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West Kelowna  

Beware of rental scam

RCMP are warning residents to beware of online rental scams.

Police say a West Kelowna man discovered an online rental scam, using a local online classified service in late September.

The man avoided the scam after seeking advice from a friend.

The alleged scammer apparently copied images and detailed rental information from online advertisements associated to real Central Okanagan properties and then created a fictitious ad on an alternate site with altered contact information.

The scammer’s ad is often detailed with a fictitious back story outlining the reasons for the property being rented out. Typically once a fraud victim shows any interest in the property, the scammer emails a rental application.

“In this particular case the fraudster later contacted the victim by phone and advised that their application was accepted,” said Cpl. Jesse O’Donaghey.

“While pressuring the would-be renter to secure the deal, an e-transfer deposit of approximately $1,000 is requested and a promise is made to promptly courier the premises’ keys, which of course never show up.”

Police say there are several ways to avoid these types of scams, including:

  • Physically go to the property and book a viewing, when searching for rentals
  • Conduct your own open source queries to ensure the advertisement isn’t a duplicate
  • Do not transfer funds to unknown individuals
  • Trust your instincts, if it doesn’t seem right, don’t do it
  • Consult with a friend or family member first


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