A Delta man could have been out $1,300, had he not recognized a rental scam when he saw one.
According to a release from the Delta Police Department, the man responded to a Craigslist ad for an apartment in Tsawwassen, which was allegedly owned by a couple who was renting it for a competitive rate.
On Wednesday Oct. 17, they said he should put a deposit through their Airbnb account to secure the rental. He had not seen the apartment yet, but the alleged owners said he could get his deposit back if he didn’t like the looks of it when he did.
“Fortunately the man noticed that the email didn’t look quite right. The Airbnb header at the top of the email seemed a bit off, and there were spelling mistakes,” Cris Leykauf, public affairs coordinator for the DPD, said. “He tried communicating his concerns back to the alleged owners of the apartment, but they never responded.”
The man did not send any money to the account. He brought his concerns to police, who were able to determine the $1,300 deposit would have gone to an overseas Western Union account.
Since the issue was brought to the DPD, police learned there may have been another vicitm of the scam who did lose $1,300.
“While we understand the rental market can be very tough, police recommend that renters meet with the owners or property managers on-site to have a look at a suite before handing over any deposit money,” Leykauf said.
The DPD release added that potential renters should never provide pictures of their ID to someone they haven’t met. Scammers often ask for this, and then use it for identity theft or to propagate their scam.