A COUPLE have been conned out of £500 by a man pretending to be a landlord.
Eden Britton, 21, of Bude Close, Paulsgrove, and his girlfriend Casey Smith, 20, of Newbolt Road, Paulsgrove, had been looking for a property to rent together.
The pair, who work as warehouse operators, saw an advert for a flat in Angerstein Road, Stamshaw.
Eden said: ‘There was only a small advert and it said there was an unfurnished flat for £425 a month.
‘We went to see it and were shown around by a guy.
‘He told us there was work being done, but that we could move in a week later.
‘He wanted £925 – a £500 deposit and the first month’s rent up front.
‘But we agreed on the £500 cash deposit.’
The conman drew up a tenancy agreement, but he put a fake address for himself.
‘We called him a few days after viewing to see when we could pick up the keys, but he wouldn’t pick up,’ added Eden.
‘Now his phone just goes to voicemail.
‘We went to the address he put down for where he lives, but it was the wrong one.
‘The flat in Angerstein Road just has the curtains drawn.
‘We’re upset and angry with what’s happened.’
The couple reported the matter to the police.
PC Wayne Tommans-Porter, of Fratton police station, is investigating the offence.
He said: ‘This is a despicable crime. We have got people acting as con artists, who are playing on people’s dreams and their weaknesses.
‘All they want to do is set up a little home.
‘These con artists should be ashamed of themselves.
‘I have found out who owns the property and I suspect they have no idea.
‘If these people have a conscience they will give themselves up.’
A similar con involving a flat in Granada Road, Southsea, has been reported to the police.
But at the moment the two incidents are not being linked.
Anyone with information should contact PC Tommans-Porter on 101.