A number of people have fallen victim to a suspected bogus estate agent in South Bucks, Slough and neighbouring areas prompting Thames Valley Police to launch an appeal for the public’s help.
Seven people were scammed out of thousands of pounds in April by a man who said he worked for for ‘Red Bricks Estate’ as an estate agent. The victims initially made contact with the man after seeing an advertisement on-line in relation to renting a flat in London Road, Slough.
The victims met with the man at an address in Burnham, where they paid deposits, admin fees and first month’s rent. Some were shown around the property in Slough and all were promised a date for moving in towards the beginning of April.
However, it soon became apparent to the victims that they had been scammed as they arrived at the flat but were unable to move in.
Thames Valley Police now believe there are more victims who have not yet come forward.
Case Investigator Kevin Clingham, who is leading on the investigation from Local CID, Taplow, said: ‘This scam has had a devastating impact on so many people and their families as they were promised a rental property in Slough which never materialised. Instead, they lost thousands of pounds by making upfront payments to a man they trusted to be an estate agent.
Working with Slough Borough Council, we have been able to identify some of our victims as they rendered themselves homeless as a consequence of being scammed, with some being temporarily accommodated since.
Through our inquiries, we know that there are other victims of this scam who have not yet contacted us. This could be as many as 17 families or individuals.‘
He added: ‘I believe that there are victims of this scam living in areas of London, not just Thames Valley, so I would urge for these people to come forward to as a matter of urgency.
As part of our on-going investigation, we are liaising with Action Fraud and other agencies.‘
He added: ‘I would like to reassure residents and victims that we are doing all we can to progress our investigation and to track down this bogus estate agent who is responsible for committing such despicable crimes.‘
Thames Valley Police are appealing for anyone who may have been a victim of this scam and has not yet contacted police, or anyone who may have any information which could assist police, then please do so by calling 101 quoting 43160096940.