‘We thought we were doing everything right,’ warns victims of Victoria rental scam – BC

A victim of a string of rental scams described by Victoria Police as “sophisticated” and “brazen” shares her story in the hope that it can help prevent others from falling into the same trap.

“We thought we were doing everything right. We’d heard about rental scams before, but hadn’t actually been shown the apartment many times,” said Global. The woman, who agreed not to be identified by News, said in an interview Thursday.

The victim and her partner, who recently moved to Victoria from Alberta to attend school, have been looking for units in the community since May and found what appeared to be their dream suite on Craigslist.

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They spoke with the scammer on the phone and went to Victoria to meet him in person and view the property.

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“He let us use the key fob on the outside door, took us upstairs, talked a lot about the building, discussed utilities…he told all the stories about it…like this Thing — let me in the apartment. He had the key to the apartment door,” she said, and the scammers even checked their references.

“The red flag we saw in hindsight was that he demanded cash payment for the damage deposit. But the place was very affordable. Nothing was unusual, we met him many times and he put us in multiple buildings.

“You wouldn’t think it was a scam because it was clever.”

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The couple realized they had been scammed the day they arrived to move into their apartment.

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Again, the crooks met them directly outside the building, gave them the keys, and collected a $900 damage deposit and half a month’s rent from them.

He then told them that his niece and nephew had been dropped off and would be back in a few minutes, but never returned.

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When the couple tried to use the key fob in the building it didn’t work. There was no mailbox key, no apartment door key.

Realizing what had happened, the two reported the incident to the police and posted their story on the social media site Reddit.

“Several people commented and sent us private messages saying, ‘Part of your story is exactly what happened to me,'” she said.

Victoria Police on Wednesday used the same pattern to sue someone they believed had been scammed by someone, with at least 10 similar cases in the city and more in neighboring municipalities. I filed a lawsuit citing the possibility.

Victoria Police are looking for potential victims of this alleged scammer.

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“The price seems a little too low for a really competitive rental market,” said Bowen Osoko, spokesman for the Victoria Police Department. And then we arrive and discover that this is not the case.” news.

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“It’s entirely possible that the individual targeted people throughout the region.”

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Police have already made two arrests on file and have released a photo of one of the suspects in hopes of connecting with more victims.

In the meantime, renters are warned to take all precautions when finalizing contracts.

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“So being extra vigilant is probably a good idea,” said Rob Patterson, an attorney at Tennant’s Center for Resources and Advocacy.

“And that includes first steps like making sure the place is visible before you pay, making sure the person is the owner, etc. And that extra step. It also includes stepping on and actually examining the property.”

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This is the sort of advice a victim who spoke to Global News said he would take whenever he was looking for a home. This includes using a real estate agent as a third party in a rental transaction who can directly contact the property’s registered owner.

“This is a very elaborate event that has happened to many other people and I hope it doesn’t happen to any more people.”

© 2022 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.

‘We thought we were doing everything right,’ warns victims of Victoria rental scam – BC

Source link ‘We thought we were doing everything right,’ warns victims of Victoria rental scam – BC

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