Waterloo Regional Police Warn Students about Potential Rental Scams

Posted on Friday April 05, 2019

Waterloo Region, Ontario  The Waterloo Regional Police Service is warning members of the public to be wary of rental fraud scams that could affect students looking to rent or sublet a property.

This type of fraud typically increases during this time of year as students begin to look for accommodation for the next school year or subletting their current accommodations. 

In particular, there are two rental scams that students should educate themselves on to ensure they do not fall victim.

The first scam is Fraudulent Renters looking for Property to Rent.  In these instances, scammers fraudulently advertise rentals in a preferred location. They may request the renters to answer a questionnaire asking for their personal information and banking information. Once the offer is accepted, the renter then sends money to the scammer with first and/or last month’s rent. The victim arrives at the designated time to receive their keys and learns that the address does not exist or that they have been misled.

Things to consider:

  • Is the deal too good to be true?
  • Know what reasonable rental rates are. 
  • Review your contract thoroughly and have a friend or family member view it as well.
  • Go to the address. Schedule a viewing and confirm that the property exists.
  • Is there an urgency or pressure to get the deal done quickly?
  • Have you asked questions that they are avoiding?
  • Are you asked to transfer money through the internet or wire money out of the country?

The second scam is Fraudulent Properties for Rent. Fraudulent renters are scammers who claim to want to rent the apartment but actually do not intend to live there. They send a fraudulent form of overpayment and ask you, the potential renter to send the additional funds back to them.

Things to consider:

  • Check the facts and verify personal information.
  • If the person lives out of the country and wants to rent the advertised location, DO NOT provide your banking information. Have the money e-transferred to an email address specifically designated for such transactions that do not link to your personal email.
  • Never return funds that are “overpayment”.  If this occurs, suggest applying the amount to their next month’s rent.

Another important thing to consider while looking or renting a property is to limit the personal and banking information that you share with the owner or renter.  If the post or rental property is a scam, the fraudster may use your information for identify fraud purposes.

If you have been a victim of a rental scam contact the ad publisher, file a complaint with the Canadian Anti-Fraud Centre and contact your local police service to make a report.


Ashley Dietrich

Constable #1305

Public Information Officer, Executive Branch

Waterloo Regional Police Service

200 Maple Grove Road, Cambridge, ON, N3H 5M1

519-570-9777 ext.8285


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