A MAN was scammed £1,000 after putting a deposit down on a Slough apartment.

The Midlands-based man, who was looking to move to the area last year, transferred the money after viewing the property on Gumtree in July 2020.

After getting a phone call from the seller to secure the deposit, the buyer never heard anything back since.

Wishing to remain anonymous, he claims the seller was already a “well-known con artist” in the area.

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He said: “I Googled the woman’s name as she’s come up in the news before.

“I contacted the bank and the police, and the police said there is nothing they can do.”

He added the bailiffs have gone round to the fraudsters house but can’t get hold of her.

The buyer has been in contact with Santander, which is now looking into the case.

A spokesperson for Santander, who has been investigating the case, said: “After reviewing the specific details of this individual's case, we will be reimbursing him the £1,000 fraudulently taken.

"We encourage everyone when purchasing an item or service online to be highly cautious if they haven’t seen the item in person and, if buying through a reputable site like Gumtree or eBay, to follow their advice and processes.”

The Slough Observer also contacted Gumtree to ask how the company usually deals with scammers on their website.

A spokesperson from Gumtree said: “We take all forms of fraud extremely seriously and were sorry to hear about this individual’s experience.

“Whilst fraudulent adverts are uncommon on Gumtree, we urge anyone who thinks they may have come across a scam of this type to report it to us immediately via the ‘Report this ad’ button.

“Once an ad is reported, our dedicated trust and safety team will always investigate and take the necessary action.”

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The spokesperson added this could include removing adverts and blocking offending users, as well as supporting law enforcement in their investigations.

The said: “At Gumtree, we require that all property ads on our site comply with government regulations for property advertising.

“We also list safety advice for prospective tenants on our website, which recommends that all potential tenants check the relevant paperwork, ask to see proof of ownership, and ensure a tenancy agreement is in place before paying any deposits or holding fees.”