Coquitlam RCMP warns of online rental property scams
2022-05-24 13:33 PDT
File # 2022-8175, 2022-9717
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Coquitlam RCMP is warning residents of an online rental property scams.
Over the past two months, two similar reports were received. In both incidents, a fraudulent ad for a rental property was posted on an online marketplace.
In one situation, the victim reached out to the person who posted the ad and sent a deposit and half a months rent through e-transfer without ever viewing the rental suite. When the victim attended on the move in date she realized the property was not for rent and contacted police.
In the second situation, the victim communicated with the suspect online and met the suspect outside of the alleged rental suite. The suspect made up an excuse about how he could not show the suite and provided a professional looking contract for the victim to sign. The victim handed over cash for a damage deposit before realizing it was a scam and contacting police.
"In an extremely competitive rental market, these fraudsters are taking advantage of renters need to secure accommodation," states Corporal Paige Kuz, Media Relations Officer for the Coquitlam RCMP. Fraudsters cam be very convincing, but as a renter, prior to any money changing hands, there are some precautionary steps you can take to protect yourself from falling victim to scams such as this.
- When searching for rentals, visit the address in-person;
- Schedule a showing and confirm its availability;
- Request a lease/contract and review it thoroughly;
- Search online marketplaces for the posted rental address to ensure there are not duplicate posts. If there are, this could be a sign of a scam;
- If the person requests payment in cryptocurrency or gift cards this is a strong indicator of a scam;
- If you feel rushed or pushed to do something, it could be a sign of a scam;
- Go with your gut. If it seems off, it probably is.
If you believe you are the victim of a scam, contact the Coquitlam RCMP non-emergency line at 604-945-1550 to make a report. If you encounter a scam but you have not been victimized, contact the Canadian Anti-Fraud Centre online at www.antifraudcentre.ca or by calling 1-888-495-8501.
Cpl. Paige KuzMedia Relations Officer
coquitlam.rcmp-grc.gc.ca (English only)
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