I've been looking for an apartment on immoscout in Munich for just over a week, and I've probably contacted about 40 landlords. At least 10 of those have turned out to be scams. They post their properties on the website usually late in the evening. They are sometimes very luxurious properties at low prices, which are easily identifiable as scams. However sometimes they post properties that don't arise any suspicions as their prices are in line with prices for similar size properties in the same area. Anyways, they always use a variation of the same storyline for their scams:
"I'm an architect / neurosurgeon / (insert other profitable job here) and I bought this house when I was working in Munich / I bought this house for my daughter while she was going to university. Now I'm back in the UK / Netherlands/ Denmark / Now my daughter is working somewhere else, so I need to rent out the place" . They'll send you a link to an external site with the pictures, as they always remove their original posting on immoscout fairly quickly. Finally they'll ask you for your private information (including copy of your passport or ID) and tell you to forward a payment of the first month's rent + deposit to Airbnb, who will then send you an envelope with contract and keys, or send an agent with the keys to inspect the apartment with you. Of course they emphasize you'll get the money back if you don't like the apartment. All I think of when I read this same story over and over again is a big LOL, but if they keep doing it, there must be people who fall for it.
Just wanted to make other people aware. Also wondering if others have come across this and if anyone has any idea of what, if anything, can be done to report these people to the authorities.