Anti-fraud Call Centre
Check out the Canadian Anti-fraud call centre to find out about updates on current scams that could affect you! You can call 1-888-495-8501 or e-mail them at firstname.lastname@example.org. To find out more, click on the picture to the left to go to their website.
Guelph Police Services have contacted Off-Campus Housing to make us aware of a scams that may affect landlord and prospective tenants.
In the case of prospective tenants, the landlord indicates that they are from out of town and are not able to arrange to show the available unit for rent. After emailing back and forth, the prospective tenants is asked to send a deposit by a wire transfer or electronic money transfer. But, in actuality, the person claiming to be the landlord doesn't have a rental unit or they are not authorized to rent the unit.
Off-Campus Housing recommends that you always meet the landlord in person to see the rental unit or have a friend visit the unit with the landlord. We also recommend paying the first and last month's rent deposit by cheque rather than by money order or transfer, so that you can cancel the cheque if you become suspicious of the situation.
In the case of landlords, the landlord is contacted by telephone or email by someone overseas, asking to rent their accommodation. An agreement is made to send the deposit by money order or cheque. When the landlord receives the payment, it is for a considerably larger sum than was originally agreed upon. The landlord is then contacted by the “tenant” and told an error has occurred, and he/she is instructed to cash the money order or cheque and wire transfer the difference to the “tenant”.
The landlord is subsequently informed by their bank that the money order or cheque is fraudulent. Unfortunately, it can take time for the bank or post office to discover that the money order or cheque is counterfeit. The victim (landlord) is usually held financially responsible as they have passed a fraudulent money order or cheque. Since the transactions are carried out by e-mail or cell phone, out of province or country, it is extremely difficult to positively identify the individual posing as the tenant.
Off-Campus Housing recommends that, if you receive a request from a prospective tenant for a refund of a deposit overpayment, you contact the fraud unit of your local police service.
Here are 3 examples of the fraud emails:
My name is ************ . 24 yrs from England.I am intersted in the apartment you advertised in www.studentlife.uoguelph.ca.I am a very tolerant person and down to earth.Kindly get back to me if the place is still available for rent, also i will like to know more details as regards the room and let me know exactly what to pay as deposit to secure the place before my arrival. I look forward to hearing back from you ASAP.
How are you and the entire family..? i hope all is well with you.? i Saw your Ad for a place to rent,and i ll love to rent your Advertised unit...will you kindly get back to me with all other necessary details different from the ones pasted in the Ad,i will in turn let you have all the things you should know about me....thanks so much
Do Kindly get back to me
Hello, How are you doing?Hope God is taking care of you and your family? I am ***** by name from Machester(UK) and i am coming Research in Guelph University by November 2007 so i need a place to stay.A little about me.I am 24 years old,i gentle, neat,respectful,i mind my own business, no smoking,no overnight guest,no party,i promise to keep the place neat as you ever wanted,my favourite colours are blue and white. I will love to rent from you and i will love to rent for one year but i may extend the rent later so tell me more about the place and i will also appreciate some pictures to the place.If there is any application that i will need to fill plz have it sent to me via email so i could print and bring it over with me when coming over cos i do not have acess to fax machine.I will be happy to rent from you so get back to me as soon as possible.Do tell me the asking price per month and how do i secure it before coming over?Happy New Weekend to you and your family. God bless you.