Scams that target individuals searching for rental properties.
How it Works
Fraudsters advertise properties online for rent that they do not own, using information and photos from legitimate real estate listings. Scam artist hope to get money from victims by collecting damage deposits on properties that are not actually available for rent.
How to Protect Yourself
Watch for these common warning signs of rental scams:
- no ability for the potential renter to see the property in person before providing a deposit
- asking the renter to e-transfer a deposit, or meet at a location other than the property, to provide a deposit
- asking the potential renter to ignore the For Sale signs on the property
- spelling errors and typos in the ads
- pressure to act quickly
Here are some best practices to follow before paying any money to secure a rental property:
- Never send money to someone you have never met, or only met online.
- Before signing a rental agreement and paying a damage deposit, insist on seeing the property. If you are moving from out of province, ask someone you know locally to look at the property for you.
- Do a reverse image search to determine if the images are shared on other websites.
- If there is a For Sale sign on the property, contact the listing realtor to inquire if the owner is also seeking to rent the property.
- If you are entering a rent-to-own situation, seek legal advice before signing a contract.
- When purchasing or negotiating on sites such as Kijiji, it is always buyer beware.
- If a rental property you are interested in is also a current real estate listing, contact the listing agent to confirm if the property is indeed available to rent. When using sites such as Realtor.ca, you are dealing with licensed agents. Learn more about how licensing can protect you.
- Additionally, we encourage consumers to become educated on the red flags of fraud so that they can spot the signs in advance of encountering these scams.
How to Report It
If you suspect you have been targeted by, or the victim of, a rental scam, contact the police.
FCNB is responsible for the administration, education and enforcement of provincial legislation that regulates securities, insurance, pensions, credit unions and certain consumer services. If your complaint relates to an area outside of FCNB’s regulated areas, we may refer you to the appropriate reporting agency or organization.