TRREB frequently receives reports from Members that involve fraudsters using legitimate for lease or sale listing information to post false rental listings online.
As this scam is ongoing, Members should be aware of the following:
Many of these fraudulent listings may be poorly written; advertise a rental amount lower than what similar units or homes in the area may lease for; request that a deposit or first and last month’s rent be sent to the “landlord” via wire transfer before a property may be viewed or to secure the lease; or they might note upfront that due to certain circumstances, no in-person visits, to or inside the property, are possible.
Recent lease alerts have also included the fraudster setting up a viewing appointment with an interested renter, but it was unknown if the person who posted the fraudulent ad would have carried through with the showing, or if their intention was to cancel beforehand and ask for an e-transfer of money for a deposit to hold the property. Another fraudster noted to “ignore the listing agent’s sign on the property,” and instead contact them, and others claim they are out of or leaving Canada and advise that the interested persons should act immediately to secure the lease.
In order to guard against such fraudulent activity, Members may choose to undertake routine Internet searches of their listings. Internet fraud can be reported to local police and to the Canadian Anti-Fraud Call Centre, which is jointly managed by the Ontario Provincial Police (OPP), the Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP), and the Competition Bureau. For more information, visit www.antifraudcentre.ca.
Member Alerts archives may be accessed from the MORE link at the top of Stratus home page.
Members who wish to report other fraudulent activity or safety related concerns regarding open houses, etc., may contact Christine at firstname.lastname@example.org