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'It's pretty scary': Couple warns of Burnaby rental scam after seeing unit they bought on Craigslist

A Burnaby couple is warning others to be careful after uncovering a possible rental scam – in which someone was advertising a suite that they live in. The residents told the NOW that they recently bought an apartment near Metrotown.
craigslist burnaby-rental
A Burnaby resident posted this in January after seeing the unit he bought posted for rent.

A Burnaby couple is warning others to be careful after uncovering a possible rental scam – in which someone was advertising a suite that they live in.

The residents told the NOW that they recently bought an apartment near Metrotown.

After the deal went through, they discovered the same unit being listed for rent on Craigslist for $1,000 a month.

The couple says their one-bedroom unit is not for rent.

“It’s pretty scary to think someone is taking advantage,” the couple wrote. “A friend who knows the place we bought alerted us to this. There are some really bad people out there.”

A similar incident happened back in January of this year after a man bought a condo in UniverCity on Burnaby Mountain (see screenshot above). He too was warning people and said that with COVID-19 and high demand for scarce units, some people are putting down deposits without actually seeing units in person.

Here are some tips about residential rental scams.

“You believe the owner or landlord is showing you the property you are interested in renting,” says the Vancouver Police Department. “Or maybe you live elsewhere and are unable to view the property in person before agreeing to rent it. You pay a deposit, but when you show up to move in, the property was never available for rent and you are out your deposit. If the price is too good to be true, or they ask for cash only, a cash security deposit, or money to be wired, that should be a red flag.”

Tips

  • don't send money to anyone you have not met in person and/or for property you have not seen in person
  • ask for identification from anyone showing you the property and write down their licence plate if they arrive by car
  • search for owner information in the Land Titles office to confirm you are dealing with the owner