RCMP warns of online rental property scam

General Intrests

**** RCMP Media Release

RCMP warns of online rental property scam

Halifax District RCMP is warning residents of an online rental property scam.

Over the past two weeks, 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. The victim then changed their mind about renting the property and tried to contact the person who posted the ad. They could not reach the person and contacted police.

In the other situation, the person looking for a rental property saw the ad and made contact via email. Upon researching the property in-person, they realized the property was not for rent and notified police.

Fraudsters can be very convincing and anyone can be a victim of a scam, but there are some things everyone can do to reduce their risk:

  • ​ ​ ​ ​ ​ ​ ​ ​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.
  • ​ ​ ​ ​ ​ ​ ​ ​Ifthe person requests payment in cryptocurrency, gift cards or E-transfer, 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 your local police. If you encounter a scam but you have not been victimized, contact the Canadian Anti-Fraud Centre at https://www.antifraudcentre-centreantifraude.ca/index-eng.htm.

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