Grande Prairie – Crimebeat – The Grande Prairie RCMP want people to be aware of a scam on the buy and sell web site Kijiji where individuals have been posting fraudulent advertisements of properties for rent in the Grande Prairie area. However, the properties are owned and often occupied by a local individual and not available for rent resulting the renter being scammed for significant amounts of money.
Recently, a concerned individual called the Grande Prairie RCMP to advise that he found his house, which is currently owns and lives in, for rent on Kijiji. Recently, the Grande Prairie RCMP have been notified of a number of other similar scams involving residential properties being fraudulently listed for rent in Grande Prairie on Kijiji and want the public to be aware of this issue.
The premise of the scam is an advertisement being posted regarding a house for rent whereby the owner explains that he/she live out of the country and want someone to rent their home until their return. After an exchange of e-mails money is eventually requested to be sent via some type of electronic means to secure the rental. It is only when the renter shows up to take possession of the residence that they learn they have been scammed.
The RCMP have few avenues of investigation as the unknown person(s) responsible have been tracked to such places as Spain and Africa. Thus, the RCMP want the public to be aware of this issue and use caution when using internet sites to obtain anything as not to be swindled out of their hard earned money.
There are a number of suggestions that Kijiji offer for the safe use of their site. Some are the recommendations are:
• When buying or selling, you should meet in-person to see the product and exchange funds. Meet in a public place with many people around, such as a coffee shop.
• Never send or wire money to sellers or buyers. This includes never mailing a cheque or using payment services like PayPal, eBay Motors Purchase Protection Program, Bidpay, Western Union or Money Gram to pay for items found on Kijiji.
Also, there are options on Kijiji that if you are aware of a scam or fraud that you can notify Kijiji and they will endeavor to remove the ad.