Rental Scam Alert
Take proper steps when entering into agreements:
- If it sounds too good to be true, it probably is.
- Put everything in writing and ensure each party has a signed copy.
- Conduct proper reference checks. For instance, if checking employment references, call the general company phone number not necessarily the specific phone number the prospect has provided.
- Deal with issues or breaches of the agreement as soon as they arise.
- Whenever necessary, get in touch with a lawyer for proper legal advice.
- Google a prospective landlord/tenant/company name before entering a rental agreement.
- Don't include the full property address in your advertisement.
Rental Listings Copied:
The information from rental property ads listed on RentFaster.ca are sometimes copied and falsely advertised on other websites. Often the same basic information is listed, however, the fraudster enters a lower monthly rent and other attributes to make the listing attract a high number of visitors (ie. pets and smoking allowed, extra features, etc). The contact info is also changed. Attempts are then made to have prospects send the fraudster money without actually viewing the property.
Removing the exact address from your ad can help deter fraudsters from copying your listing information. When listing/editing your advertisement on RentFaster.ca, select 'Hide Address = Yes'. Provide people with the exact address only after they contact you about the property. Alternatively, if you're advertising an apartment or condo complex do not include the suite number. If advertising a house for rent, include only the street name.
If you find that your property has been listed on another website, please contact that website to have them remove the ad immediately.
Prospective Renter Scamming the Landord
Here is how the main type of scam works: The prospective tenant (aka 'the scammer') will OVERPAY by sending a cheque or money order for more than you have requested. They will then ask you to deposit the money and send the excess to one of their associates (ie. other family member). The Landlord is caught in the scam if the bank does not realize the forgery (NSF) until after the landlord has already sent the money back to the scammer. Please avoid dealing with people who overpay and ask you to send the additional money back to them or to someone else.
Here is an example of this type scam: Upon contacting the "renter", the landlord receives an email like this:
Sorry for my late response, your message went straight into my junk folder, i was very lucky to have found it now. I would have loved to call you now but i and my family are presently on vacation. I must confess your accommodation certainly looks like what will give me the comfort i'm looking for. My name is Chris Aye, I'm a retired US Army, presently working as a freelance security consultant for security firms/agencies in the US from the State of Georgia. I presently have a working contract with a security agency there in Canada and all paper works have been signed just waiting for me to resume work. It is for this reason i'm presently relocating to Canada for a 5yrs duration and i am expected to be in Canada on the 12th of August 2017, but i'm ready to pay for the whole of August.
It would have been great to look for a place when I arrive in Canada but my job require that I resume as soon as I arrive in Canada, so It's important to make arrangement for a place ahead, so I can focus on resuming work as soon as I arrive in Canada. I am 100% interested in renting your property.
I'm planning to stay at least 2 to 5 years in this accommodation. I will be the only person living in your accommodation, as i will be leaving my family behind in the US, i'm a none smoking person, i have no pets and I can assure you that you won't have any problem with me paying the rent on time, also I can be giving you post-dated cheque ahead of every other month.
Because of the delay in communication I will like to know if this property is still available for rent, and please re-confirm the amount for monthly rents again, so i can make arrangement for the deposit as soon as possible and forward my information, references and a copy of my drivers license to you.
This alert is not meant to discourage Landlords from renting to people from out-of-town. Just please be cautious when dealing with all prospective tenants, and never accept overpayment if having to send the additional monies elsewhere.
Landlord Scamming Prospective Tenant
Here is an example of one type scam: Upon contacting the "landlord", the renter receives an email like this:
This house is vacant and is available for an immediate move in, It will only be rented out to a potential renter who is able to take absolute care of it and all its facilities. The Kitchen comes with brand new appliances, washer and dryer are already installed.
Payable monthly rent is $1200 including utilities and a refundable damage/security deposit of $1200 is required upon approval of your rental application to secure this house for you until your initial move in date.
Utilities are included in the monthly rent as i have a 12 months post paid utilities which you have nothing to worry about. This is the first time i would be renting my house to anyone as because its a big move for me and my family to ONTARIO for a missionary work as i am a Clergy man. However i am seeking tenants who will take very care of it as if he/she owns it. Please If you think you fit into this criteria lets go ahead with the rental process right away and house is only available for a serious renter who has cash in hand and ready to put a deposit down, if not then please disregard. The house is located at
[Address displayed here]
Awaiting an immediate response, God bless you!
Here is a scam we recently were notified of: "A fraudster posing as a potential tenant looks for ads with immediate possession, which tells them the property is vacant. He/she calls the landlord asking to see the property right away to get info on the property, and to get the owner's name off the voicemail or from the owner in case they run into any neighbors they can say the owner sent them. They enter into the property, steal the appliances, lawn mowers, etc. and then sell the appliances on the web."
Grow-Op Information: What to look for...
We worked with a member of the Calgary Police to create a grow-op information page. The page is full of advice regarding tenant screening, indicators of a grow-op occurring, pictures, and other tips that should help prevent this from taking place in your rental property.
"Freeman on the Land" movement..."
Here is some info the Calgary Residential Rental Association sent out on September 27th, 2013: "Freeman" security alert from the CRRA
RentFaster.ca has implemented several measures to prevent scams from taking place through this website. However, please still be cautious and become aware of the types of issues you may encounter.