Police say three Brantford residents answered a home rental ad that turned out to be a scam.
The Kijiji ad offered a home for rent on Port Street.
Police say one of the victims, a 46-year-old man, contacted a woman who told him she was renting out her home because her husband’s job was transferred to North Bay.
The victim was told first and last month’s rent, for a total of $2,000, needed to be paid and then she would send him a package containing the keys, rental agreement and rent receipts.
When the victim said he couldn’t afford to pay all the money at once, police say the woman told him he could make several payments of $500. She directed him to e-transfer the first $500 to an e-mail address.
The following day, the victim went to the Port Street home and knocked on the door. A woman who identified herself as the owner said the house wasn’t for rent and she hadn’t placed an ad on Kijiji.
Police say a 58-year-old woman also answered the same ad and requested a viewing of the home. The fraudster told the woman she needed to fill out an application and send the money first. The woman also went to the home and was told it wasn’t for rent. She called police.
Police say a 47-year-old man also replied to the ad and was told the same story. This victim e-transferred $500 to the address provided by the fraudster. He also went to the Port Street home, learned of fraud, and called police.
The ad has since been removed and the Brantford Police Service Fraud Unit is investigating.
Police say it is never a good idea to send money to someone you’ve never met in person for a property you’ve never seen. If you can’t visit the house yourself, police say to send someone you trust to confirm it’s for rent. In addition to setting up a meeting, police advise doing a search on the owner and listing.
Read the original story at the Brantford Expositor.