Renters are being urged to watch out for bogus letting agents.
The Property Services Regulatory Authority (PSRA) says it is aware of a number cases of fake letting agents who are trying to scam people out of money.
Bogus agents often operate online and seek payments from prospective tenants through email. Some are purporting to use a PSRA licence number.
All letting agents, auctioneers, estate agents and management agents operating in the Republic of Ireland must hold a PSRA licence to provide a property service.
The individual licence is a credit card size licence which has the licensee name, photographic identification and a unique 12 digit PSRA licence number. When using a property service provider, it is advisable to ask the property service provider to show you their licence which they are obliged to have available for inspection.
CEO of the PSRA, Maeve Hogan says there's a number of steps people can take to ensure they're dealing with legitimate agents:
"Recent reports regarding bogus letting agents is a matter of grave concern for the PSRA," said CEO Maeve Hogan.
"The month of August is a time when students are starting or returning to college or university and a higher number of lettings take place.
The PSRA publishes a public register of Licensed Property Services Providers where you can check the validity of a licence.
The register can be found on www.psr.ie and displays both the licensee name and licence number.
If you are in any doubt as to whether a letting agent is licensed, you can contact the PSRA on 046 9033800 or firstname.lastname@example.org.