Rental fraud commotion is not a new topic for the Barrie area but then again the renewed fear for people is the point that such activities are beginning to pop up again after quite some time. Besides this time around, fraudsters are targeting people who are trying to search for reasonable homes.
The sign of the trend was detected on rental websites such as Kijiji and Craig’s List for rental homes that are lower than the usual rental rate in the area. Rental scams always put up rates that are too good to be true and this invites a lot of renters especially for those who are gauging at cheap rental apartments.
Facts provided on these sites does not give a thorough outline of the property as they lack pictures of the said property and also a valid address. This is due to the fact that most of the scams make use of old data provided by landlords of the original property.
When potential renters try to seek answers as to why there is very little detail of the property or why they cannot get to see the house, fraudsters come up with different excuses including they are out of the city or they have very busy schedules.
Furthermore, fraudsters will require renters to make deposits through money transfer and assure probable renters that the keys to their apartment will be mailed or dropped off at the address.
Then again to the disappointment of many who fall victim of this act, upon arriving at the address they might either discover that the property is already being occupied by the rightful tenant or the property does not actually exist. At this point it is too late to retrieve their money and neither will they be able to trace the fraudsters.
In the Barrie area, such occurrences have been seen on several occasions with fraudsters making use of information provided by various real estate agents or companies.
According to Melissa Russell, an assistant with Peggy Hill Team, fraudsters make use of their information and act as if the property belongs to them and they only oblige renters to live in the apartment so it will not remain vacant.
The Barrie police cited that renters should be very careful of people who offer really low prices for rentals.
J C Loum