Students have been warned about a number of scams in which fake private landlords con them out of money.

A number of cases have been reported in the national media whereby students pay cash but are never given keys or see a property and cannot then contact the 'landlord'.

The National Union of Students (NUS) told the BBC that cases like this are on the rise.

A number of students lost hundreds of pounds in a scam involving a non-existent property in south Belfast.

The BBC also spoke to Det Sgt Chris Felton of the Metropolitan Police's fraud prevention unit, who said that adverts with only a free email address such as Hotmail for contact should be considered suspicious.

Nor should students have to give bank account details before they can see the property.

NUS spokesperson Ben Whittaker told the Telegraph that renters should contact their universities and student unions for approved housing lists.

Written by Sarah Field

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