Renters and Tenants - Learn How to Avoid Rental Property Fraud and Scams

Fraud and Scams

Fraud Awareness Tips for Renters

While the vast majority of apartment listings on RentBoard.ca are legitimate, you should be aware that certain individuals post rental listings on RentBoard.ca for the sole purpose of scamming potential renters.

When using the Internet, you should always exercise caution and common sense. When using the RentBoard.ca web site, you can help protect yourself by learning more about how the RentBoard.ca service operates and taking the precautions outlined below. If an activity seems suspicious or a transaction seems unbelievably good, you should beware.

Deceptive E-Mails and Claims

RentBoard.ca merely acts as forum in which potential renters can search listings of apartments for rent and contact landlords to discuss the specifics of the apartment, arrange for a showing, and/or possibly enter into an agreement to lease the apartment. All transactions are between renters and landlords. Be aware that RentBoard.ca never participates in transactions between renters and landlords. Specifically, we do not lease apartments or collect payments or deposits for rental properties. Finally, given the nature of our service, you should be aware that we do not and cannot verify the authenticity or legitimacy of any renter, landlord or property advertised for rent.
Below are examples of "scam replies" sent to renters
Hello,

Thanks for your email and interest in my property,my name is Jhirmaine while my wife's name is Josphine,i work as a Paralegal Assistant for the United States Government.I just moved down to the States with my family for about two months now and we will be staying here in Kentucky while my wife works as a nurse here as well.We love it here and hope to settle down here in the nearest future.we came here to the States with the keys and documents of the property because we never intended to rent out the property,but we thought about our property being unused will cause lots of damage to it,so we decided to rent it out to someone capable of taking care of it while we are away.All we care about is someone to take very good care of it with passion of it being it's own.A colleague of mine introduced me to this internet site of advertisement. I want to be convinced you are capable enough to taking care of our property for us? We don't want it to be used anyhow,i want you to get back to me on how you will be taking care of the place or perhaps the experience you have in your previous places of living or lived.I want you to note that all utilities are included in the rent.I look forward to hearing from you so that i can forward you a rental application form if you are interested in renting our place.

Thanks and hoping to read from you soon.
Hello

Thanks for your email and interest in the property. I personally own the property and also want you to know that it was due to my transfer that made me and my wife to leave the property and also want to give it out for rent and looking for a responsible person that can take very good care of it as we are not after the money for the rent but want it to be clean at all time and the person that will rent it to take it as if it were its own. So for now, We are here in , United State in our new house and also with the keys and documents of the house, we try to look for an agent that we can give this documents before we left but could not see and we are as well as don't want our property to be used any how in our absence that is why we took it along with us. I and my wife came over to United State for a missionary work, so i hope you will promise us to take very good care of the house. kindly get back to me on how you could take care of our house or perhaps experience you have in renting home. The rent fee is included all the utilities , no extra fee for parking, and you can rent it unfurnished.. there are sporting equipment..I am looking forward to hear from you ASAP so that i can forward you an application form to fill out and discuss on how to get the property for rent.

Thanks.
Hello Tenant,

Thanks for your email and interest in the property.. I personally own the property and also want you to know that it was due to my transfer that made me and my wife to leave the property and also want to give it out for rent and looking for a responsible person that can take very good care of it as we are not after the money for the rent but want it to be clean at all time and the person that will rent it to take it as if it were its own. So for now, We are here in Pico Rivera, CA, United State in our new house and also with the keys and documents of the house, we try to look for an agent that we can give this documents before we left but could not see and we are as well as don't want our property to be used any how in our present that is why we took it along with us. I and my wife came over to United State for a missionary work, so i hope you will promise us to take very good care of the house. kindly get back to me on how you could take care of our house or perhaps experience you have in renting home. The rent fee is included all the utilities. I am looking forward to hear from you ASAP so that i can forward you an application form to fill out and discuss on how to get the property for rent.

God bless you
Hello,

Thank you reply to the advert placed, I'm happy to inform you that the place is still available for rent and you are the first person to contact me about it. I really need to know how soon you want to move in and number of people. I'm a missionary but I got transferred to Philippines to serve God and humanity. I work with SOS Children's Village here in Philippines. I have no choice than to relocate and this is the reason why I want to rent out the units to someone who is going to take care of the place as if they own it. The apartment is available for short and long time term lease is also accepted.

The rent includes all utilities and close to all amenities. I was advised to rent out the place because there is no one leaving there right now. The place is available for immediate move in.

INCLUDED IN THE RENT: Cable , Kitchen completely equipped, Kettle - Toaster - Dishwasher - Freezer - Microwave - Oven - Dryer - Heat - Water - Washing Machine and Electric.

I want you to provide the following information to fill the rent application form and other documents, such as; rental agreement, rent receipts etc.

RENTAL APPLICATION FORM

Full name:
Profession:
Present Address of the applicants:
Zip code:
Reasons for Leaving:
How long do you intend staying:
Do you drink:
Ph Cell & Home:
Email:
Single Or Married:
Children:
Pet: If any ():
Date of Tenancy:


I ...............................................CERTIFY that answers given herein are true and complete to the best of my knowledge. I authorize investigation of all statements contained in this application for tenant screening as may be necessary in arriving at a tenant decision. I understand that the landlord may terminate any rental agreement entered into for any misrepresentation made above.

I want you to make sure the present address is not mistaken because that's where the keys and documents will be ship to. The contents of the shipment you will be expecting are:

1. Bunch of keys to the property.

2. Documents containing the lease agreement and property description , including the property address.

3. Rent receipts and damage deposit receipts.

I want you to email me once you fill the rent application form, the shipment of the package containing the keys and other documents will be ship by secure courier service once the deposit payment is paid.

Advice for Renters

  • Avoid ads that are "too good to be true." Ads for apartments in big cities such as Edmonton with rents significantly below market value are almost always lures used by scam artists. Check other listings in the general area and see what the going rates for apartments are before responding.

  • Always see the apartment in person before sending any money or providing personal information such as your social security number, even if it's just to fill out an application. Under no circumstances should you do business with an overseas landlord unless you have personally verified their identity and that they actually own the apartment advertised.

  • Dealing locally is best. The safest way to deal is in person and face to face. Be wary if the prospective landlord only wants to communicate via e-mail. Be more wary if the landlord is currently out of the country or resides overseas or far from where the apartment is located. Be extremely wary if the landlord flat out refuses to talk on the phone or claims they cannot talk on the phone.

  • Exercise extreme caution before wiring deposits or rent payments using Western Union or MoneyGram, especially to foreign countries. Sending money in any form overseas will likely result in losing all of it. Western Union and MoneyGram are very popular for Internet scams because the funds are available instantly, untraceably and worldwide.

  • Scan any attachments from landlords with anti-virus software before opening. One of the latest scams involves a "landlord" e-mailing an unsuspecting renter additional photos of the apartment for lease. However, one or more of the e-mail attachments contains a virus that can fool your Web browser to make it appear as though you're going to a legitimate site but in fact are being sent to a site controlled by the scammer. The best way to protect yourself is by using commercial anti-virus software, keeping it up to date and by scanning all e-mail attachments before opening or double-clicking them. Commercial Web-based e-mail services such as Yahoo! Mail and Hotmail provide virus-scanning services free of charge.

Who should I notify about fraud or scam attempts?