This home, listed for sale by Macdonald Realty, was also advertised as for-rent by someone on Craigslist. (Online MLS listing)

Another potential rental scam in Sidney

Deleted Craigslist post seeks renters for home already for sale

  • Sep. 5, 2017 4:15 p.m.

Hugo Wong/News staff

Another potential Craigslist rental scam has emerged, this time in Sidney.

Richard Fisher, a Sidney resident who is looking for a new home, responded to a post advertising a home for rent on Malaview Avenue, but soon discovered the home was listed for sale by Macdonald Realty.

The Craigslist ad has since been taken down, but a copy of the text provided to the Peninsula News Review showed that someone claiming to live in Utah was looking to rent the house for $1,000 per month with a $500 security deposit. They asked Fisher not to contact any real estate agents and to disregard any signage, claiming they had changed their mind and was looking to rent their property, not sell it. The reply asked for a photo of Fisher for identification purposes and wrote they would follow up with a rental application form.

Chace Whitson, the realtor responsible for the actual listing, says the homeowners are not looking to rent out the property.

“It has nothing to do with me. I’m the listing agent for the property but I guess there’s some scam going on.”

Since learning about the posting, Whitson said he has told the homeowners about the potential scam via text, but they have not spoken in person about it.

“It wouldn’t be them trying to rent it that’s for sure.”

Whitson said he has received two complaints about the Craigslist ad, but was not able to view it before it was flagged for removal. He added he has not been in this situation before, but there was at least one similar incident in North Saanich in March.

Believing it to be a scam, Fisher stopped emailing the Craigslist poster.

“Nothing’s happened since then,” said Fisher, but he added he wants to warn people about suspicious listings.

After similar incidents, police recommend dealing with landlords directly and in-person, inspecting the rental property and ensuring the person is in fact the owner or employed by a property management firm. In addition, paying rent or damage deposits by cheque is safer than by Western Union or other wire transfer because cheque payments can be stopped if deemed suspicious.

Any suspicious postings can be reported to the non-emergency police line. For more tips on how to protect yourself, the Canadian Anti-Fraud Centre has a section dedicated to rental scams.

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

City of Victoria expecting a 2020 deficit between $12.5 to $17.5 million

Victoria lost $1.2 million per month just from reduced parking fees during onset of pandemic

PHOTOS: Small crowd gathers to watch 231-tonne stacker-reclaimer loaded onto barge

The Dynamic Beast barge crane, known for work with Johnson Street Bridge, makes a return

Greater Victoria Point-in-Time count finds over 1,500 people homeless

Capital Regional District says count should be treated as an underestimate

Newly appointed Resilient Saanich committee to weigh in on new environmental policy framework

Council selects nine members, First Nations representative position remains open

Pay cuts, seating charts, COVID screening: How one Sidney venue is bringing back concerts

A growing number of bars and restaurants are welcoming back musicians under COVID-19 precautions

Alberta to require masks at schools this fall, but still no mandate in B.C.

B.C. students are also set to return to classrooms in September

30% of British Columbians would ‘wait and see’ before taking COVID vaccine: poll

Some are concerned about side effects, while others don’t think the virus is a big deal

Don’t leave your hand sanitizer in the sun and other tips to stay COVID safe this summer

Being mindful of staying outside and keeping hand sanitizer, sunscreen out of the sun recommended

What exactly is ‘old growth’ B.C. forest, and how much is protected?

Forests minister Doug Donaldson doesn’t support ‘moratorium’

Canadians can travel to Hawaii in September; no quarantine with negative COVID test

Travellers will be required to pay for their own tests prior to arriving

Crews work overnight to try to put out wildfire on Pender Island

Fire department and B.C. Wildfire Service crews extinguishing fire in ‘extremely difficult terrain’

Michael Buble among 13 British Columbians to receive Order of B.C.

Ceremony will be delayed to 2021 due to COVID-19

Most Read