Edmonton - July 13, 2012 - The Edmonton Police Service wants to warn the public about false rental ads that are appearing on various online classified and rental sites.
After a legitimate ad is placed on an online rental site, it is being falsely copied onto an online classified site. When an interested renter responds to the “false” property listing, the renter is told by email that the owner lives in Buffalo, Texas or elsewhere in the USA and cannot return to Canada for a number of years. The potential renters are told that the owners are looking for a good family to rent their home and are told to mail $1,900 ($1,000 for rent and $900 damage deposit). Once payment is received, the owner would mail the keys and rental agreement.
“Thankfully, none of the complainants have sent the funds,” says EPS Const. Kamlesh Patel with Southeast Division. “If the ad makes you raise an eyebrow, do some research before sending any money to strangers.”
Const. Patel offers the following tips:
- Refrain from posting too much personal information on any internet site.
- Only use your first name or last name, instead of your full name.
- Only post one phone number and avoid giving out your home address.
- When attempting to make a deal, try to do it in person. Have your meeting at a public place.
- Never transfer any monies or give out your financial information to anyone, unless receiver’s identity is confirmed and genuine.
“Most importantly, if an offer is too good to be true, it probably is,” adds Const. Patel.
The EPS is asking the public to report any similar incidents or any suspicious persons to the non-emergency complaint line, 780-423-4567.
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