Cops on the Prowl for Scammer Targeting Expats with Helsinki Rentals

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Authorities say the suspect has said he’s from Spain, and could be working with a female accomplice to defraud foreigners who use Facebook groups to find a place to live.

Police search for scammer targeting foreigners with Helsinki apartments

Helsinki Police are investigating a scammer targeting foreigners and offering them bogus apartment rentals in the capital city.

Authorities have taken the unusual step of publishing pictures of the suspect because so far they haven’t been able to positively identify him, and he may be still committing frauds.

“Police have registered criminal reports in four cases. Cases are investigated as fraud. The cases that came to the attention of the police took place during April-May” says Hannu Kortelainen from Helsinki Police.

A preliminary investigation has uncovered the method behind the scam: the suspect rents apartments, often from apartment hotel companies, using false personal information.

The rents for these properties haven’t been paid or paid with an unsecured foreign credit card and then the suspect sub-leases the apartments to foreigners who have been using Facebook groups to look for a place to live.

The suspect will approach his target victims via Facebook private messages and requests a cash payment of between €1,000 and €2,000 depending on the property and rental period.

Once he has the money, the Facebook account he uses is deleted.

Police say the suspect has used several different aliases on Facebook, and claimed to be from Spain. It is thought he works with a female accomplice, and the victims only discovered later that he had no rights to sublease the apartments, or that no money had been paid for the original lease.

Authorities think the man has tried similar rental scams in Turku and Tampere as well as Helsinki.

Source: newsnowfinland.fi

14 Comments
  1. JennySmith says

    How are the authorities planning to catch this scammer and his possible accomplice? Are they using any specific tactics or technology to track them down?

    1. MarkJohnson says

      Authorities are actively pursuing leads and investigating the scammer’s digital footprint. They are utilizing advanced tracking software and cyber intelligence techniques to trace the suspect’s online activities and locate any potential accomplices. The Helsinki Police are working closely with international law enforcement agencies to gather information and coordinate efforts to apprehend the individuals involved in these fraudulent activities. Rest assured, they are leaving no stone unturned in their quest to bring these scammers to justice.

  2. Julia Smith says

    As a frequent traveler, I am appalled by scammers preying on innocent expats. It’s crucial for authorities to swiftly catch these fraudulent individuals before more victims fall prey to their deceitful schemes. Kudos to the Helsinki Police for their diligence in investigating this matter.

  3. Emily Thompson says

    It’s truly disheartening that scammers like these continue to prey on innocent expats looking for a place to live. The authorities must act swiftly to apprehend these criminals and put an end to their fraudulent activities. Expats should exercise caution and conduct thorough due diligence before making any payments for rental properties.

  4. JenniferSmith says

    Do the authorities have any leads on the female accomplice mentioned in the article?

    1. MichaelJohnson says

      Yes, according to the latest update from the Helsinki Police, they have identified a potential lead on the female accomplice and are currently working on tracking her down. It’s crucial to apprehend both suspects to prevent further fraudulent activities targeting expats.

  5. Emily Smith says

    Are the authorities making any progress in tracing the female accomplice mentioned in the article?

    1. Peter Johnson says

      Yes, the authorities have been actively investigating and following leads to trace the female accomplice mentioned in the article. Helsinki Police are working diligently to identify and apprehend all individuals involved in this fraudulent scheme. Hopefully, with their efforts, they will soon have more information about her identity and involvement in the scam.

  6. EmmaJohnson says

    It’s truly alarming to see scammers taking advantage of vulnerable expats in Helsinki. The police need to step up their efforts to catch these criminals and ensure the safety of those looking for rental accommodations. Let’s hope they swiftly bring these culprits to justice.

  7. Jennifer213 says

    It’s alarming how scammers are targeting vulnerable expats in Helsinki. The authorities need to step up their efforts to catch these criminals before more people fall victim to these fraudulent schemes.

  8. EmmaSmith_88 says

    Have the authorities been able to track down the female accomplice mentioned in the article? It’s concerning that scammers are exploiting vulnerable expats in this way.

    1. JohnDoe_123 says

      EmmaSmith_88, authorities are actively investigating leads to locate and apprehend the female accomplice mentioned in the article. It’s crucial to address these scammers preying on vulnerable expats to ensure the safety of the community.

  9. EmilyJohnson says

    I find it appalling that scammers like these target vulnerable expats who are simply looking for a place to live. It’s important for authorities to crack down on such criminal activities to protect the community from financial and emotional harm.

  10. Emma Thompson says

    As an expat living in Helsinki, this is truly concerning. It’s appalling that scammers target vulnerable individuals seeking rental housing. I applaud the Helsinki Police for their proactive approach in investigating this matter. It’s crucial to raise awareness and prevent further fraud attempts through social media platforms like Facebook. Let’s hope they catch the culprit soon.

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