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Would-be tenants scammed by fake landlord in Swindon

Police would like to identify and speak to this man as part of their investigation. Credit: Wiltshire Police

Would-be tenants in Swindon have been conned out of thousands of pounds by handing over deposits to a fake landlord.

At least two people were fooled into handing over deposits after viewing a property in Ferndale Road in April earlier this year.

The house had been advertised as available to rent on Gumtree, and both viewings were conducted by the same man posing as the owner.

Do you recognise this man? Credit: Wiltshire Police

However, after the would-be tenants paid their deposits, which totalled more than £3,000, and tried to move in, they came into contact with the real owner of the house - who said it had been broken into and the locks changed.

Officers from Wiltshire Police have released two images of a man they would like to speak to in connection with the alleged rental frauds.

There are a number of victims in this case. Firstly, there is the owner of the house, who has had his property broken into and the locks changed.

Secondly, there are two people who have unwittingly handed over large amounts of money to a man posing as the owner or landlord of the house, who has duped them into thinking they were viewing and securing a new home.

We are asking people to look at the image and let us know if they recognise the man.

Also, we would like to hear from anyone else who believes they may have fallen victim to either this man or a similar scam in the Swindon area.

– Local Crime Investigator Debbie Jones, from the Swindon North Community Policing Team

Anyone with information should contact LCI Jones on 101, quoting crime reference 54190036118.

Alternatively, you can call Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111.