The National Anti-Fraud Network (NAFN) has issued a warning regarding the Rent Deposit Scheme; a scheme that is run by Local Authorities to help prevent residents from becoming homeless by offering a guaranteed deposit to Landlords. Under this scheme, sums of money can be claimed to pay the deposit due on a rented property offering a guaranteed deposit to Landlords, and in addition, can pay rent in advance.

  • NAFN has reported that fraudsters purporting to be a Landlord of a property that was available to rent contacted individuals who had enquired via social media about rental accommodation that would accept Housing Benefit.
  • Although initial Land Registry checks revealed that the property said to be “available for rent” had a different registered proprietor than the “Landlord”, the fraudsters advised that the property had been sold earlier in the year (confirmed by online enquiries) and that the Land Registry had a backlog in their registrations. False documentation was supplied purporting to show the Landlord as owner and the rent deposit monies were paid to the bank account details provided by the fraudsters.
  • The fraud was only discovered when the true owner of the property received post at their address relating to the claim.
How to protect your organisation from fraud:
  • Be vigilant when receiving requests for payments under the Rent Deposit Scheme and to ensure checks are made to verify the true owner of the rental property.
  • Ensure your internal controls are robust and subject to regular internal scrutiny.
  • Use artificial intelligence tools to check the authenticity of ID documents provided in support of claims.

If you have fallen victim to fraud or cybercrime you should report it to Action Fraud by calling 0300 123 2040 or visit:

For further discussion and support, including fraud awareness training services please Contact Us.