Source: West Shore RCMP, image from Flickr
The West Shore RCMP are currently investigating two separate reports of rental scam relating to a residence on the 2800 block of Pickford Ave in Colwood.
In both cases the victims had spoken with a male suspect who posed as the owner of the home. The suspect agreed to rent out his residence to the victims and even collected a cash deposit from the victims. When the victims showed up to move in they were met by the real owner of the property who advised that the home was not for rent and they had been scammed.
“Police are still investigating these reports but have learned that at one point in time the suspect rented a room at the very same property and therefore had knowledge of the home,” said Cst. Nancy SAGGAR, West Shore RCMP Media Relations Officer.
“The suspect has been using the alias of Jason LeBlanc. We are asking for anyone who may have been defrauded in a similar manner by someone using the alias of Jason LeBlanc to please come forward and speak with investigators as we are continuing to collect evidence this investigation.”
If you have information regarding these investigations please call us at 250-474-2264 or report anonymously through Crime Stoppers at 1-800-222-8477.
Here are some tips on how to keep yourself safe from rental fraud:
- Use a reputable renting website or go to the property management office itself
- Do an internet search on the address and see if anything suspicious pops up
- If the rental price is too good to be true — it’s likely a fraud
- Don’t make a deposit in cash, cash is not traceable
- Don’t wire money, wire transfers are extremely hard to cancel and trace
- Don’t give out personal information like your S.I.N number, bank account or credit card
- Make sure you are speaking with the landowner or property manager
- Ask the surrounding neighbours about the landowner and property history (neighbours should be able to tell you who lives next door and if they are the owner or not)
Released by Cst. Nancy Saggar
Media Relations Officer, West Shore RCMP
698 Atkins Avenue, Victoria, BC V9B3A4
Office: 250-474-2264 | Fax: 250-474-8790