Rental fraud is when tenants are tricked into paying an upfront fee to rent a property only to find out it does not exist.
Or the property may be rented to several people at the same time and they never see the original fee again.
ID checking website 192.com is urging both landlords and renters to be aware of the impact of rental fraud on the industry.
According to the National Fraud Intelligence Bureau there has already been 353 separate cases of rental fraud in the UK this year.
"Rental fraud is a re-occurring threat, with students, holidaymakers and attendees of major events being targeted in different ways but with the same overall objective; to steal from people who have booked a property in good faith, a bureau spokesman said.
“The criminals operate anonymously, advertising on the internet to lure in people in with victims losing thousands of pounds and being left in difficult and distressing positions."
Landlords need to be aware of this trend and avoid using agencies or websites associated with fraud.
Advertising your property for rent on a website that is a known hunting ground for fraudsters will severely decrease your chances of a tenancy.
A good idea is to sign up to a registered agency and always organise to be present at property inspections.
Fraudsters give the landlord industry a bad name.