Kara Prachnau, who lives in Greater Victoria, posted an ad to Kijiji in March to rent out her fully-furnished suite for $ 1,200, with wireless local area network and hydro included in the price .
Within days, Prachnau received an e-mail warning her that the lapp ad was posted to Craigslist, but for less than half the price .
“ I prohibited the post, but the person just kept posting it again and again, ” said Prachnau. “ So I called the police, and they said person would follow up, but they haven ’ deoxythymidine monophosphate done anything about it even. ”
The strange swindler used Prachnau ’ s photos with a similar spell up in the Craigslist ad, except the scam said the cortege was only $ 500 per month, and that she was “ away in the UK ”, so those matter to could go and peek in the windows to see the suite .
“ I had over 197 groups of people show up here, that I had never spoken with or been in contact of any kind, ” Prachnau said .
“ When I had to explain to all of them that they ’ d been scammed and would not be moving in, most were very understand, but others got highly angry and said I was the one scamming people. ”
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Prachnau added that multiple people had already paid the first month ’ s rent along with the damage deposition, and brought their personal belongings to the home, fix to move into the cortege .
“ I had one ridicule who got actually angry, saying that was his home, he payed for it, and we could either do things the comfortable means or the hard way. I started to get actually freaked out, ” said Prachnau .
“ And tons of people would peek through my windows precisely like the ad told them to. ”
For about a week, people were steadily showing up to Prachnau ’ south house and she had to give the lapp actor’s line .
“ It got to the point where I felt threatened, and I had to go stay with a ally for a couple days. It was fabulously nerve-racking and I wouldn ’ triiodothyronine wish that position upon anyone, ” said Prachnau.
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finally Prachnau decided to remove her cortege from the long-run market, and is now renting it as a vacation suite on Airbnb .
“ I will never post an ad for my suite on Kijiji or any web site like that again. On Airbnb there is a lot more verification required of a person before they can even contact me to rent, ” said Prachnau .
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Too good to be true
Following this incident, Prachnau stressed how important it is for people to go and see a rental whole before they send any money .
“ If they don ’ thyroxine ask for references, only talk to you over e-mail, or don ’ t get you inside to see the suite, something is probably amiss, ” said Prachnau. “ And if it sounds excessively well to be true, it credibly is. ”
Better Business Bureau ( BBB ) said this type of scam has been going on for several years across all provinces on websites like Craigslist and Kijiji .
Aldyne Kerrigan, Operations Manager for BBB on Vancouver Island, said if an ad for a rental unit is in a great location, with beautiful stock photos, extra amenities, has absent owners, and the economic rent seems excessively low for the market, it is likely a scam .
“ We recommend searching on-line for the listings, or the swindler ’ south electronic mail address or telephone number. If you find the same ad being posted and located in other cities then you can be surely it ’ s a victimize, ” said Kerrigan, adding that you should never send money to person for an apartment you ’ ve never seen, and to constantly make certain you are dealing with the owner of a property or an authorize representative .
“ If you can ’ t verify the details then walk away. ”
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If you think you have identified a victimize, you can tag the ad, and Kijijji or Craigslist will remove it. You can besides contact the canadian Anti-Fraud Centre, or your local RCMP .
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