A new scam targeting renters has been uncovered in the capital
The scam targets people who have been searching online for a place to rent in London.
They receive an e-mail, claiming to be from a landlord they have already contacted who tells them an ideal property is still available.
The victim is told they can only view the property with an agent from Air BnB and only after paying a hefty deposit.
It's not clear yet how the details are being harvested. Many victims claim they got the e-mail after searching on Rightmove - though security experts say they have checked the site and found nothing wrong.
The scammers know exactly where the victims are looking for a place, the type of property they want and their budget.
Scammers are constantly using more sophisticated technology to catch people out, and changing the e-mail addresses they use to avoid being caught - so follow the tips below to keep yourself safe while looking for somewhere to rent online.
Experts were asked for their tips on how to keep yourself safe online - and what to do if you've handed over money.
Steve Proffitt, Deputy Head of Action Fraud
Many scams like this can be perpetrated when you accidentally download malware onto your computer.
Malware is malicious software which can do things like logging keystrokes, so scammers can find out what you are typing in and searching for online. Make sure you have up to date anti virus and anti malware on your system and run checks regularly.
Never open links in an e-mail unless you are absolutely sure of the source. This is a common way fraudsters can download malware on to your machine.
Always use only secure wi-fi networks. Avoid using public wi-fi in places like cafes and train stations, it is much more vulnerable to attacks. If you are browsing the internet on your mobile, it is much safer to use your phone's data instead.
Try to avoid browsing unsecure websites - these are often rife with threats. If you think you have been targeted by a scam e-mail, do not reply. Instead forward the e-mail immediately to the City of London Police on NFIBPhishing@city-of-london.pnn.police.uk . If you have handed over money, you must contact the police - you can do this by calling 101
Sam Mitchell Head of Lettings, Rightmove
If you receive an e-mail after searching for property online, be sure that this is someone you have actually contacted. If you do not recognise the name and do not remember enquiring about the property, it could be a scam. Do not hand over money without meeting the person first. It is much safer to stick to using accredited letting agents in your area, many of whom will be listed on our site. You are much more vulnerable when renting privately with landlords who have not been accredited. If you suspect fraudulent activity after using our site, contact us immediately at email@example.com.
Simon Letouze, Air BnB Anyone who has received a fake email can notify our trust and safety team firstname.lastname@example.org, who will investigate.
We provide information on our website on how to identify if an email is from Airbnb Air BnB customers should keep their payments and communications strictly on our website, e.g. not through an e-mail. Paying or communicating outside Airbnb makes it harder for us to protect your information and puts you at greater risk of fraud and other security issues.