FRAUD ALERT – Real Estate Rental Scam
The Real Estate Board of Fredericton has identified a rental scam that is currently circulating in the area. Fraudsters are advertising properties for rent on Kijiji using information and photos from legitimate real estate listings. It is suspected that the scam artist is hoping to get money from victims by collecting fraudulent damage deposits.
In the rental scam identified by the Fredericton Real Estate Board, here are some of the red flags:
- Spelling errors and typos in the ads
- Pressure to act quickly
- Asking the potential renter to ignore the for sale signs on the property
- No ability for the potential renter to see the property in person before providing a deposit
New Brunswickers are encouraged to use these best practices before paying money to secure a rental property:
- Be aware of the red flags of fraud.
- Never send money to someone you’ve never met, or only met online.
- Before signing a rental agreement and paying a damage deposit, insist on seeing the property in person. If you are moving from out of province, ask someone you know locally to look at the property for you.
- Do a reverse image search to determine if the images are shared on other websites.
- If there is a for sale sign on the property, contact the listing REALTOR®to inquire if the owner is also seeking to rent to property.
- If you are entering a rent to own situation, seek legal advice before signing a contract.
- When purchasing or negotiating on sites such as Kijiji, it is always buyer beware. When using sites such as Realtor®, you are dealing with agents who are licensed. Learn more about how licensing can protect you, here.
If you suspect that you have been targeted in a rental fraud scam, contact the police.
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