Apartment in central Lund used to scam students

- in In English, News

An international student was tricked into paying a deposit of 1 600 Euros for a non-existent apartment. “I believe it is unfortunate and tragic for individuals who have been affected”, says Lars-Olof Ljunggren, who lives in the house containing the non-existent apartment.

Lars-Olof Ljungberg was throwing out garbage on Sunday evening, January 8, when a young woman approached him. She asked if he knew Markus Larsson, who claimed to live in the same apartment building as Lars-Olof Ljungberg.

The young woman, an international student at Lund University who recently arrived in Lund, claimed to have rented an apartment from Markus Larsson, but he had stopped answering her phone calls. The young student appeared stressed and worried. She takes out her phone and shows pictures of the house’s facade, and that is the facade of our house, says Lars-Olof Ljungberg. 

The student reportedly rented the supposed apartment through the website studentlyan.nu and was promised a nice and modern apartment in central Lund. However, the promised apartment does not exist. The man claiming to be Markus Larsson Required a deposit of 1 600 Euros, which the student paid before coming to Sweden.  

When telling the student that there is no apartment per her description, Lars-Olof Ljungberg says she seemed overwhelmed. She didn’t cry. I would say she was nearly shocked, but she lowered her shoulders and walked away.

It’s not the first time that Lars-Olof Ljungberg experienced something like this. Three times during the Autumn semester different people have called him and asked when they can move into his apartment. On one occasion a father of a student called me and asked when they could move in. They had received both an apartment number and pictures of the entire apartment. I told them no, you can not move in, this is a scam, Lars-Olof Ljungberg says.

On these three occasions Lars-Olof Ljungberg has both called the polis and the landlord, without results. He cites a lack of evidence as a cause. 

It’s the first time Lars-Olof Ljungberg hears the name Markus Larsson. Previously, another name was used. I’m not sure whether it’s the same individual or several different persons.

When Lundagård calls the police in Lund, they answer that no police report has been filed in this case. Carina Roth, police in Lund, says that: Cases like this one pops up a little every now and then, but it’s not super common.

Nikolas Pieta Theofanous, Head of Lunds University Accommodation explained that he experienced three cases like this during this last semester. But most of the cases happen on specific websites. According to my understanding, the majority of apartment fraud affecting students occurs via Blocket Bostad and Facebook, says Nikolas Pieta Theofanous. 

Lund University or the International desk at the university can´t help the students who are victims of fraud, but instead recommends them to contact the police. 

The apartment can still be found on the website (13/1). Andreas Swahn from studentlya.nu says that To remove the apartment, users must send us information with a web link to the ad or the ad-ID.

Lars-Olof Ljungberg is upset and angry over the continuing incidents. I believe it is unfortunate and tragic for individuals who have been affected. I find those who do this to be horrible.

How to avoid housing fraud

Never pay a deposit before seeing the house and receiving the keys. 

Find the individual who wishes to rent out their apartment by using search engines such hitta.se or enir.se. It reduces the risk of fraud.

Swedish legislation stipulates that in order to sublet a property, you must obtain the landlord’s permission together with the written consent of the condominium association. You can request to see those documents, and they usually include the association’s or the landlord’s contact information. Then you can get in touch with them to follow up with some questions.

Source: John Green at BoPoolen, who puts students in contact with potential landlords.