Harcourts are stepping in to help the victim of an apparent Hawke's Bay rental property catfishing scam.

Elisabeth Vogelaar was allegedly conned out of $400 by a woman who went by the name of "Stevie Marie" earlier in March.

She offered her a place to live that wasn't her's to give if Vogelaar paid a week's rent in advance and paid to have rental papers changed to her name.

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The photos sent to show her the place were from a Harcourts-listed rental, but it turned out "Stevie Marie" had nothing to do Harcourts.


Harcourts Group Property Management manager James Moran said Vogelaar had since missed out on getting the same place she was scammed with, but they were working with her to find a place to rent.

"We have offered our services to help her find a place to live and hopefully we can sort something out soon," Moran said.

Vogelaar said the support from Harcourts had given her new hope that she would be able to find a place in a very congested rental market.

"I've been looking a lot on Trade Me to find places. Hopefully they can help me in finding a house to rent."

Vogelaar said "Stevie Marie" had been back in contact with her and wanted to return the money that was taken, but she still hasn't seen any money.

Police said inquiries into the alleged scam were still ongoing.