The Cornwall Police Service (CPS) would like to warn residents about an ongoing rental property scam that has been taking place in the Cornwall area.
The scam involves a fraudster stealing photos of an actual house/apartment for sale and then pretends to be the owner of the property, claiming to be renting it out. The fraudster posts the “for rent” ad on websites such as Kijiji, Properties to Go, and Facebook and immediately asks interested renters for deposit money and personal information. Once the money is received, the fraudster stops replying to the victim.
Here are some tips to protect yourselves from these fraudulent online ads:
- Always ask to view the location before you put down a deposit
- If it looks to good to be true, it probably is (is the price realistic for the location, size and amenities?)
- Check with actual accredited real estate websites to see if the property is listed
- Slow down and get all of the information you need before making a decision
- Ask questions and if there are any red flags, back out
- Never give any personal information such as a SIN, bank account or credit card number to someone you do not know
If you provided money or personal information as a result of the a similar fraud/scam, you may file a report with the Cornwall Police Service by calling 613-933-5000 ext. 2418.
For more information on these types of frauds, please visit the website for the Canadian Anti-Fraud Centre.