Barrie Police warn you of a rental scam that has been happening in the city.
Ads have been placed on Kijiji, Craigslist and other websites showing rent for much lower than the market average.
The “landlord” says they’re out of town and can’t show the property, then asks for a deposit in return for the keys.
Often the tenant shows up to a home that’s already occupied and loses out on the deposit and a place to live.
Here are some tips from Barrie Police:
- When searching for rentals, go to the address. Schedule a showing and confirm its availability. Driving by is not enough to confirm a house is available for rent.
- Request a lease/contract. Review it thoroughly. Do your best to confirm information provided on the lease including landlord information.
- Complete open source searches on rental addresses to ensure it’s not a duplicate post. Previous sale or expired rental ads may be a sign of a scam. If recently listed as for sale, contact the listing agent to cross reference the details you have.
- Know the market. If similar houses are listed for substantially higher than the ad you are reading, there is a chance it is fraudulent.
- Do not send funds to strangers. E-transfers and Money Transfers can end up anywhere in the world and are hard to track.
- Contact Equifax and Transunion if you’ve provided sensitive information on applications.
- Go with your gut. If it seems fishy it probably is. Too good to be true is often that, too good to be true.