Alberta Real Estate Association has recieved more reports of a scam that is being perpetrated in Alberta that not ony takes advantages of consumer, but implicates our members without their knowledge.
How it works is a rental property is advertised on sites like Craigslist or Kijiji and the used to describe the property and the name of the listing Realtor apprears to have been scraped from Realtor.ca or elsewhere. The scammer impersonates the Realtor when responding to prospective renters.
Alberta Real Estate Association anticipates that, as markets heat up and rental property becomes more scarce, this type of scam may be seen more frequently. AREA is taking actions to protect both our members and the consumers they serve.
In addition to alerting the real estate boards and you, AREA has drafted a media release that, in partnership with local boards, will be forwarded to the media so that consumers can be warned about this type of scam. AREA will aslo communicate with Kijiji so that this scam can be added to the list of common scams on their site.
When the prospective renter posted an inquiry, here is the response they received:
Thanks for your interest in my Duplex. My name is (AREA: name of listing REALTOR® inserted here) I am a construction Engineer and I am the owner of the 3 bedroom Duplex . I have been transferred to one of our branches in West Africa and that is why I am putting up the Duplex for rent. The Duplex vital informative documents and the entrance keys to my Duplex is with us, we try to look for dependable agent to handle the rent but could not find one due to the limited time we had before leaving the country. Mostly we do not want our property to be given to any sort of person to avoid damages and troubles.The Duplex is available for rent and is available for long term and short term lease.
Duplex Address: XXXX XXX Ave Edmonton AB, Canada
This unit is available for immediate move in. Modern 3 beds and 3 Full Bath Basement:Full Suite the Duplex is strategically located in a very cool and lovely environment with five (5) appliances including dish washer with in-suite laundry and plenty of storage space and parking space . Professional and mature neighbors ensure peaceful living arrangements. Freshly painted and immaculately clean with private bathroom.
We are 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 the property to be kept clean all the time as it is our hard-earned property. If you are honestly interested and will absolutely maintain our property (Taking care of it like yours) as I hope I can put my trust and confidence in you presently, I earlier wanted to sell the Duplex but had a second thought to rather put it up for rent. The rent is ($900 )including utilities Damages Deposit Fee ($400) So I will like you to get back to me so that I can forward you the full interior pictures to you to have an idea how beautiful and spacious the inside looks and i will like you to fill out the rental application form below.......
Full Name :
Phone # :
Are You Married:
Marital Status :
Do you Drink Alcohol :
Do you smoke :
How Many People Will Be Living In The Duplex:
Your Move-in Date :
Your Move-Out Date :
Thanks for taking your time in writing me and hope to hear back from you.
(AREA: name of REALTOR®) And Family
What to Do?
If you come across an instance where you name is being used in this type of scam, after taking the appropriate steps, please email specifics to AREA (firstname.lastname@example.org) so that we can track the extent of this problem.
Alberta Real Estate Association