Several Saskatchewan organizations are warning about online rental housing scams.
The Saskatchewan Realtors Association, Saskatchewan Landlord Association and Better Business Bureau of Saskatchewan say there is an increased frequency of these scams, noting that scammers are impersonating rental housing providers.
They said these scammers will promise keys and access to a unit in exchange for an e-transfer for a security deposit, rent or both.
Langley homeowner warns about rental scam
“Fraudsters are becoming increasingly savvy and capitalizing on inventory challenges in both the resale and rental markets,” said Saskatchewan Realtors Association CEO Chris Guerette.
“In some cases, rental advertisements use photos from active listings and we are urging prospective renters to ensure the property in question is not an active home on the resale market.”
Saskatchewan Landlord Association CEO Cameron Choquette said the rental market is seeing higher rents and strong demand.
“As the voice of landlords in Saskatchewan, we caution tenants to ensure they take the time to know who they are dealing with. If a property seems too good to be true and you’re being asked for money upfront, it could be a red flag to investigate further,” Choquette said.
Scammers may be trying to rent out a home up for sale
The organizations gave a list of best practices for consumers:
- Never send money to a rental housing provider until you have viewed the property and signed a tenancy agreement.
- Connect with the rental housing provider by phone or in-person to ensure they are legitimate, and that the property is, in fact, available for rent.
- A legitimate rental housing provider will be transparent about the application and rental process – don’t be afraid to ask questions.
“Scammers shift their tactics constantly and appear to have increased their usage to perpetrate fraud,” said Better Business Bureau of Saskatchewan (BBB) CEO Karen Smith.
“Remember to check out legitimate companies on BBB.org and, if possible, take time to find a company with a solid reputation.”
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