Those looking to rent property in Kingston are encouraged by Kingston Police to be diligent before paying first and last month’s rent for a property listed on Kijiji or other property for rent sites.
Although this scam has been seen in Kingston before, the scammers are becoming increasingly cunning, according to a release from Kingston Police, dated Wednesday, Sept. 1, 2021.
“Scammers list the property as ‘for rent’ and solicit interested persons,” said Constable Ash Gutheinz, Media Relations Officer for Kingston Police. “Once the scammer is contacted by a prospective renter they pretend to be the actual property owner and ask for a deposit, advising that they are out of town and will send keys to the rental property once they have received the first and last month’s rent. Between $1000 and $2000 is typically requested of the potential renter. As this is a scam, no keys ever arrive by mail and once the deposit money is paid online the scammer is never heard from again.”
Recently, the Kingston Police said their Fraud Unit has received numerous rental scam reports with victims losing, at times, thousands of dollars as a result of this fraudulent scheme.
- Do your due diligence and attend the prospective rental property in person to ensure that it is actually for rent and view the property both inside and out
- If there is a “for rent” or “for sale” sign mounted outside, call that contact directly
- Person to person financial transactions are always the favourable way to finalize a rental or lease agreement
- Never send money in the form of bitcoin or gift cards for new rental or lease agreements
Anyone who has been defrauded of any money or has information in regards to this recent scam please contact Kingston Police at 613-549-4660. Alternatively, a report can be filled out online.