Rental scams have soared 160% since 2021, triggering a BBB warning

By on August 3, 2022 0

It’s not uncommon for spikes in rental scams to occur around this time of year targeting people looking for short-term housing, such as recent college graduates and families vying for vacation rentals.

In one of Canada’s most expensive markets with high demand and low vacancy rates, the Better Business Bureau of mainland British Columbia said in a warning in late July that this was the perfect storm for fraudsters.

“Students are looking to find their first home after graduation, add that to the pressure of families looking for vacation rentals, and it’s the perfect storm for a scammer looking to make money,” said BBB President Simone Lis.

Since 2021, the number of reported scams has increased by 160%, with an average loss per incident of around $1,230, according to Li.

Scams usually involve a fake listing posted online, with in-person viewing of an option promised only if the interested person makes a payment first.

“Once tenants send payment to secure listing, they often find that the property either doesn’t exist, isn’t available for rent, or isn’t the scammer’s property to list first. place,” the office said in its statement.

The bureau suggests researching the listing or advertiser to see if the same ad is posted under other cities online. If you make a payment, make sure it is traceable, such as checks or wire transfers.

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