Local resident victim of accommodation scam

Orangeville Police Service reminds residents to be vigilant when seeking accommodations through rental property type websites. An Orangeville female recognized a loss of approximately $2600 through one such fraud recently.
On Friday, June 2, 2017, a 46-year-old Orangeville female contacted police to report that she believed that she had been the victim of a fraud regarding an apartment that had been advertised, through what appeared to be a well-known company, for rent in Brampton.

The female told police that on May 7th she contacted an individual by email to inquire about viewing the apartment in person. The individual advised that he was located in the United Kingdom and was unable to show the apartment. The victim continued to correspond with the individual regarding the apartment and on May 25th the victim sent $1300 through a money transfer service to the individual. On May 30th an additional $1300 was sent again via money transfer. After the second transaction the victim has been unable to communicate with the individual who she had sent the money to.

As a result of the police investigation, it was determined that the communication received by the victim was never from a reputable company, but had been made to look like it was. The suspect directed the victim to use an off-site payment method, in this case a money transfer company, which violated the terms of use of the well-known company that the victim believed she was dealing with. Information can be readily found on most reputable companies’ websites regarding payment options and procedures.

As with any type of online transaction, police encourage the public to take time to research the claims being made by people posting properties for rent or sale when the owners or agents claim to be from other countries. Research should be conducted prior to making any financial transactions. Google searches of names, email addresses and phone numbers given to you will often provide you with feedback alerting of scammers if there have been prior victims.

Visit the Orangeville Police Service website for more information regarding crime prevention.

Posted on June 6, 2017