During the summer of 2014 there were some suspected incidents of tenancy fraud; adverts had been posted for properties on St Andrews facebook pages and The Sinner offering tenancies when there weren't properties available. Some students found themselves paying for deposits for a tenancy which didn't exist, even though a contract had been signed. The police were involved with these cases, and if you suspect you may also have been a victim of fraud it is advisable that you get in touch with them.
Cases continued into 2015, and there have already been reports in January 2016 that it is still occurring; properties are appearing on facebook pages, but tenants are being refused a viewing before handing over any money.
When looking for somewhere to rent, make sure you or someone you trust views the property before any money is handed over. It is highly suspicious if the landlord will not allow you to view a property before you give them any money. You can also check whether the landlord is registered with the council through this website. If nothing shows up on this, double check with Fife Council as the website isn't always up to date. Remember - if the landlord isn't registered with the council, they aren't renting the property legally, even if the offer is genuine.
Here is a message from Neighbourhood Watch Scotland, via St Andrews studentpad.