Dwain and Lillian Seymour discovered their Murrayville home was listed for rent without their knowledge as part of a scam. (Dan Ferguson/Langley Advance Times)

VIDEO: Renters keep showing up at B.C. couple’s home after it was listed in online scam

One said she’d given an $800 deposit to someone she met in a coffee shop

When a woman with four children arrived on their doorstep, Murrayville residents Lillian and Dwain Seymour had to let her know she wouldn’t be moving in.

“She had already given notice,” Dwain recalled. “I told her, it’s [our house] not for rent, never has, never will be.”

Shocked, the woman told the Seymours she had handed over an $800 deposit to a person she met in a coffee shop, believing they were behind an ad on the Craigslist website that displayed genuine photos taken of the exterior of the Seymour’s property in the 3600-block of 224th St., but fake interior photos taken from some other source.

“Her bags were packed,” Lillian recalled.

“She was homeless.”

Four different people have showed up at the Seymour’s home in less than a month, lured by the online ad.

There have been others, who the retired couple have noticed stopping to have a look, then leaving.

As it turned out, the online ad – which has reportedly been taken down – told would-be tenants not to knock on the door or go onto the property, so as not to disturb the “current tenants.”

READ MORE: B.C. woman has hundreds show up in $500 Craigslist rental scam

Lillian said it all started with a phone call in early September from a woman who claimed to be with a real estate company.

She asked if their house was for rent, and when Lillian said it wasn’t, the caller kept asking questions until Lillian hung up.

A few days later, a man drove into their front yard, and told the couple he was looking to rent a place for a friend.

That was when they learned about the online for-rent ad.

The couple reported the incident to police, who told them to contact Craigslist and the Canadian Anti-Fraud Centre online.

Lillian said they tried, but it was a frustrating experience, because the anti-fraud centre and Craigslist could only be reached by email.

As of Wednesday, the fraud line has posted a message apologizing for “intermittent disruptions with our toll-free telephone line that may cause your call to be disconnected.”

“You can’t phone anyone any more,” Lillian said.

They decided to go public to warn people about the scam.

READ ALSO: Langley photographer stung in $4,200 overpayment scam

Langley RCMP Cpl. Holy Largy said people need to take basic precautions when responding to a rental ad.

“Don’t rent a place sight unseen,” Largy advised. “Don’t hand money over before viewing a property.”

“If it seems to be good to be true, it probably is,” Largy added.

Better Business Bureau reports this type of scam has been going on for several years across all provinces on websites like Craigslist and Kijiji.

The agency recommends searching online for the listings, or the scammer’s email address or phone number.

If you find the same ad being posted and located in other cities then you can be sure it’s a scam, the BBB says.



dan.ferguson@langleyadvancetimes.com

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Glimpses of Revelstoke’s past for Jan. 16

First diesel train, bitterly cold weather and testing a magnetometer

Jocelyn’s Jottings: Scared by my latest hydro bill

Luckily I have set up an equal payment plan with BC Hydro… Continue reading

Snow, snow and snow for Revelstoke

The white stuff will continue to fall into next week

Revelstoke already double last year’s snowfall

The city is just below halfway to the snowiest winter on record

Have your say on what it takes raising toddlers in Revelstoke

The study started collecting data last summer and is expected to continue until at least May

‘Like an ATM’: World’s first biometric opioid-dispensing machine launches in B.C.

First-of-its-kind dispensing machine unveiled in the Downtown Eastside with hopes of curbing overdose deaths

B.C. society calls out conservation officer after dropping off bear cub covered in ice

Ice can be seen in video matted into emaciated bear cub’s fur

Horgan cancels event in northern B.C. due to security concerns, says Fraser Lake mayor

The premier will still be visiting the city, but the location and day will not be made public

B.C. landlord sentenced to two years in jail for torching his own rental property

Wei Li was convicted of intentionally lighting his rental property on fire in October 2017

B.C. town spends $14.14 per resident for snow removal in one month

Costs of snow removal to the Town of Princeton skyrocketed in December.… Continue reading

PHOTOS: Eastern Newfoundland reeling, search underway for missing man after blizzard

More than 70 centimetres of new snow fell overnight, creating whiteout conditions

Prince Harry, Meghan to give up ‘royal highness’ titles

‘Harry, Meghan and Archie will always be much loved members of my family,’ says Queen Elizabeth II

Photo reminds Salmon Arm resident of connection to former drama teacher Justin Trudeau

Prime minister remembered as being as a funny, larger-than-life person

Province says it is monitoring AIM’s road maintenance

The provincial transportation ministry is working closely with new road contractor AIM,… Continue reading

Most Read