RCMP issue warning after two people in Kamloops ripped off in apartment rental scam | iNFOnews | Thompson-Okanagan's News Source

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RCMP issue warning after two people in Kamloops ripped off in apartment rental scam

Image Credit: ADOBE STOCK
January 06, 2021 - 5:07 PM

RCMP want people to be aware of an apartment rental scam that recently victimized two people in Kamloops.

Kamloops RCMP received two complaints in the last week involving people who were scammed after they responded to an online accommodation rental ad, according to an RCMP media release issued today, Jan. 6.

In both cases, the ad was for a property on Summit Drive in the city and the interested parties were asked to send an international e-transfer to Africa in order to secure the rental.

The fraudsters used the website Zoeken, but police say the scam is not new and can happen on any website.

Scammers have been known to pull photos from a legitimate listings and use them as their own. The key flaw to the scam is the criminals won't show up to the rental in person.

"It can be easy to be fooled, especially if you’re moving to town yourself and are unable to visit the property in person,” Kamloops RCMP’s media relations officer Const. Crystal Evelyn said in the release.

“It might not always be easy, but always make sure that you or someone you trust visits a property first before exchanging any money. Also, take steps to confirm the person offering the property is its actual owner. Taking the time to talk to neighbours in the area or a building’s superintendent can save you a whole lot of time and money on the other end,” she said.

RCMP say you can avoid rental scams by doing the following:

  • Visiting the property in person.
  • Asking the landlord to show proper identification.
  • Talking to others in the area to confirm who owns the property.
  • Asking to see previous utility bills for the address to confirm the identity of the landlord.
  • Ensuring a proper rental agreement is provided and signed by both parties.

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