Wednesday, October 07, 2009

Rental Scam Costs Woman $8900

Craig's List Rental Scam

A Surrey resident placed an ad on Craig’s List to rent out a home during the 2010 Olympics. In response to her online advertisement, she was contacted by an individual claiming to be a doctor from England. As discussions progressed, the man indicated that rather than staying merely for just the period of the Olympics, he and his family would be residing in Canada for a one year period.

As such, a rental fee of $30,000.00 was set. Subsequently the victim was sent a cheque in the amount of $39,000.00. In further contact with the “doctor” it was agreed that he had sent too much money and he was asking for $8,900 be sent back to him to cover the cost of his having his furniture shipped to Canada.

After waiting a total of seven days and checking twice with her financial institution that the cheque from the “doctor” was legitimate, the victim wired the $8,900.00 off to her potential renter. Having taken as many precautions as possible & exercising due diligence, the fraud was cast in stone. Following the monies having been wired to this individual, the bank has since withdrawn the original amount of $39,000.00 from the victims account & has advised the cheque was a fraud.

Commercial Crime / Fraud investigators have conduct of this investigation and have already linked this offence to three others in Canada; one in Toronto, one in Squamish (neither of which saw a loss of monies) and one in Delta in which the suspect acquired in excess of $6,000.00

Investigators are working with other police agencies in the hopes of being able to identify this individual.

With the potential of others in the community having been made a victim of this fraud & the possibility of others becoming victims, the RCMP in Surrey is issuing this advisory. A take off on what is commonly referred to as a “Nigerian Letter,” investigators are urging caution to those making similar offers over the internet.

To help ensure you do not become a victim of a similar scam, it is suggested that you have any monies agreed upon be wired to you in cash and not via cheque nor money order (or similar document that can be forged or reported having been stolen).

If you receive payment for a rental:
- do not cash the cheque
- keep all emails / correspondence including IP addresses
- keep the envelope & the cheque
- report the incident to your local police service
- report to Phone Busters @ 1-800-495-8501

- if you have a place to rent, request payment be made via money order, bank
draft or direct payment to your account.


allvoices

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