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Off-Campus Housing Services
Logo: Western University Canada
Scam Alert

Rental Scam Information for Tenants

Our office has been notified that some rental listings found on Facebook groups and/or Kijiji are scams, where people are advertising properties that do not exist and are asking for money as a deposit. As always, we advise you only search for off-campus housing rentals on our rental listing website:

Tips for success:

  1. View the property in-person (maintaining physical distancing) or ask someone you trust to view it.
  2. Talk to previous tenants to find out what the landlord/rental company is like.
  3. Only pay a deposit and/or sign a lease once you have seen the rental and had your lease reviewed by our service:

Rental Scam Information for Landlords

Please be aware that a number of institutions have reported that individuals have been contacting people with listings on their off-campus housing registries and offering to pay the entire year's rent with a cheque or money order.

We would ask that you be cautious with this as in some cases the money order or cheque is fraudulent. Typically what happens is that the individual sends several months worth of rent and almost immediately ask for all but one or two month's rent (deposit) to be returned. They do this in the hope that your bank will not recognize the forgery until the normal clearing process has happened. This would result in you being out the money that you have returned to them.

Example #1

I am a 24yrs old lady from Cardiff, UK and I would be doing a program at the University. I am down to earth. I get along with people easily and I like meeting people.

I also like traveling, painting, listening to music, dancing, swimming, badminton, tennis and reading. I don't smoke and drink.

I would like to know the monthly rent and the terms and conditions for securing the rental. I hope to hear from you soon. Thanks.

Example #2

Good morning , How are you doing today?

I hope you are doing pretty good well, I am 28years old from Great Britain. I saw your advert online and i am interested in your room /apartment for rent. I was born in great Britain, and I will be having my Study leave as a student doctor coming up soon in Canada.

Right now am in Wales for a program on children with heart related problems. My next program will be in Canada and i will need a room to stay. The most important thing is that i need to secure a room before my arrival to Canada.

Pls do get back to me with the room description,move in rent fees for the first month and any deposit if included. Kindly let me know the duration of the rent( How long do you intend to rent the room/apartment out for? ).

Am planing to be in Canada as soon as possible, i don't drink nor smoke,no pets and no boyfriend because i am a very busy lady only dedicated to my work.

Please kindly get back to me with the move in rent fee for the first month and i will appreciate it if you can furnish me with the room specification and pictures. Thanks and do hope to hear from you soonest.

Example #3

The person contacting the landlord will claim to be working on a cruise ship and they will ask the landlord to set up a PayPal account in order to send the rent deposit. After the PayPal account has been set up, the landlord may receive a similar email to the one below:

"I'm about to make the Payment now and something just came up, I need a kind favor from you and i will be happy if you can sort it out for me. I was just about to pay when I received an email from my shipping agent, my shipping agent says i will need to pay for the moving before they can ship my items, they charge me $880 for pick up and delivery and payment for pick up will be made to the shipping agent in China. The payment will be made via Western Union money transfer. I will add $880 to my rent deposit making $2,980.00 in total which you will kindly help me to send the excess $880 CAD to the shipping agent in China. I will send the funds through PayPal and email you to let you know when I'm done with the transfer. The money transfer to the shipping agent can be done by visiting any western union outlet in the stores. I have also included $100.00 for the transfer charges. I would have done it myself but I can't because I'm still presently on cruise, I will appreciate your kindness regarding this. You will get a payment notification from PayPal immediately I transfer the funds."

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