‘We thought we had been doing every part proper,’ warns Victoria rental rip-off sufferer – BC | Globalnews.ca

‘We thought we were doing everything right,’ warns Victoria rental scam victim - BC | Globalnews.ca

2022-09-23 07:57:09

A sufferer of a string of rental frauds Victoria police have described as “refined” and “brazen” is sharing her story within the hopes she will stop others from falling into the identical entice.

“We thought we had been doing every part proper. We’d heard about rental scams earlier than, however by no means the place folks had been truly proven the condominium in particular person a number of instances,” the girl, whom World Information has agreed to not establish, mentioned in an interview Thursday.

The sufferer and her companion, who just lately moved to Victoria from Alberta for college, had been searching for a unit locally since Might, and located what seemed just like the dream suite on Craigslist.

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They spoke to the scammer on cellphone, and even travelled to Victoria to satisfy him in particular person and look at the property.

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“He allow us to in utilizing a key fob on the skin door, introduced us upstairs, informed us quite a bit concerning the constructing, mentioned the utilities, he had this entire story about it, when he purchased it, who he purchased it with, all these items — allow us to proper into the condominium, he had a key for the door to the condominium,” she mentioned, including the scammer even went so far as to test their references.

“The crimson flag I suppose we did see in hindsight was that he requested we pay in money for the harm deposit. However the place was very pretty priced, he was a really regular man, nothing was notably odd about him. We met with him a number of instances. He allow us to into a number of buildings.

“You simply wouldn’t suppose that may be a rip-off, due to how elaborate it was, I suppose.”


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The couple solely realized they’d been scammed the day they arrived to maneuver into the condominium.

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Once more, the scammer met them in particular person exterior the constructing at hand off the keys — and accumulate a $900 harm deposit and half a month’s lease from them.

He then informed them his niece and nephew had been being dropped off, and he’d be again in a couple of minutes — however by no means returned.

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When the couple tried to make use of the important thing fob on the constructing it didn’t work. Neither did the mailbox key or key to the condominium door.

Realizing what had occurred, the duo reported the incident to the police, and posted their story on social media web site Reddit — the place quite a few others mentioned they’d been scammed the identical manner.

“A number of folks commented and personal messaged us saying, ‘items of your story are precisely the identical as what occurred to me,’” she mentioned.

Victoria police issued an enchantment Wednesday for anybody who believed they’d been scammed by somebody utilizing the identical sample to come back ahead, citing not less than 10 circumstances related circumstances within the metropolis, and the potential of extra in neighbouring municipalities.


Victoria police are searching for potential victims of this accused fraudster.


Victoria police

“The value appears somewhat too low for a very aggressive rental market, you negotiate, this particular person contacts your references, provides you a key fob, and you then arrive and uncover this isn’t the case,” Victoria Police spokesperson Bowen Osoko informed World Information.

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“It’s fairly potential the particular person has focused folks proper throughout the area.”


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Police have already made two arrests within the file, and launched a photograph of one of many suspects within the hopes of connecting with extra victims.

Within the meantime, would-be renters are being warned to take each precaution when locking down a deal.

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“It in all probability is due to this fact a good suggestion to be further vigilant,” tenant useful resource and advocacy centre lawyer Rob Patterson mentioned.

“And that features these preliminary steps like ensuring you’ll be able to see the place earlier than you pay cash, making certain the particular person is the proprietor, and may also contain taking that further step and really wanting up the property.”

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It’s the sort of recommendation the sufferer who spoke with World Information mentioned she’ll be using any time she’s home looking now — together with utilizing a Realtor as a 3rd celebration in rental transactions, who can instantly contact a property’s registered proprietor.

“This was a really elaborate factor that occurred to a whole lot of different folks, and I’m simply hoping it doesn’t occur to any extra folks.”

© 2022 World Information, a division of Corus Leisure Inc.


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