On February 5, 2024, Portage la Prairie RCMP received a report of a rental scam.
A local realty company contacted officers as it was receiving concerning emails about properties that were listed for sale on their website.
The company advised that fraudsters were taking photos and information of the properties that were listed for sale or rent on the legitimate realty site and listing them as a rental unit or rental home on a different fraudulent site. The fraudulent website would then direct unknowing renters to send money in order to secure the rental.
RCMP are warning the public to be aware of this rental scam.
Here are some warning signs to look out for when shopping for a rental:
• the monthly rent is lower than other similar places
• you're asked to leave a deposit without any formal rental agreement or lease in place
• you're asked to send money to someone outside your province or country
• when you ask about the rental, you get an email that sends you to a website asking for personal or financial information
Here’s what you can do to avoid being scammed:
• Reach out to local realtors in the area to inquire about the property listed.
• Go to the address, make sure the listing is truthful and accurate. If you are unable to go in person, use the Internet to see actual images of the rental.
• Research the address to ensure it is not a duplicate post. Schedule a showing and confirm that the landlord will be present.
• Request a lease or contract. Review it thoroughly.
• Be sure to know your rights as a tenant.
If you’ve been the victim of a rental scam or another type of fraud, report it to your local police and the Canadian Anti-Fraud Centre.
For more information on current frauds and scams please visit the Canadian Anti-Fraud Centre at https://antifraudcentre-centreantifraude.ca/index-eng.htm