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Internet rental fraud

Verified 15 March 2022 - Directorate for Legal and Administrative Information (Prime Minister)

You're an adult

What to do if you are the victim of a rental scam on the Internet?

The means of recourse depend on the type of site: classified ads site (the right corner, e-bay...) or false rental site.

The rental is not in compliance

If the proposed lease is not in accordance with what was announced, it must be seized the Directorate for Competition and Fraud Prevention (DGCCRF).

Rental does not exist

If you believe you are mistaken because the rental does not exist, these facts are likely to be qualified as a scam.

They are commonly referred to false rental.

In your situation, you can file a complaint (online, on-site or by mail) or make a report (online).

  • The complaint is the act by which a victim of an offense informs the judicial authority.
    When you file a complaint, you must give your identity. This approach is binding on you and investigators can contact you. The complaint also provides an opportunity to seek compensation for the damage suffered and to be informed of the follow-up given to the case.
  • The alert consists solely in informing the investigation services of the existence of an infringement. You can remain anonymous. You will not be informed of the outcome of the case. You will not be able to claim compensation.
On the spot

You have to go to a police station or a gendarme brigade.

Who shall I contact

You may not be refused the receipt of the complaint.

The complaint is then forwarded to the public prosecutor.

Before going to the police station or the gendarmerie, you can fill in a pre-complaint online if you are the victim of an attack on property (theft, scam...) whose perpetrator is unknown to you. You will then get an appointment and the police or gendarmes will already have the elements of your complaint upon your arrival.

Online Pre-Complaint

By mail

You must write directly to the public prosecutor. We need to send a free-form letter in the court of the place of the offense or of the domicile of the offender.

The letter must specify the following information:

  • Complete marital status of the complainant and full contact details (address and telephone number)
  • Detailed account of the facts, date and place of the offense
  • Name of the alleged perpetrator if known (otherwise you should file a complaint against X)
  • Names and addresses of any witnesses to this offense
  • Description and provisional or definitive estimate of the damage
  • Evidence: medical certificates of injury, work stoppages, miscellaneous invoices, records in case of material damage
Who shall I contact

You can send your complaint by registered letter with acknowledgement of receipt, but it is not mandatory. You can send a simple letter.

In any case, a receipt will be given to you as soon as the prosecutor has registered your complaint.

You can also call Info Scams.

Who shall I contact

The rental is already occupied

If the rental is already occupied and you feel you are mistaken, you must contact customer service.

If the customer service approach has not been followed, you must enter the Directorate for Competition and Fraud Prevention (DGCCRF).

If customer service does not exist or does not respond, this is a scam called false rental.

You can file a complaint (online, on-site or by mail) or make a report (online).

  • The complaint is the act by which a victim of an offense informs the judicial authority.
    When you file a complaint, you must give your identity. This approach is binding on you and investigators can contact you. The complaint also provides an opportunity to seek compensation for the damage suffered and to be informed of the follow-up given to the case.
  • The alert consists solely in informing the investigation services of the existence of an infringement. You can remain anonymous. You will not be informed of the outcome of the case. You will not be able to claim compensation.
On the spot

You have to go to a police station or a gendarme brigade.

Who shall I contact

You may not be refused the receipt of the complaint.

The complaint is then forwarded to the public prosecutor.

Before going to the police station or the gendarmerie, you can fill in a pre-complaint online if you are the victim of an attack on property (theft, scam...) whose perpetrator is unknown to you. You will then get an appointment and the police or gendarmes will already have the elements of your complaint upon your arrival.

Online Pre-Complaint

By mail

You must write directly to the public prosecutor. We need to send a free-form letter in the court of the place of the offense or of the domicile of the offender.

The letter must specify the following information:

  • Complete marital status of the complainant and full contact details (address and telephone number)
  • Detailed account of the facts, date and place of the offense
  • Name of the alleged perpetrator if known (otherwise you should file a complaint against X)
  • Names and addresses of any witnesses to this offense
  • Description and provisional or definitive estimate of the damage
  • Evidence: medical certificates of injury, work stoppages, miscellaneous invoices, records in case of material damage
Who shall I contact

You can send your complaint by registered letter with acknowledgement of receipt, but it is not mandatory. You can send a simple letter.

In any case, a receipt will be given to you as soon as the prosecutor has registered your complaint.

You can also call Info Scams.

Who shall I contact

If you wanted to rent a property listed on an internet ad that included photos, your recourse depends on the situation.

The rental is not in compliance

You must contact the person who rented the property directly or through the site and then check if you have received a response.

If you have not been able to reach the lessor, you are the victim of an act that could be described as a scam or false rental. You can file a complaint or make a report.

Online
  • The complaint is the act by which a victim of an offense informs the judicial authority.
    When you file a complaint, you must give your identity. This approach is binding on you and investigators can contact you. The complaint also provides an opportunity to seek compensation for the damage suffered and to be informed of the follow-up given to the case.
  • The alert consists solely in informing the investigation services of the existence of an infringement. You can remain anonymous. You will not be informed of the outcome of the case. You will not be able to claim compensation.

To file a complaint:

File a complaint for scam advertising (fake rental) - THESEE

To report:

Report a scam to the classified ad (fake rental) - THESEE

On the spot

You have to go to a police station or a gendarme brigade.

Who shall I contact

You may not be refused the receipt of the complaint.

The complaint is then forwarded to the public prosecutor.

Before going to the police station or the gendarmerie, you can fill in a pre-complaint online if you are the victim of an attack on property (theft, scam...) whose perpetrator is unknown to you. You will then get an appointment and the police or gendarmes will already have the elements of your complaint upon your arrival.

Online Pre-Complaint

By mail

You must write directly to the public prosecutor. We need to send a free-form letter in the court of the place of the offense or of the domicile of the offender.

The letter must specify the following information:

  • Complete marital status of the complainant and full contact details (address and telephone number)
  • Detailed account of the facts, date and place of the offense
  • Name of the alleged perpetrator if known (otherwise you should file a complaint against X)
  • Names and addresses of any witnesses to this offense
  • Description and provisional or definitive estimate of the damage
  • Evidence: medical certificates of injury, work stoppages, miscellaneous invoices, records in case of material damage
Who shall I contact

You can send your complaint by registered letter with acknowledgement of receipt, but it is not mandatory. You can send a simple letter.

In any case, a receipt will be given to you as soon as the prosecutor has registered your complaint.

You can also call Info Scams.

Who shall I contact

Please note

if the lessor is a professional, you must enter the Directorate for Competition and Fraud Prevention (DGCCRF).

Rental does not exist

If you believe you are mistaken because the rental does not exist, these facts are likely to be qualified as a scam.

They are commonly referred to false rental.

In your situation, you can file a complaint or make a report.

Online
  • The complaint is the act by which a victim of an offense informs the judicial authority.
    When you file a complaint, you must give your identity. This approach is binding on you and investigators can contact you. The complaint also provides an opportunity to seek compensation for the damage suffered and to be informed of the follow-up given to the case.
  • The alert consists solely in informing the investigation services of the existence of an infringement. You can remain anonymous. You will not be informed of the outcome of the case. You will not be able to claim compensation.

To file a complaint:

File a complaint for scam advertising (fake rental) - THESEE

To report:

Report a scam to the classified ad (fake rental) - THESEE

On the spot

You have to go to a police station or a gendarme brigade.

Who shall I contact

You may not be refused the receipt of the complaint.

The complaint is then forwarded to the public prosecutor.

Before going to the police station or the gendarmerie, you can fill in a pre-complaint online if you are the victim of an attack on property (theft, scam...) whose perpetrator is unknown to you. You will then get an appointment and the police or gendarmes will already have the elements of your complaint upon your arrival.

Online Pre-Complaint

By mail

You must write directly to the public prosecutor. We need to send a free-form letter in the court of the place of the offense or of the domicile of the offender.

The letter must specify the following information:

  • Complete marital status of the complainant and full contact details (address and telephone number)
  • Detailed account of the facts, date and place of the offense
  • Name of the alleged perpetrator if known (otherwise you should file a complaint against X)
  • Names and addresses of any witnesses to this offense
  • Description and provisional or definitive estimate of the damage
  • Evidence: medical certificates of injury, work stoppages, miscellaneous invoices, records in case of material damage
Who shall I contact

You can send your complaint by registered letter with acknowledgement of receipt, but it is not mandatory. You can send a simple letter.

In any case, a receipt will be given to you as soon as the prosecutor has registered your complaint.

You can also call Info Scams.

Who shall I contact

The rental is already occupied

You must contact the person who rented the property directly or through the site and then check if you have received a response.

If you have not been able to reach the lessor, you are the victim of an act that could be described as a scam or false rental. You can file a complaint (online, on-site or by mail) or make a report (online).

  • The complaint is the act by which a victim of an offense informs the judicial authority.
    When you file a complaint, you must give your identity. This approach is binding on you and investigators can contact you. The complaint also provides an opportunity to seek compensation for the damage suffered and to be informed of the follow-up given to the case.
  • The alert consists solely in informing the investigation services of the existence of an infringement. You can remain anonymous. You will not be informed of the outcome of the case. You will not be able to claim compensation.
On the spot

You have to go to a police station or a gendarme brigade.

Who shall I contact

You may not be refused the receipt of the complaint.

The complaint is then forwarded to the public prosecutor.

Before going to the police station or the gendarmerie, you can fill in a pre-complaint online if you are the victim of an attack on property (theft, scam...) whose perpetrator is unknown to you. You will then get an appointment and the police or gendarmes will already have the elements of your complaint upon your arrival.

Online Pre-Complaint

By mail

You must write directly to the public prosecutor. We need to send a free-form letter in the court of the place of the offense or of the domicile of the offender.

The letter must specify the following information:

  • Complete marital status of the complainant and full contact details (address and telephone number)
  • Detailed account of the facts, date and place of the offense
  • Name of the alleged perpetrator if known (otherwise you should file a complaint against X)
  • Names and addresses of any witnesses to this offense
  • Description and provisional or definitive estimate of the damage
  • Evidence: medical certificates of injury, work stoppages, miscellaneous invoices, records in case of material damage
Who shall I contact

You can send your complaint by registered letter with acknowledgement of receipt, but it is not mandatory. You can send a simple letter.

In any case, a receipt will be given to you as soon as the prosecutor has registered your complaint.

You can also call Info Scams.

Who shall I contact

You're a minor

What to do if you are the victim of a rental scam on the Internet?

The means of recourse depend on the type of site: classified ads site (the right corner, e-bay...) or false rental site.

The rental is not in compliance

If the proposed lease is not in accordance with what was announced, it must be seized the Directorate for Competition and Fraud Prevention (DGCCRF).

Rental does not exist

If you believe you are mistaken because the rental does not exist, these facts are likely to be qualified as a scam.

They are commonly referred to false rental.

In your situation, you can file a complaint or make a report.

  • The complaint is the act by which a victim of an offense informs the judicial authority.
    When you file a complaint, you must give your identity. This approach is binding on you and investigators can contact you. The complaint also provides an opportunity to seek compensation for the damage suffered and to be informed of the follow-up given to the case.
  • The alert consists solely in informing the investigation services of the existence of an infringement. You can remain anonymous. You will not be informed of the outcome of the case. You will not be able to claim compensation.
File a complaint (on site)

You have to go to a police station or a gendarme brigade.

Who shall I contact

You may not be refused the receipt of the complaint.

The complaint is then forwarded to the public prosecutor.

Before going to the police station or the gendarmerie, you can fill in a pre-complaint online if you are the victim of an attack on property (theft, scam...) whose perpetrator is unknown to you. You will then get an appointment and the police or gendarmes will already have the elements of your complaint upon your arrival.

Online Pre-Complaint

You can also call Info Scams.

Who shall I contact

The rental is already occupied

If you feel you are misled because the rental is already occupied, you must contact customer service.

If the customer service approach has not been followed, you must enter the Directorate for Competition and Fraud Prevention (DGCCRF).

If customer service does not exist or does not respond, this is a scam called false rental. You can file a complaint or make a report.

  • The complaint is the act by which a victim of an offense informs the judicial authority.
    When you file a complaint, you must give your identity. This approach is binding on you and investigators can contact you. The complaint also provides an opportunity to seek compensation for the damage suffered and to be informed of the follow-up given to the case.
  • The alert consists solely in informing the investigation services of the existence of an infringement. You can remain anonymous. You will not be informed of the outcome of the case. You will not be able to claim compensation.
File a complaint (on site)

You have to go to a police station or a gendarme brigade.

Who shall I contact

You may not be refused the receipt of the complaint.

The complaint is then forwarded to the public prosecutor.

Before going to the police station or the gendarmerie, you can fill in a pre-complaint online if you are the victim of an attack on property (theft, scam...) whose perpetrator is unknown to you. You will then get an appointment and the police or gendarmes will already have the elements of your complaint upon your arrival.

Online Pre-Complaint

You can also call Info Scams.

Who shall I contact

If you wanted to rent a property listed on an internet ad that included photos, your recourse depends on the situation.

The rental is not in compliance

You must contact the person who rented the property directly or through the site and then check if you have received a response.

If you have not been able to reach the lessor, you are the victim of an act that could be described as a scam or false rental. You can file a complaint or make a report.

  • The complaint is the act by which a victim of an offense informs the judicial authority.
    When you file a complaint, you must give your identity. This approach is binding on you and investigators can contact you. The complaint also provides an opportunity to seek compensation for the damage suffered and to be informed of the follow-up given to the case.
  • The alert consists solely in informing the investigation services of the existence of an infringement. You can remain anonymous. You will not be informed of the outcome of the case. You will not be able to claim compensation.
File a complaint (on site)

You have to go to a police station or a gendarme brigade.

Who shall I contact

You may not be refused the receipt of the complaint.

The complaint is then forwarded to the public prosecutor.

Before going to the police station or the gendarmerie, you can fill in a pre-complaint online if you are the victim of an attack on property (theft, scam...) whose perpetrator is unknown to you. You will then get an appointment and the police or gendarmes will already have the elements of your complaint upon your arrival.

Online Pre-Complaint

You can also call Info Scams.

Who shall I contact

Please note

if the lessor is a professional, you must enter the Directorate for Competition and Fraud Prevention (DGCCRF).

Rental does not exist

If you believe you are mistaken because the rental does not exist, these facts are likely to be qualified as a scam.

They are commonly referred to false rental.

In your situation, you can file a complaint or make a report.

  • The complaint is the act by which a victim of an offense informs the judicial authority.
    When you file a complaint, you must give your identity. This approach is binding on you and investigators can contact you. The complaint also provides an opportunity to seek compensation for the damage suffered and to be informed of the follow-up given to the case.
  • The alert consists solely in informing the investigation services of the existence of an infringement. You can remain anonymous. You will not be informed of the outcome of the case. You will not be able to claim compensation.
File a complaint (on site)

You have to go to a police station or a gendarme brigade.

Who shall I contact

You may not be refused the receipt of the complaint.

The complaint is then forwarded to the public prosecutor.

Before going to the police station or the gendarmerie, you can fill in a pre-complaint online if you are the victim of an attack on property (theft, scam...) whose perpetrator is unknown to you. You will then get an appointment and the police or gendarmes will already have the elements of your complaint upon your arrival.

Online Pre-Complaint

You can also call Info Scams.

Who shall I contact

The rental is already occupied

You must contact the person who rented the property directly or through the site and check if you have received a response.

If you have not been able to reach the lessor, you are the victim of an act that could be described as a scam or false rental. You can file a complaint (online, on-site or by mail) or make a report (online).

  • The complaint is the act by which a victim of an offense informs the judicial authority.
    When you file a complaint, you must give your identity. This approach is binding on you and investigators can contact you. The complaint also provides an opportunity to seek compensation for the damage suffered and to be informed of the follow-up given to the case.
  • The alert consists solely in informing the investigation services of the existence of an infringement. You can remain anonymous. You will not be informed of the outcome of the case. You will not be able to claim compensation.
File a complaint (on site)

You have to go to a police station or a gendarme brigade.

Who shall I contact

You may not be refused the receipt of the complaint.

The complaint is then forwarded to the public prosecutor.

Before going to the police station or the gendarmerie, you can fill in a pre-complaint online if you are the victim of an attack on property (theft, scam...) whose perpetrator is unknown to you. You will then get an appointment and the police or gendarmes will already have the elements of your complaint upon your arrival.

Online Pre-Complaint

You can also call Info Scams.

Who shall I contact