Ad hijacked by fraudster

A condo posted for sale on Kijiji was hijacked by someone overseas.

Yesterday, a Saanich resident contacted the Saanich Police about a Kijiji add that had been hijacked. The victim had advertised a condo for sale on Kijiji. The ad was then taken, including photos, and converted to a rental add with new contact information.

The re-posting stated there had been a sudden transfer and no time to contact a rental agent prior to leaving. The story used was that the owner was a member of the Canadian Air Force who had been posted oversees unexpectedly. This is an attempt to add to the legitimacy by the fraudster.

The posting went on to suggest sending a money transfer via an internet pay site. In turn, the keys to the condo would be sent by courier.

Scams like this largely originate overseas, which makes them nearly impossible to investigate. They also tend to target vacant units so that if someone goes by to have a look it gives the posting further legitimacy.

Some suggestions to avoid being scammed by adds like this are:

• Be wary of any ‘rushed’ adds or stories that have an element of secrecy to them

• Do your research! There are many tools available on the internet to check out current scams.

• Use a reputable rental agent if you are selling or renting. The cost may be nominal compared to getting scammed.

For more information contact the Saanich Police Financial Crimes investigators.


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