How to avoid a rental scam

Internet fraud is big business and we are seeing more and more of it recently in the rental industry. We can not prevent every scam email or listing but we can reduce its effectiveness by educating our users. Below are some tips on how to spot a rental scam and avoid it.

Scams against landlords

A common scam used on landlords is the Sponsor scam. The scammer will contact you and tell you that a large company is sponsoring them over to Canada to work for a couple of years. They will send you a fake cashier cheque for a large amount and ask if you can send the difference to their sponsor through wire transfer. By the time you find out the cheque is a fake it would be too late.

Does their email include the following?
- Multiple spelling and grammar mistakes
- Start with Sir or Madam
- Email is sent from another country or say they are in another country
- A sense of urgency to move in or would move in without seeing the property
- Require cashier cheques or wire transfers
- Overly polite
- Email ask for banking and personal information
- Mention of delay in providing funds or information

These are just a few common signs. If you receive such emails and do not have a good feeling about it, it is best not to respond. And don't forget to always do a credit check and deal locally.

Fake rental scams against renters

A common scam used on renters is collecting deposit money for a fake rental listing. The scammer will make it seem like someone else will get the property if you don't quickly send them a deposit. No matter how legitimate it might seem, do not send money. Ask to meet in person and see the property before any money is exchanged.

Things to look for in a scam
- Is the rental rate well below market value?
- Does the listing seem too good to be true?
- Do they want you to send them a deposit without seeing the property?
- Is landlord out of the country?
- Do they delay meeting in person?

Always deal locally and if it seems too good to be true, it usually is.

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Richmond Hill, Condo, Unfurnished

Available: Immediately

1 Bdrm+Den, 1 Bathroom

500 Sqft.

$1250  

Utilities Not Included

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Etobicoke, Condo, Unfurnished

Available: Immediately

1 Bdrm, 1 Bathroom

620sq.ft Sqft.

$1450  

Utilities Not Included

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Available: Immediately

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All Utilities Included

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Available: Immediate

1 Bdrm+Den, 1 Bathroom

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Some Utilities Included

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