People Looking for Affordable Homes are the Target of Housing Frauds


Rental fraud activity is not a new topic for the Barrie area but the fresh concern for people is the fact that such activities are beginning to pop up again after quite some time when they were last heard of. And this time around, fraudsters are aiming at people who are trying to search for reasonable homes.

The indication of trend was noticed on rental websites such as Kijiji and Craig’s List for rental homes that are lower than the average rental rate in the area. In most cases, rental scams always put up rates that are too good to be true and this attracts a lot of renters especially for those who are gauging at cheap rental apartments.

Information provided on these sites does not give a detailed outline of the property as they lack pictures of the said property and also a valid address. This is because most of the scams make use of previous data provided by landlords of the original property.

When potential renters press or 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 the fact that they are out of the city or they have very busy schedules.

Additionally, fraudsters will require renters to make deposits through money transfer and assure likely renters that the keys to their apartment will be mailed or dropped off at the address.

But to the disappointment of many who fall victim of this act, upon getting to 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 becomes too late to retrieve their money and neither will they be able to trace the fraudsters.

In the Barrie area, such incidents 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 require renters to live in the apartment so it will not remain vacant.

Russell went on to add that this is a very bad situation as it takes advantage of people who cannot afford to rent expensive units are trying to manage their finances.

The Barrie police noted that renters should be very cautious of people who offer really low prices for rentals.


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