Police warn of rental scam
Burnaby now – Mar 20, 2021 / 3:30 p.m. | History: 328551
Police say not all rental housing listings are real.
Police warn Burnaby residents being scammed for large sums of money by people looking for rentals that don’t belong to them.
Police say the fraud involves the fraudster posting an advertisement for a rental property.
An unsuspecting tenant responds to the ad and often agrees to meet someone who identifies as the landlord. After viewing the property, the tenant meets the landlord again to hand them a sum of money to pay the rent and the initial security deposit. The tenant signs an agreement, is provided with a key to the residence and a date of occupancy. When the tenant tries to move in, he is met by the real owner of the property and tells them that the house is not available for rent.
Alternatively, the landlord responds to the tenant’s response to the ad and tells the tenant they live overseas. The landlord often reassures the tenant by providing copies of their passport and / or driver’s license (which are most often considered fraudulent). Once the tenant transfers money via internet wire transfer, money order / wire transfer, Bitcoin and other means, the landlord will stop contacting.
To better protect yourself from this type of scam:
- Use a reputable rental website or go to the property management office itself;
- Perform an internet search on the address, see if anything suspicious is found;
- If the rental price is too good to be true, it is probably a fraud;
- Do not deposit cash, cash is not traceable;
- Do not transfer money, wire transfers are extremely difficult to reverse and trace;
- Do not give out personal information like your social insurance number, bank account or credit card;
- Be sure to speak with the landowner or property manager;
- Find out from surrounding neighbors about the owner and history of the property (neighbors should be able to tell you who lives next door and whether or not they own it)