Nanaimo man loses several thousand dollars in rental scam

Nanaimo, BC – The Nanaimo RCMP is warning the public of a rental scam after a Nanaimo man was defrauded for several thousand dollars. The incident occurred in early July 2022, and involved a home in the 600 block of Bowen Road.

The complainant told police that he responded to a rental ad on the website Zillow after he found a home to his liking on Bowen Road. The man began communication with a woman who was listed on the ad and went by the name of Ginger Reed. Reed was asking for one months rent up front and another month rent in order to turn the keys over. Reed provided an email where the rent money could be e-transferred to. Reed told the man that the keys and documents for the home would be delivered to him once the money was received. Reed then sent the man a copy of lease documents and an out of province driver’s license with the name and picture for Ginger Reed.

Scam Alert
(File Photo) Scam Alert

The next day the man went to the home listed on the ad and much to his surprise, it appeared to be occupied with several vehicles parked in the driveway. The man was able to confirm through a friend that Reed’s name was not on the ownership title of the home. At this point, he came to the conclusion that he had been scammed and did not forward the remainder of the money.

The victim contacted police and handed over the fake documents that he received. Investigators contacted Zillow and the advertisement for the home was taken down. The investigation is continuing.

“There were several red flags in this transaction however the man cannot be faulted as this was a fairly sophisticated scam,” said Constable Gary O’Brien of the Nanaimo RCMP.

Here are some tips to consider before entering into a rental agreement

the landlord does not meet you in person

The landlord does not require credit or reference check

Name of the landlord is not on the rental documents

There is a different name for the recipient of the e-transfer

The home is already occupied

Do a google search of the address and landlord

Talk to the neighbours

Arrange to do a walk through of the unit

Be familiar with the Residential Tenancy Branch rules and regulations

To protect yourself please find attached a link to the Residential Tenancy Act and for information on current scams, a link to the Canadian Anti-Fraud Centre

File # 2022-23207

Nanaimo RCMP

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