Friday, September 17, 2010

Fraud Alert: Online Residential Tenancy Scams

Writer Amy Brown-Bowers takes a look at an emerging arena for online fraudsters and scammers - the apartment rental marketplace:

In most cases the potential landlord is a doctor, priest, humanitarian worker, businessman or member of the Canadian Forces who claims to have been transferred to another country for work. Thus all communication is done via e-mail or, more rarely, by telephone and the landlord is unable to meet the tenant in person or show the actual rental unit.

Through e-mails the landlord will stress their integrity and trustworthiness and will offer the place after requesting minimal details from the tenant. Finally, the landlord will request the tenant send a deposit by mail, after which the landlord promises to mail a set of keys to the tenant.

"And of course the keys never come..."

(I was pleased to have the opportunity to contribute a few comments to this article).

See: Apartment rental scams at

- Garry J. Wise, Toronto
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