Fraudsters are taking advantage of a housing crisis in the new Montreal area, scamming hundreds of dollars from tenants desperate to find a new home.
“It’s money to pay for the first month and a little cushion; we’re all lost,” said Sandra Hartmann from Saint-Amble, who is looking for a home with her best friend, Sandra Syre.
Recently, they claimed to have lost 8,800 at the hands of a fraudster while reserving a house in Longyouil.
Before visiting, mTo me Sir was required by the owner to claim the funds through electronic, but without giving the password to cash the amount to protect himself.
Once they got there, the person they were supposed to meet never appeared. Two women noticed that the thief was able to get the money sent earlier, without knowing how he succeeded.
For his part, Montreal Patrice Boiselle was ready to sign his new lease when he realized he had lost $ 250 in his deposit.
Unable to reach the man who showed him the apartment in Rosemont, the 53-year-old returned to the scene, where the janitor explained to him that someone had seized the owner’s identity.
“I was confident I would have my apartment on Saturday. There, I would have to start the process again. It’s not really easy, especially in Montreal,” he laments.
Many Cubakers have reported to the Journal that they have experienced similar situations or have been the target of fraud.
Last year, the Canadian Anti-Fraud Center identified 170 reports of such cases, an increase of 45% compared to 2019-2020.
The Montreal City Police Department has identified 24 cases of residence rent fraud since the beginning of the year.
These fraudulent practices are not new, recalls Maxim Roy-Allard, a spokeswoman for the Quebec des Housing and Associations de Tenants du Quebec.
“In fact, when there is a shortage and shortage of housing, we see the formation of more dubious schemes because there are more people looking at the end,” he says.
“There are people who take advantage of the situation and take advantage of the situation to keep non-existent online offers,” said Veronica Laflam, a spokeswoman for the Popular Action Front in Urban Reorganization (FRAPRU).
Keep in mind that according to Quebec’s Civil Code, the landlord cannot demand anything other than rent, such as a deposit. However, an amount can be paid voluntarily.
How to prevent fraud?
- Verify the identity of the owner
- Do not send money before visiting the accommodation
- Verify the authenticity of photos published online
- Contact the neighbors
Source: A group of housing committees and tenants’ associations in Quebec