Penticton News

RCMP issue warning about online rental scam in Summerland

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SUMMERLAND - RCMP are investigating a report of an online rental scam in Summerland.

Police say they were called yesterday, Feb. 16, about a scan involving a fake ad for a rental property and a lost deposit.

The scammer posted an ad for a rental property and once they received a response, they instructed the victim to send payment for the property, according to an RCMP media release. The fraudster told the renter they will get a key in the mail. The key is never sent and the money is lost.

Police say that some online rental ads are coming from outside the country and are hard to track.

Summerland police have released a few tips to avoid falling victim to this scam:

  • Choose a currency method other than cash for payment of rent or deposits
  • Always ensure a proper rental-tenancy agreement is drafted. This agreement should include the name and address of the landlord. When you meet the person to confirm the rental, ask to see photo identification to ensure the name of the landlord is the same as the photo identification they provide.
  • Check online databases to ensure the property is not listed for sale, many times online ads use photos of obtained through realtor sites to advertise their fraudulent rental.
  • Meet in person to obtain keys for the property, prior to sending any money.

"As summer approaches rentals become increasingly popular and we urge the public to do research and checks when attempting to rent properties," Cpl. C. Richardson says in the release.

Richardson says if your property has been listed as a rental contact the website to have the listing removed, then report the incident to the police and the Canadian Anti-Fraud Center.

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