RENT SCAM ALERT
Someone is posting houses for rent that are listed by Real Estate Professionals using the professional photos and write up. The house is NOT for rent. Then they are collecting rent in advance to secure the rental. They will take your money and run. You will be left homeless and cashless.
One of my listings was posted on hellogoodbuy which is a local classifieds site. Someone saw it and reported it to me. I was very grateful to steinbachonline for removing the post immediately when I made them aware of it. They also blocked the user. (Which is a bogus name and different than the name used in response to the ad)
Several innocent local people have been scammed out of large amounts of money this way. Listings from several other local offices were targeted.
The ads on that website keep coming continually.
How to detect the fraud.
1. Drive by and see if it’s listed. (If it is please notify the agent that it is posted for rent)
2. If the supposed landlord says that he cannot show it to you that would be a huge red flag. Especially if they say they are out of the country.
3. If they ask for 3 months rent to secure it for 2 years…
4. If they ask you to send the money without meeting them…
- The application form is requesting your social insurance number and drivers license.
Actual text from a scam artist. (Address has been changed)
I received your inquiry about my property for rent at 123 Downtown ST, Steinbach, Manitoba, My name is Bishop Ingrid Newman , My family and I just moved down to Sacramento California in our new house due to an international Christian follower’s crusade, We are currently working with the Church of Jesus Christ Of Latter-Day Saint. You can look into our website at: www.mormon.org , and we will be here for 4 to 5 years. My initial plan was to sell the house of which I did a research for an agent to handle it on our behalf and after getting one, we got a deal but later the agent that was in charge of our property was asking too much of an agent FEE and also making it difficult for people who cannot afford to BUY this property, to stay away from buying my property. and so presently, this property is no longer up for sale, under minding the for sale sign on this property which I put there myself before leaving, but I find it difficult to let go this adorable property, and so I have decided to rent this property to a responsible and GOD fearing tenant who is willing to take very good care of it in our absence. Pets are allowed as long as they are not destructive. The rent is $1000 and security deposit is $1000 and total move-in cost is $2000 and all the utilities are included in the monthly rent,as i am in a governmental programmer that sponsors my utilities on monthly basis and pets are also allowed. my wife Benita has hearing Impaired, Here is the number to text me because of my wife condition, also I do check my email often so i will be the one to talk with you on the phone should you have a question.
Feel free to contact me +1 (916) 936-0296 . You can drive-by to view the outside and neighborhood of the house and get back to me with the rental application filled out
WHAT CAN WE DO?
The RCMP office is aware of the fraud. It is re-occurring just like the CRA fraud.
The RCMP will not do anything at all. They don’t even want the numbers or the copy of the dialogue. They are not warning the public so I have taken it upon myself to do so.
They did however give me a very valuable contact. If you become aware of a scam, please report it to;
CANADIAN ANTI-FRAUD CENTRE
WOULD YOU LIKE TO KNOW HOW THE REPORT PROCEDURE GOES?
So, I called Canadian anti-fraud centre and they said they have a high volume of calls so I should go to the website. They did not put me on hold. They hung up.
Then, I went to the website. I had to create an account first. Then I spent approximately an hour filling out the report. Once I submitted the report it gave me this message;
Please be aware that the CAFC is not a criminal investigative agency, we are a central repository for fraud data. Our Operational Support Unit provides support to law enforcement agencies by analyzing fraud data submitted to the CAFC. If you are currently being victimized please contact your local police service immediately for assistance. If you’re already a victim and wish to have a follow from the police, or require a file number for insurance purposes, you will need to contact your local police service to file a complaint.
MY CONCLUSION is that the best way to protect innocent people from being defrauded of rent money on a house that is not for rent is to MAKE THE PUBLIC AWARE of this SCAM.
PLEASE tell your family, friends and co-workers. THIS IS STILL HAPPENING! The names will be different every time but the tactic will be similar.
Tina Plett, Sutton Group-Kilkenny Real Estate