RCMP warning of vacation rental scam

Jan. 14, 2019

by Morinville News Staff

RCMP in Strathcona County are investigating a vacation rental scam posted on Kijiji.

Police say the scam begins with a person searching for a rental property, either an apartment or home in a desired destination.

The potential victim is asked to provide a deposit on the rental, typically by wire transfer. Once the potential victim arrives at the property, they realize it was all a scam. Either the rental doesn’t exist, was never available for rental, or the condition has been misrepresented.

Strathcona RCMP say a group of friends were looking to spend a few days in Banff earlier this month. The group located a vacation rental house on Kijiji and after conversing with who they believed to be the homeowner a deposit was sent through e-transfer. When they arrived at the vacation rental the actual owners were present and it was determined they had been scammed.

Police say if the deal looks too good to be true it probably is.

They also recommend looking up the property on Google Maps and use Street View to make sure the property exists and appears the same as in the images.

Police caution that fraudulent users often prefer to use cash-transfers including Money Gram or Western Union. Police recommend that you use VISA, Master Card or American Express as they will help recover any payments in the case of loss.

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  1. Renting a recreational property through Kijiji should of been the first red flag (always use a true rental property system ie VRBO or Airbnb) the second thing is always do your research on where you are renting to see if the municipality allows short term rentals (Banff and Canmore do not allow this as per their bylaws).

  2. Am I the only one who just nicely gets into the article & a Morinville News ad pops up & prevents me from reading the article. This happens almost every time I try to read one of your articles on FB…..it is very vexing! Suggestions or solutions?

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