At least ten complaints have been filed with the Civil Guard in the last six months according to a report by local newspaper LaVoz de Lanzarote .
An ad offering a flat for rent in Arrecife at below market prices in which the advertiser was asking for rental money in advance in order to show possible tenants the house, has alerted people searching for accomodation to another possible scam here on the island.
A La Voz reader contacted the paper last week denouncing a possible scam after having contacted an advertiser on the website Milanuncios.com with an owner who claimed to be renting a flat in Arrecife.
Several rentals were offered on calle Manolo Millares and Lavoz replied to the advert. The price of the rental in this case was 330 euros plus 660 euros deposit , with expenses included and a parking space . The advert had photographs showing a modern property and also gave an email address as a contact,to trick prospective clients into believing that the landlord had problems receiving messages through the web platform.
The advertiser responded to La Voz stating that he was an "English" man, who had "lived in Spain for nine years", where he married a Spanish woman and had bought the apartment for the couple but had now returned to the UK permanently so he was renting the apartment long term.
However, he pointed out that he had no one in Lanzarote to show the apartment,himself being the only person with the keys". The supposed owner of the house added that he was willing to send the keys and sign a contract" through a well-known holiday rental company. A fact that already caught the attention of La Voz, given that he was allegedly offering long-term rentals and not vacation property since the ad did not even appear on the web page of that company. He claimed that he had already rented the apartment through that website and that he had "very good references from other clients."
Some of those affected in both Lanzarote and the mainland paid and subsequently lost their money but La Voz decided to cease communication with the bogus advertiser and contact the different police forces to ask if there had been any complaint about it. "There have been no complaints, but it is a 100% a scam said the press department of the National Police.
Civil Guard indicated that it had been presented with at least 10 complaints in Lanzarote in the last six months. The offending ads now appear to have been withdrawn.