Joe Duffy saves the day: Broadcaster exposes Dublin rent scam live on air
Published 05/07/2016 | 21:52
Broadcaster Joe Duffy used his radio show to expose a Dublin rent scammer who claimed to own multiple properties in the capital, conning thousands of euro out of innocent tenants.
Joe Duffy phoned a man going by the name of 'Lloyd Wicker' on RTÉ’s Liveline and posed as a “potential tenant's father” asking him various questions about a property for rent in Stoneybatter in Dublin and the surrounding area in general.
Lloyd and his partner Martha posed as an older Dublin couple who moved to London to work in the “mission for seniors” programme in the Red Cross (which doesn’t exist) and are renting out their property in Dublin.
Joe showed he’s a national hero and soon caught the scammer out in his tangle of lies live on air.
“I want to pay (my daughter’s) deposit because as you know accommodation is really, really tight in Dublin. The place looks lovely by the way, fair play,” said Joe.
Lloyd told Joe that they organise their viewings through Trip Advisor because they were “fed-up” when tenants didn’t show up for viewing.
“On the third time we were fed up and said let’s use Trip Advisor, it’s a high fee to use their service. They basically work as an agency that you have to book through and one of the agents will show up and show the house.”
Lloyd demands payment upfront before viewing the house allowing him to scam potential tenants out of thousands of euro.
“When viewing, if she doesn’t like the house for any reason she can be refunded on the spot by agents," he told Joe, unaware he was on the national airwaves.
“If she likes it we’ll fly there the following day she can move in and we can sign the rental contract.”
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Joe remained suspicious of the owner and began to quiz him on his Red Cross mission.
“I think we’re around the same age. My daughter said I might be interested in the programme for seniors because she keeps slagging me for being so old," he said.
Lloyd didn’t react to his comment at all and quickly moved back to the house.
“Based on the agreement with Trip Advisor we’d need two month’s rent, one month living and one month deposit,” said Lloyd.
“So that’s €2,400?” said Joe.
Hero Joe was determined to prove that Lloyd not only didn’t own the property, but that he had never even been to Dublin.
“I know Stoneybatter well. You moved to London from Oxmantown did you?” Joe quizzed.
“Yeah we moved from there some time ago,” said Lloyd.
When asked what buses go from Oxmantown Green, Joe was met with utter silence.
“We will send you the exact address and she can look it up.”
“Sure there’s a dart station in Oxmantown,” joked Joe.
“Yeah,” said Lloyd without a notion.
He asked Joe to make a decision with his daughter and let him know within half an hour if they wanted the property.
“She’s working in St. Vincent’s hospital which is over on the south side but she’s been offered a transfer to Blanchardstown Hospital which is right beside Oxmantown Green as you know. The big complex in Oxmantown beside the Dart station,” Joe continued, hoping to catch him out.
“Yeah,” said Lloyd, with clearly no clue what was going on.
He assured Joe that if you book and pay through Trip Advisor you’ll be “guaranteed tenancy”.
Joe replied: “There’s no dart station in Oxmantown, Blanchardstown is about 10 mile from Stoneybatter. You don’t own this property.”
Lloyd quickly hung up after being asked about a previous property in Leopardstown where he scammed over €4,000 out of UCD students.
“Lloyd you’ve never been to Dublin,” said Joe.
“Yeah,” said Lloyd as he hung up.