Fraudulent Online Rental Advertising

Posted by Nicholas Searle ot 10:44 AM

Recently, a Toronto Real Estate Agent reported this situation: A tenant contacted them about a property in which the tenant had made a lease arrangement after viewing the property online and contacting someone who they thought was either the owner or the agent for the property. The tenant had actually paid the deposit for the lease however, was calling to complain that they never received the keys.

The Toronto Real Estate Agent was shocked. He was selling the property and it had never been put on the market for lease!! Someone else had set up this fake lease arrangement with the tenant and now the tenant was out of pocket for a few thousand dollars!!

Prospective tenants should be aware that not all of the ads available online are legitimate. Tell tale signs are below-average rental amounts, the request for a deposit or first and last month's rent via wire transfer, no property photos available, or no in-person visits to/inside the property. Also, be cautious about opening attachments in any emails received if you do not know the sender. Internet fraud can be reported to local police and to the Canadian Anti-Fraud Call Centre (www.antifraudcentre.ca).



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