University of Newcastle landlords targeted in off campus accommodation scam

LANDLORDS offering space to University of Newcastle students through proper channels have been warned of potential scam artists operating through the system. 

Registered providers on Monday received an email from the University of Newcastle warning about two people “that have unfortunately made their way into [the] database.”

The University of Newcastle said emails under the names Paul and Janet Castillo and sending scripted emails posing as father and daughter seeking a room. 

 Ms Castillo’s email comes first, the University told landlords, expressing interest in the room and seeking details for her parent to get in touch. 

The person identifying as Mr Castillo then follows up, saying a US-based financier will take care of his daughter’s “payment and some other expenses”. 

“I will instruct him to send a Pay Cheque for Two weeks rent before her arrival so as to secure the room,” the email, including in the university’s warning, states.

“I will send you her flight details immediately she's through with her assignments in Philippine.”

To accommodate the alleged payment he requests a name, address, city, postcode, email address, phone numbers and rent amount. 

“I'm very proud of her and i can assure you that you will have nothing to lose by holding your accommodation for her,” the emails in Paul Castillo’s name state. 

The University’s Off Campus Accommodation section sent the full text to providers to keep them alert to the threat, which they are attempting to remove. 

“We cannot seem to locate either name in our system and they may have a number of different alias' they use,” the University told landlords. 

“Please if you have any doubts on authenticity of potential students/tenants do not proceed and email your communication to offcampusaccommodation@newcastle.edu.au this way we can investigate and let others know too.”