 12:10
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Re: Advice needed urgently

Hi Cyrus,

Can you tell me more about Special Bank accounts ?
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Old 10.06.2008, 12:14
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Re: Advice needed urgently regarding hosung contract

Sorry but how to edit Thread title? No idea
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Old 10.06.2008, 12:18
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Re: Advice needed urgently [potentially being scammed?]

Not sure what they're called, but it's basically a joint bank account between you and the landlord, and neither can withdraw money without the others permission. I'm sure somebody will be along shortly with the correct name (currently, google isn't my friend)
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Old 10.06.2008, 12:19
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Re: Advice needed urgently

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Thanks Shorrik.

Just a had a chat with owner. He is in Italy so he want me to transfer the money through Western Union. He provided me apartment address in Zurich. He said as he need to travel from Italy so he asked me to transfer the deposite first and rent, I can transfer once I will get keys.
No, no, no. Do not send any money through western union. This has happened many times and people never got the appartment and never got to see their money again.

If anything needs to be paid as deposit, then it is in a local bank account opened on a basis of a written lease contract between you and the landlord, and subject to restrictions as to how the landlord can access that money.
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  #9  
Old 10.06.2008, 12:21
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Re: Advice needed urgently [potentially being scammed?]

The landlord should set up an account in Switzerland which contains your security deposit. The banks have special account for these. You do not give the money directly to the landlord but but it into this special account, usually with an orange payment slip.

I would also expect to be paying rent into a Swiss bank account. If he is a legitimate property owner running a legitimate business in Switzerland there should be no reason for him not to have a Swiss bank account.
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Old 10.06.2008, 12:22
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Re: Advice needed urgently

There are special bank accounts for rental deposit, so-called "Mietkautionskonto".
For example: https://www.nab.ch/produkt/nabprodukt160.shtml?ort=az

Simply put, neither party can withdraw any money from this account (in particular also not the owner of the appartment) without the consent of the other party. The money stays blocked (but you receive interest) until you move out of the appartment.

Since the rental deposit is money that belongs to you, I would strongly advise against sending this abroad. Since it will be extremely difficult to get it back from the owner at the end. Italian courts are not known to be very efficient...

It is also strange that the owner of a rental property in Switzerland does not have a bank account here in Switzerland. Avoiding taxes is a national sport in Italy...

All in all, I'd be very careful.
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Old 10.06.2008, 12:22
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Re: Advice needed urgently [potentially being scammed?]

Thanks Shorrik for your reply. Really it save my money and future headache.

Thanks for your gr8 help.
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  #12  
Old 10.06.2008, 12:23
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Re: Advice needed urgently

Shorrick is right. Don't do this. Any deposits should be into a swiss (preferably well known) bank into an escrow account specifically dedicated for this purpose.

dave



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No, no, no. Do not send any money through western union. This has happened many times and people never got the appartment and never got to see their money again.

If anything needs to be paid as deposit, then it is in a local bank account opened on a basis of a written lease contract between you and the landlord, and subject to restrictions as to how the landlord can access that money.
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Old 10.06.2008, 12:33
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Re: Advice needed urgently regariding housing contract

Thanks Dave about "escrow account" information.
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  #14  
Old 10.06.2008, 12:42
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Re: Advice needed urgently [potentially being scammed?]

Any person who owns property for rent in Switzerland will 100% have a Swiss bank account, wherever in the world they live and will never expect money to be sent out of the country by Western Union of any other similar system...
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Old 10.06.2008, 13:34
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Re: Advice needed urgently [potentially being scammed?]

Hi Friends,

One more question :

While talking with the owner yesturday I emailed him through my
official id. In signature of my id cell number, work number as well
as work address is mentioned.

Will it cause any problem to me?

Reagrds,

Ksheetu.
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  #16  
Old 10.06.2008, 13:53
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Re: Advice needed urgently [potentially being scammed?]

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Hi Friends,

One more question :

While talking with the owner yesturday I emailed him through my
official id. In signature of my id cell number, work number as well
as work address is mentioned.

Will it cause any problem to me?

Reagrds,

Ksheetu.

YOU HAVE ALREADY BEEN TOLD SEVERAL TIMES THAT THIS IS A SCAM.

WHY ARE YOU STILL IN CONTACT WITH THE OWNER??
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Old 10.06.2008, 13:56
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Re: Advice needed urgently [potentially being scammed?]

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YOU HAVE ALREADY BEEN TOLD SEVERAL TIMES THAT THIS IS A SCAM.

WHY ARE YOU STILL IN CONTACT WITH THE OWNER??
He did say "yesterday"
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Old 10.06.2008, 14:04
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Re: Advice needed urgently [potentially being scammed?]

Might be an idea to pass on the information you have about the "owner" and his business dealings to the local police. So they have it on file, especially if you are worried about identity fraud too. It just might be that your information to them helps them catch these scam artists and saves some other poor sucker who is not as fortunate to know about EF or able to get advice as quickly from being gets ripped off.
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Old 10.06.2008, 14:39
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Re: Advice needed urgently [potentially being scammed?]

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He did say "yesterday"

I stand corrected

Sorry for the CAPS, and sorry to Ksheetu for jumping the gun.
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  #20  
Old 10.06.2008, 14:42
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Re: Advice needed urgently [potentially being scammed?]

Ohh not a problem. It's okay. You all are just trying to help me.

Thanks to all.


Regards,
Ksheetu
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