RCMP are issuing a warning after multiple people were scammed by individuals posing as landlords with suites for rent. (Pixabay)

RCMP are issuing a warning after multiple people were scammed by individuals posing as landlords with suites for rent. (Pixabay)

Rental scam hits North Okanagan

RCMP have received multiple complaints in recent days from victims

When it comes to getting a rental, if it sounds too good to be true, it might be.

Salmon Arm RCMP recently received multiple complaints involving people who were reportedly scammed out of hundreds of dollars in e-transfer payments after falling victim to an online rental scam involving a property nestled in the Shuswap.

In the most recent case, the victim made two e-transfer payments totaling nearly $2,000 in order to secure the basement suite said to be situated in a home on 18 Street SE in Salmon Arm, BC. The victim traveled to Salmon Arm, set to take possession of his new rental when he was advised no such rental suite existed.

READ MORE: Scam calls continue to circulate

Investigators have determined that additional individuals looking to relocate from the Lower Mainland District (LMD) and northern BC have also been victimized by the same fraudster.

A woman from the LMD posted an online ad seeking a rental in Salmon Arm, when the suspect replied, claiming to have a suite for rent. In this particular case, the victim not only paid $1,000 to secure the rental, but shared personal information along with photocopies of personal identification. The victim became suspicious when the scammer began to ask the woman to purchase Bitcoin and gift cards for him.

READ MORE: Gift card scam losses nearly tripled in three years: Better Business Bureau

This type of scam is not new and can happen on any online platform or website. In some cases, scammers will pull photos from legitimate listings or properties for sale and present them as their own. Typically, they will have a reason as to why they are unable to show the property in person. In each of these cases, the fraudster claimed to be residing in Ontario.

With fewer and fewer rentals available, it can be easy to be taken advantage of, especially if you’re moving to a community by yourself and are unable to personally visit the property in person, said Cpl. Jesse O’Donaghey, spokesperson for the RCMP Southeast District in a press release.

It might not always be easy, but always make sure that you or someone you trust visits a property first before any funds change hands. Also, take added steps to confirm the person renting the property is its actual owner or representative. Taking the time to talk to neighbours in the area or a building’s caretaker can save you a whole lot of precious time and money in the end.

READ MORE: B.C. woman warning others after losing $3,000 in job scam

The RCMP added several tips for people who are looking for rentals to avoid being scammed.

The first tips are to arrange for the renter or someone they trust to visit the property in person before exchanging money and to talk to others in the area to confirm who owns the property. Also, ask to see previous utility bills as another way of verifying the landlord’s identity.

Also advised is conducting an online search of any photos of the rental or the address to see if it has been associated with scams in the past, and ensuring a proper rental agreement is provided and signed by both parties.

Finally, the RCMP recommends paying for a rental in a method other than cash or e-transfers, such as by cheque or bank draft.

If you have been scammed of money or have provided personal information to a potential fraudster, please report the incident to your local RCMP or police of jurisdiction and contact the Canadian Anti-Fraud Centre at 1-888-495-8501.

For more information about scams and tips to avoid them, you can go to the BC RCMP or the Canadian Anti-Fraud Centre websites.

To report a typo, email: editor@pentictonwesternnews.com.


@PentictonNews
newstips@pentictonwesternnews.com

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Scams

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

Just Posted

People watch burning funeral pyres of their relatives who died of COVID-19 in a ground that has been converted into a crematorium in New Delhi, India, Thursday, May 6, 2021. Infections in India hit another grim daily record that day as demand for medical oxygen jumped seven-fold and the government denied reports that it was slow in distributing life-saving supplies from abroad. (AP Photo/Ishant Chauhan)
Liam’s Lowdown: Tell us more how COVID-19 is impacting B.C.

Compared to other provinces, B.C. releases less data on COVID-19 infections and vaccinations

A health-care worker prepares a dose of the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine at a COVID-19 vaccine clinic in Toronto on Thursday, January 7, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Nathan Denette
65 new cases of COVID-19 in Interior Health

Overall, B.C. is seeing a decrease in COVID-19 cases

The five graduating members of the Vernon-based Thompson Okanagan Lakers U18AAA girls hockey team – Jessica Engelbrecht (from left), Makenna Howe, Cheree Peters, Jayden Perpelitz, and Alexis Bishop – have all committed to collegiate hockey programs in Canada and the U.S. (Photo submitted)
Vernon-based hockey squad sends 5 to college ranks

Thompson Okanagan U18AAA Lakers players heading to Canadian and U.S. programs

Richard Green writes poetry under the nom de plume Rick the Poet Warrior. Homeless, Green sometimes spends his summers in Revelstoke but winters in Victoria, travelling to Ontario to visit his sister whenever he can. (Jocelyn Doll - Revelstoke Review)
Revelstoke nomad pens poetry, offers insight into homelessness

Rick the Poet Warrior’s books can be found online as well as at the Revelstoke library

(Pixabay photo)
NHL bracket challenge supporting Indigenous awards at Okanagan College

One or more Indigenous students experiencing financial barriers will be able to receive an award

Sisters Audrey Cunningham and Donna Erdman, join the Vernon Kalamalka Chorus singing in their cars, tuned into the radio, under the direction of Debbie Parmenter. (Jennifer Smith - Morning Star)
VIDEO: Okanagan choir steers around COVID with ‘carbershop’ twist

Singers find a unique way to practice during pandemic restrictions

A property crime map for the month of March shows the hot spot for crimes is centered around the area where the Victory Church homeless shelter is located. (City Submitted)
B.C. Premier asked to intervene in Penticton homeless shelter dispute

Mayor sends letter urging premier to reconsider Eby’s use of paramountcy powers

Colleen Price, Vancouver Island University’s bachelor of science in nursing program chairperson, says she is impressed with how students have persevered through the COVID-19 pandemic. (Chris Bush/News Bulletin)
Next generation of B.C. nurses already showing resilience

University program head says learning had to be adjusted amidst pandemic

Join Black Press Media and Do Some Good
Join Black Press Media and Do Some Good

Pay it Forward program supports local businesses in their community giving

The Vernon Community Arts Centre is seeking member artist submissions for a summer exhibit called Enchanted: A World of Fantasy. Submissions are open until June 30, 2021. (VCAC photo)
Vernon artists’ fantasy worlds wanted for summer exhibit

Vernon Community Arts Centre is seeking submissions for Enchanted: A World of Fantasy

A woman is hoping that her dog Ginger ran away from the fire that erupted in her Osoyoos home Saturday night. The home caught fire twice in two days and is totally destroyed. (Contributed)
Dog missing after saving woman from huge house fire in Osoyoos

The woman escaped the burning home, but she hopes her dog Ginger ran away to safety

Logging is proposed for a portion of Mount Ida, with the industrial park to the right. The purple portions are the proposed cut blocks, the yellowy-green are city-owned properties and the red and black dotted lines are the proposed logging roads. (City of Salmon Arm image)
Salmon Arm council’s concerns eased over Mount Ida logging

Fire chief explains proposed cut complements wildfire risk reduction efforts

The temporary skatepark will be placed between the Capital News Centre (in the parking area) and H20, pictured here (Kelowna Skateboard Association/Contributed).
Kelowna skateboarders hope to get Lower Mission park

The Kelowna Skateboard Association is helping a group of kids get a skatepark for the summer

Two-year-old Kashius Weme rides at the Steve Smith Memorial Bike Park in Nanaimo on Tuesday, May 11. The youngster’s precocious bike-riding ability is already attracting cycle sponsors. (Chris Bush/News Bulletin)
2-year-old B.C. bike rider already attracting cycle sponsors

Nanaimo’s Kashius Weme has a knack for extreme cycle sports

Most Read