A Saanich resident is out $5,000 after falling victim to an internet scam.
In April, the resident posted ads online advertising the availability of a home-stay bedroom and was subsequently contacted by someone purporting to be an interested tenant.
An agreement was reached and the future tenant sent a cheque for $5,000 to pay for a school year worth of rent. While the cheque was en route, via mail, they contacted the Saanich resident claiming there was a family emergency and they needed the money back.
The victim sent $5,000 to an offshore account, assuming a valid cheque would soon arrive.
Once the cheque did show up, it was deposited – but the bank quickly determined it was fraudulent.
Saanich police Sgt. Dean Jantzen said the use of sob stories, involving sick or dead family members, is used by fraudsters to take advantage of good hearted people.
Police recommend that business done online should be conducted using cash, a certified bank draft or a fund transfer via email.