Alert Scam Letters “Non-resident landlord scheme”
Alert to Property Managers regarding scam letter headed “Non-resident landlord scheme”
Application to receive Australia rental income without deduction of Australia tax
We wanted to inform and warn you of a scam which is currently being faxed to Real Estate Agents and landlords. See letter below.
It is in the form of a fax/letter apparently from The Australian Taxation Office and headed “Non-resident Landlord scheme Application to receive Australia rental income without deduction of Australia tax” with a form attached. Identical fake Her Majesty’s Revenue and Customs (HMRC) letters had been sent to real estate agents in the United Kingdom since at least March 2012 with the only difference being the interchanging of the ATO logo with HMCR.
This scam is aimed at Property managers with overseas landlords who are letting out their Australian properties.
The covering letter in the scam email is badly written with several grammer and spelling errors. The fax includes a form (NRL1) to be filled in, where considerable personal detail is requested. As well as personal information, photocopies of passports and mortgage account numbers are also requested. Those details could be sold on to a higher level of ID skimmers and used for fraudulent purposes. The scammers may seek to assume the identities of non-residents and sell their properties without the real owners’ knowledge.
It is signed by ‘Marcauley Sanders’. A simple ‘google’ on that name alone will alert Agents to the scam.
NSW Fairtrading has been aware of this scam for the last 2 years and has dealt with it by informing real estate industry associations so that they can warn their members. A few precautions to avoid being scammed are suggested by NSW Fairtrading including:
- Dont give out your personal details to any requests that have have been made out of the blue.
- Verify any requests or offers before responding to any offers, deals or requests for your personal information.
- Its best not to send money or give credit card and account information to anybody who makes unsought offers or requests for your information.
- Try to always type in the address of the website of the business or authority you are interested in to make sure you are logging onto their genuine website.
- Its best not to open unsolicited emails or click on a link provided in an unsolicited email as it will probably lead to a fake website designed to scam you into providing your personal information.
Please be vigilant and on the lookout for this and other scam letters that could expose Agents to the risk of a claim against them.
To keep up to date on other scams go to scamwatch.gov.au
About Jhai Mitchell
Jhai is an award winning Internet Marketing Real Estate Agent for Elders Toongabbie and Kings Langley. After running his own internet marketing business he has now set his own sites for the real estate industry. He observed that 90% of real estate agents did not know how to market themselves online. Jhai is now fixed on one goal. To teach real estate agents that they can market online so much better than they currently are.
Since then he has been consistently quoted in the Sydney Morning Herald and Real Estate Business online. He is a regular guest blogger on TheHomePage.com.au, sharing his expertise of marketing aspects for the Real Estate Industry. His biggest passions are his wife, martial arts, dogs and most of all property.